What is a first-party data strategy?

Q: What is a first-party data strategy?

A: A first-party data strategy approaches marketing with a goal to deliver personalized experiences to users based on information gathered with direct consent. Pivoting to a first-party data strategy requires time, resources, organizational buy-in, and a willingness to re-evaluate established technologies and tactics.

First-party vs. third-party data strategy

In anticipation of Google’s planned cookie deprecation, marketers are taking a hard look at their customer data strategies. For those used to meeting goals and KPIs with third-party cookies using tactics like personalization and retargeting, it could be a big shift.

A first-party data strategy delivers personalized experiences to users based on information acquired directly, and with direct consent. Unlike third-party data, first-party information may take additional tools and processes to collect and analyze, but the end result is more digital trust, which strengthens your brand long-term.

Benefits of a first-party data strategy

A first-party data strategy gives you more control over your customer data and where it’s used. By adopting open and transparent policies around information collection and use, you’ll not only ensure that your company stays on the right side of any current or future privacy legislation or regulation, but also reassure potential customers.

As more and more companies are hit with data breaches, consumers have grown increasingly wary of sharing their information. Making it clear that your organization only uses data provided with consent, and only in exchange for real value or improved experience will improve customer response and loyalty to your brand.

Planning for the shift

Transitioning from a reliance on third-party data to a first-party data strategy may require a significant effort. To plan for a reasonable timeline, consider the following steps:

  • Assess your current third-party data use and the metrics you’ll need to meet with other sources
  • Develop a strategy for reaching those KPIs using your own data, including brainstorming other ways to collect the information you need to fill the gaps
  • Reevaluate your martech stack to be sure you have the tools you need to meet your goals
  • Socialize the strategy and engage change management processes to achieve buy-in across your organization
  • Secure the budget you need for implementation
  • Work toward the new strategy
  • Test, measure, and adjust your new strategy in the months leading up to cookie deprecation

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