With the Cambridge Analytica affair fresh in our minds and GDPR now in effect, brands face the crucial task of reducing their dependence on resold third-party data and instead focusing on first-party data to win a competitive edge and the trust of their customers. Brands that are leading the charge include Facebook, which has switched off third-party data for targeted advertising and Nestle, which is beginning to exploit first-party data which has been collected transparently.
This is good news for brands because it makes them appear trustworthy and gives them a competitive advantage due to the exclusive nature of first-party data. Third party data is available to everyone for a price so is not going to offer such significant benefits. There is, however, an obstacle to be overcome before data is worth its metaphorical weight in gold. Because it has not been bought as pre-packaged data, marketers will have to invest in tools for making the raw data useful by unifying, analysing and activating it themselves.
What do we need to do to unlock this opportunity? First, we need to understand what forms of data can be collected from customer interactions. These might include:
– Customer-submitted data – typically captured in your CRM system, for example, customer attributes or demographics including location, name, gender, birthday, plus opt-in preferences and different communication choices.
– Transactional and subscription data, such as purchases, upgrades and downgrades or cancellations.
– Product and content interactions and behavioural data including page views, clicks, swipes, likes, and “add-to-list” selections.
– Customer service data, for example, complaints that have been submitted and resolved.
– Marketing interactions, such as email opens and clicks, push notifications, views and responses to ads from various channels.
– Derived information and patterns gained from data analysis such as identity, location or lifecycle attributes.
When looked at collectively, this data can provide deep insight for personalisation including:
– Micro-segmentation and audience targeting
– Product and content recommendations
– Campaign optimisation
By moving from third-party to first-party data, we can also improve the reliability and timeliness of our data to stay relevant and avoid embarrassing failures. This will lead to a virtuous circle in which customers interactions lead directly to better personalised experiences for them, leading them to trust us and share more data. This is the key to success in today’s markets, with studies showing that the seventy percent of brands that harness more than seventy five percent of customer data smash their revenue targets.
There are certain challenges to be overcome here, including the investment required in order to optimise the use of customer data, successful unification of data to achieve high activation rates and access to the data itself. Artificial Intelligence should help marketers to fully exploit data and analyse, personalise and segment it automatically and continuously.
Businesses that invest in first party data will be successful in the future if they use it to build personalised relationships with their customers and become trusted partners.
Why not get in touch with our industry-leading team here at Clifford Associates to explore how we can alleviate the senior digital resourcing burden facing your organisation as you strive to unlock the value of first party data.
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