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    What Is First-Party Data?

    Data CollectionData PrivacyMarketing AnalyticsReporting Basics

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    What Is First-Party Data?

    First-party data is the information companies collect from their audiences; it usually consists of site visitors, social media followers, and customers. As such, it is relevant to marketers and businesses who want to focus on building their audience.

    The term “first-party” refers to the entity that initially collects the data for retargeting. There are minimal privacy concerns regarding first-party data because you know where it comes from, and because you’re a marketer, you completely own the information.

    This data is beneficial because it helps you understand your customers better, as it has to do with interactions with your particular brand across many different consumer touchpoints.

    As you can see, it is essential to understand other forms of data and how it impacts your company’s goals.

    What Is Second-Party Data?

    Second-party data is first-party data from another company. They get the information from their customers, which may also be related to, or benefit your interests, and they sell it to you. 

    The primary difference here would be you obtaining the information versus another company obtaining their customer’s data and then selling it to you. 

    You can count on this data to be accurate because it is not an aggregation of data from various sources. You’d purchase directly from the company that owns the data, forming a trustworthy partnership with them. 

    Example: If the car insurance company then requests data from a car dealership that has collected information from people applying to purchase a new car, this would be secondary data. 

    There would be mutual interest between the two companies that share an audience that could have common interests. Those buying new cars may be interested in insuring those vehicles, and those insured could be referred to a dealership if they ever need to buy a used or new automobile. 

    What Is Third-Party Data?

    Third-party data refers to data gathered by a business or other entity that doesn’t have any direct connection to the customer or visitor.

    This form of data is typically collected and sold to companies in an attempt to aid them in building a more effective retargeting and advertising strategy. However, its usefulness is questionable since it’s not collected from your customers, and the information is available to the competition.

    First-party data will be of more use to you and will save you time. This data will give you knowledge about your site visitors and customers to better inform you on how to make a more effective strategy for optimal results. 

    Example: If the car insurance company reaches out to a third-party vendor to get other people’s information that may or may not have any interest in car insurance, may have changed their contact details along the way, and might be low-quality potential customers. 

    What Are the Differences Between First and Third-party Data?

    The most significant difference between first-party and third-party data depends on who collected the information.

    First-party data is collected when the company that intends to use the information is also the entity managing the data. 

    On the other hand, third-party data occurs when another company or entity collects the data and is made available by any other company.

    With third-party data, the party with the information usually acquires it from a broad pool of other interested companies and entities who have access to the data.

    Why Is it Important?

    Your customer base will be the source of your highest percentage of profits. Therefore, companies should invest in a more cost-effective method of reaching their audience, wherever they are on the purchasing journey.

    Aside from recency, quality, and accuracy presenting issues when using third-party data, your competitors can just as quickly obtain the same information—there’s no exclusivity. But getting data on unsuspecting consumers from second and third-party sources has become more challenging. 

    Customers demand that companies respect their privacy, that their preferences remain anonymous, and that they are not victims of spamming or consistent (and undesired) marketing ads. It is no longer possible to pour millions into buying third-party data acquired without the consumer’s consent. 

    In light of changing demands, these companies now face stricter regulations when collecting and using secondary and third-party data, making them less profitable. 

    There has been a shift for companies to use more resources to understand first-party data better, as they no longer have the same rights to consumer information. This privacy Revolution protects the customer from exploitation as well.

    First-party data is the information companies collect from their audiences; it usually consists of site visitors, social media followers, and customers.

    Who Uses First-Party Data?

    First-party data is a primary source of information for marketers of most businesses.

    Many companies are beginning to realize that they should try to retain the customers they already have instead of focusing their efforts on potential clients. 

    That’s not to say that they shouldn’t dedicate a portion of their marketing strategy to customer acquisition, but it also depends on the industry. You may be able to stay afloat from positive word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clientele and second-party data transactions. 

    If you want to boost sales, create more personal advertisements, and strategize for future marketing endeavors, first-party data is the way to go. 

    How do I get First-Party data?

    An essential factor in benefiting from first-party data is selecting the best data from the correct sources. You can get first-party data from various places such as:


    Your company website can provide email addresses, names, transactions, and purchasing behaviors. You can also gather other behaviors like when they hover over a specific image, text, and so on. 

    Mobile Apps

    As long as your company delineates which behaviors are essential to marketing tactics, mobile apps are an excellent supplement to the entire website. 

    Emails or SMS

    Get access to valuable data such as click rates, open rates, bounce rates, and more. When customers engage companies through opening emails and text messages, it provides information for retargeting and promotions. 

    Customer Relationship Management Platform

    Marketers can receive more personal information about a customer’s purchase history, contributing to solid analysis and measurement. What’s selling and what’s not—that’s what you can learn from this source. 

    Call Centers

    Customers create new accounts, call in for support, voice their discontent, what they’re happy about, and more during phone conversations with company representatives. 

    Benefits of First-Party Data 

    Here are the benefits of respecting consumer privacy and collecting first-party data from your current customers:

    Minimal Privacy Concerns

    You collect the data from customers interacting with and performing transactions with your brand. They have given consent for you to use their information. 

    Predict Future Behavioral Patterns

    Analyzing your client’s previous behaviors, where they seem interested, where they became stagnant, etc., can help you predict how they’ll behave in the future with other products and services. 


    It’s much less expensive to invest in creating ads and reaching out to customers with an existing relationship with your brand. You have a higher chance of encouraging them to continue purchasing from your company, and there’s less chance of wasted efforts on establishing new relationships.

    Personalized Ads and Content

    Personalize the ads and content you send to specific customers based on your knowledge of their needs and interests. Use their data to help you gain more accurate audience insights to reach consumers more meaningfully.

    Building Customer Profiles

    Your customers interact with your brand across various platforms, making it harder to build one profile. Your job is to merge all their profiles into a singular view for every individual. That gives you a well-rounded view of the person, making it easier to market and strike at the correct times.

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      How To Collect First-Party Data

      You’ll have to enable a pixel on your company website to collect your consumer’s data. This tool will retrieve information about the customer’s activity from multiple sources. An integrated DMP (data management platform) can help with these efforts. 

      You can also obtain information from the customer relationship management platform or CRM. When they purchase, sign up for the email list, agree to receive texts, etc., you gain unique access to their behavior patterns when buying from your company. 

      Final Thoughts

      Remember that first-party data is the safest, most ethical, and most profitable way to advertise. Selecting a program such as Google Ads to attract potential customers is the better alternative to obtaining new customer information. In addition, you would not infringe on anyone’s rights to privacy and protection from exploitation. 

      First-party data is more accurate, reliable, and costs less to obtain than purchasing unauthorized data from another company that can’t provide specific insight to YOUR consumer base. Adding more resources to understanding and retargeting your current customers can help you reshape marketing strategies more effectively and efficiently.

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