Motivated by consumer privacy concerns, web browser companies and other technology leaders have been gradually weaning themselves away from third party cookies. Long a holdout, Chrome recently announced its deadline for deprecating this tracking technology. As a result, successful digital marketers will need effective first party data strategies for delivering relevant and personal customer experiences in a more private web ecosystem. Implementing a successful first party data strategy should be at the top of every marketer’s list in 2024.
What is first party data?
First party data (also known as 1P data) is information an organization collects directly from its audience without intermediaries or third parties. Brands may collect this data from website visitors, social media followers, email subscribers, and people registered in their CRM system. Examples of the kinds of first party data a brand may associate with a customer include:
- Website visits
- Activity on the website
- Digital interactions
- Purchase history
Having a first party data strategy gives your brand a plan for how it will collect customer and prospect data and use it to deliver personalized experiences. For some marketers, having a first party data strategy is relatively new and therefore challenging. They may not have needed one in the past if their organization was able to achieve its customer targeting goals using third party insights.
The shift to first party data over third party data is not all bad, however, as there are some advantages. Primary among them is that only your brand has the exact combination of customer insights available through owned channels. Third party data sources, in contrast, can be purchased by anyone, and therefore do not provide a competitive advantage. Overall, using first party data enables a more positive and personalized customer experience.
Why brands need a first party data strategy
Brands value first party data because of its versatility and better accuracy and timeliness than third party data. It can allow you to:
- Develop more targeted loyalty programs
- Boost engagement and retention rates
- Retarget website visitors on social media in real time based on purchase history
- Achieve more personalization
- Analyze customer behavior more accurately
- Optimize CX
- Build direct relationships with your customers to unlock higher customer lifetime values
- Retarget shoppers with abandoned carts
- Better understand what customers want and where to add value
First party data gives brands the power to create more relevant experiences for target audiences. When used wisely, first party data can help build direct customer relationships, generate more value, and improve marketing team performance. Unlike third party data, which remains static until it is purchased again, first party data gives brands insights into changing customer behavior and preferences in real time.
What should a first party data strategy include in 2024
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 75% of marketing programs leveraging customer data will produce less incremental revenue from it than they spent to acquire, manage, and activate it. Putting yourself among the 25% of companies that gain competitive advantage from their customer data means having a powerful first party data strategy. Consider the following for 2024:
Be strategic about what data you collect
More is not better when it comes to first party data. On the contrary, it is expensive to collect, clean, store, and analyze—and more so if you do not get value out of it. To optimize your first party data strategy, therefore, make sure the data you collect, and the channels you collect it from, deliver enough value to be worth the costs.
Do a thorough assessment of your data sources to identify which are most and least valuable, and to identify overlaps and redundancies. Seek also to identify the channels or interactions that produce the most customer value and prioritize data to optimize them.
Invest in data analytics
Take the time to analyze the data you collect and incorporate the insights into your first party data strategy. What does all the data tell you about customer needs, preferences, and unsolved problems? How do the insights influence your marketing and sales goals?
Decide what success looks like and how you will measure it
How your brand measures the success of your first party data strategy depends on your goals. Take the following steps to ensure your first party data strategy is grounded in business goals: 1) Decide how your brand will measure success; 2) Identify the measurement tools you will need; and 3) Create reporting periods. Tools like customer data platforms help brands collect and organize data in one place.
Embrace data partnerships
Partner on co-marketing initiatives with other businesses that have collected their own first party data on customer segments you hope to court. Privacy rules and policies may prevent your partner from directly sharing data, but you can work together to reach broader audiences on your respective social media channels, each maximizing the message using first party signals.
Trusted technology and platform providers can also provide data expertise to help you understand your data and create a better first party data strategy.
Explore new data approaches and channels
Take advantage of newer data techniques. For example, AI technology is enabling companies to create a digital twin of a customer using synthetic customer data you can analyze to predict future behavior.
Superapps are also becoming more popular as a way to consolidate and replace multiple app interfaces for customer or employee use. A superapp enables a composable business ecosystem by allowing brands to define core features as well as optional components that customers can turn on or off. Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 50% of the global population will use multiple superapps daily.
Not only should brands allow their first party data strategy to evolve, they should also expect the data itself to change. Refresh data regularly to better understand customer preferences in real time.
Don’t forget about data responsibility
One of the trends driving the move to first party data is the increased customer desire to protect and control their personal information. Given that, it’s important for brands to keep strong data governance in mind as you embrace new ways to collect first party data. When your brand demonstrates data responsibly and respectfully, shoppers will be willing to share more information.
Regulatory changes may also require you to put more emphasis on data responsibility. In the United States, each state determines its own data privacy laws. In 2024, a number of states plan on launching broad consumer data privacy regulations. It is important that companies adhere to privacy regulations and compliance deadlines as your first party data strategy evolves.
In addition to adhering to data privacy regulations, remember to protect your data with robust security measures. A data breach can bring an organization to its knees and severely damage your relationship with customers. Strong security protects both your customers and your business. Consider encryption, access controls, and regular security audits to safeguard sensitive customer information.
6 ways to collect first party data responsibly
Below are suggestions on how to collect first party data while respecting preferences and complying with data privacy regulations:
- Allow Opt-in Cookie Consent: Clearly communicate how cookies are used on your website and obtain explicit consent from visitors. This includes informing them about third party cookies and third party tracking cookies.
- Provide Email Preference Options: Allow clients to decide what kind of emails they receive to align with their interests and behavior.
- Enable App Settings: Mobile app data can provide personalized experiences based on user settings and preferences.
- Offer Language Options: Deliver your brand messaging to a broad audience by remembering their language choices across web pages and platforms.
- Remembering User Preferences: Enhance the customer experience by recalling individual preferences.
- Transparent Data Governance Policy: It’s good practice to make comprehensive data governance information available.
Personalize your first party data strategy with AI
The evolution of Generative AI gives marketers a powerful tool for activating first party data with personalized language delivered at scale.
The Persado Motivation AI, an enterprise Generative AI solution trained on 10+ years of campaign language from Fortune 500 companies, can leverage a brand’s marketing segmentation or CDP data to generate language that outperforms human-drafted controls.
In the case of Persado Dynamic Motivation, we capture consumer session data to dynamically deliver the precise AI-generated message that will motivate a given customer to complete their purchase. Additionally, brands can take advantage of Essential Motivation, a self-service Generative AI solution that equips digital marketing teams to generate more marketing campaign content faster and with higher performance. In the modern marketing ecosystem, incorporating Generative AI into a first party data strategy enables better personalization and collaboration.
For example, a retailer with a long history of distributing weekly coupons leveraged their first party CRM data to segment customers into different behavior types based on consumer data insights. The brand then worked with Persado to generate customized messages for different user groups. Some of those groups would shop even without receiving a coupon. Others saw coupons as a motivation to shop. This later customer group divided still further into customers that preferred distinct coupon types, such as 20% off or BOGO. By specifying the message for each group, the brand was able to target engagement to produce an estimated $10 million in incremental revenue in a year.
Reach out today to schedule a risk-free trial to learn more about Persado and how this GenAI technology can enhance your first party data strategy.