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Three Under-Used Approaches for Getting the Most from First-Party Data

Marketers are looking for their next move as third-party cookies head for retirement. A 2020 study conducted by the Winterberry Group and the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that more than 60% of brands planned to increase spending and emphasis on first-party data.

The transition will require new investment, but the results will likely be even better than what brands could achieve with third-party sources. In a new eBook, Forget Cookies: Drive Powerful Personalization by Activating First-Party Data, Persado presents a vision for how brands can leverage a new form of first-party data — language data — to deliver on customer expectations with personalized and relevant messages.

First-party data is unique to the company that collects it. No other organization knows what you do about how your customers interact with you, your direct channels, and your products. The challenge now is to make customers glad they shared that data by delivering an excellent experience in return. Here, Persado offers three under-emphasized first-party data approaches for marketers to consider:

Strategy 1: Collect first-party data from offline channels

The conversation around the death of cookies has largely focused on its impact for digital advertising. By extension, first-party data advocates are making a case for prioritizing data captured through owned digital channels like websites and apps. While these hold powerful insights, they aren’t necessarily the only, or the biggest, source of first-party data you have. Offline data from in-store interactions provide additional insight into the customer and their preferences. According to BCG’s European First-Party Data Digital Marketing Study, only 59% of marketing respondents collect point-of-sale data, compared with 96% who collect data from owned web assets.

That 59% may be amassing a data advantage. One shoe retailer, for example, used an emailed-receipt opt-in campaign to get permission to capture in-store data. The campaign aimed in part to promote safety by minimizing contact between employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than one in four customers opted into receiving an email receipt. This led to 5% growth in the retailer’s email list over seven months. The brand is now exploring ways to leverage the insights about in-store purchase history and channel usage to deliver better experiences.

Call center data is another example of an underutilized offline data resource. A recent survey finds that 73% of marketing respondents express confidence in the reliability of call center data, yet only about 56% access and use it to inform campaigns. Brands should rethink that emphasis. The call center is often a channel of last resort and can reveal customer pain points that aren’t visible through other channels.

Strategy 2: Combine first-party data from different sources

First-party data from one source gains value and delivers greater insight the more brands can link it with other sources. That’s easier said than done. Ensuring consistent data quality and then integrating data from multiple sources are major challenges. That’s one reason why third-party cookie data has been so popular — they’re easier to use. Yet the effort to combine data from different sources will be worth it, according to BCG research showing significant increases in data ROI for organizations that integrate disparate data sources and link it to marketing activation.

Strategy 3: Activate your first-party data with effective messages

Once brands collect and link data, they must activate it by communicating the right message to the right customer at scale. Persado’s AI content generation and decisioning platform can ensure brands speak to customers in ways that connect and increase engagement.

In one example, a credit card issuer identified from call center data a group of “chronic callers” customers who frequently use the call center to fulfill tasks they could more easily address through other channels. By partnering with Persado, the company was able to craft an effective email campaign that encouraged opt-in to account alert text messages.

Marrying first-party insights on customers with first-party language data captured by Persado, the credit card issuer achieved a 146% increase in account alert opt-ins above its control message.

Collect, combine, and activate with language: that’s how marketers win in the post-cookie era.

To learn more about the post-cookie future, access Persado’s eBook, Forget Cookies: Drive Powerful Personalization by Activating First-Party Data.