In an increasingly regulated and privacy-centric world, first-party data and consent are becoming highly valuable and vital. More and more, brands are steering away from third-party data sources as technological changes and regulation continue to limit its effectiveness. In contrast, first-party data, or the data collected by brands themselves, is generally obtained with permission. It is accurate, complete and perfect for delivering better customer engagement.
Why Marketers must utilise first-party data
World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) Programmatic Data & Technology Global surveyed 37 companies to discover how they collect and utilise data. They discussed how first-party data was now business-critical for audience targeting, reflecting the importance of privacy to marketers. 58% of respondents said their first-party data is fully or significantly utilised, despite using other data sources. The value of first-party data is its providence, accuracy, and reliability for the brand making it an invaluable tool for marketing strategies. Furthermore, due to the pandemic, the shift towards eCommerce has quickened its pace by five years, which means personalised advertising is more relevant than ever and with the wave of changes to browsers reducing third party data collection opportunities.
However, there are increasing measures globally to further provide consumers with control of the data collected about them which presents challenges to advertisers who use a data-driven approach. For example, Google Chrome which is the market-leader in browsers will not support third-party cookies from 2022 onwards, causing up to 85% of browser traffic to block third-party data-based strategies. Therefore, marketers must focus on growing their first-party data, recognise how to utilise it fully and not to rely on purchasing data that they are unable to inform consumers of its providence.
It is time for marketers to change their data-driven approach and recognise the value of first-party data. The future of the customer experience rests on what data consumers are willing to hand over, and the strategies that companies use to maximise their value.
However, there are potential pitfalls of relying too heavily on first-party data, which marketers must be conscious of; It has the potential to skew marketing efforts towards deepening relationships with a brand’s current audience versus prospecting new ones. It places more bargaining power towards walled-gardens which have vast amounts of owned data, and whilst its vital, collection, maintenance and compliance is quite costly, and it will be more so as government regulations take place. With these in mind as well as understanding its growing importance, evaluating your data infrastructure and the value exchange with your consumers for consent with their data becomes more and more of an imperative now.