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3 Ways to Supercharge Your Marketing with First-Party Data

consumer data marketing

The use of data in marketing is a controversial subject.

On the one hand, the historical use of third-party data to inform and target advertisements (often without the consent of the consumer, no less) has long rubbed people the wrong way. On the other hand, the ability for marketers to use data to personalize and target relevant marketing messages has made it much easier for consumers to relate to promotional ads and experiences.

One way marketers are overcoming the negative aspects of data in their marketing campaigns is by turning to first-party data.

What Is First-Party Data?

Third-party data can come from a variety of channels. Companies buy and sell it. They even purchase different sets of data from multiple sources and haphazardly combine them.

In contrast, first-party data comes directly from the source. According to Digital Marketing Institute, “First-party data is information you collect from your audience through your owned digital channels.”

The marketing site adds that first-party data is extremely reliable and doesn’t come with permissions baggage. This is because it’s an opt-in form of data that requires consent from the consumer to whom it belongs.

Using First-Party Data in Marketing

Third-party data has long been a sore spot in business, and it won’t be relevant in a few years. However, first-party data remains above board and as relevant as ever. The only task that remains is for marketers to find ways to utilize it properly.

Here are a few suggestions for ways marketers can use their company’s first-party data to supercharge their marketing efforts.

1. Bring Everything Together

Before you use first-party data to create key insights or make important decisions, you need to understand it. That’s why you should start by unifying and organizing the customer data you own.

This may sound simple (and just a little bit obvious). But it’s actually a very complicated process.

For instance, most companies, even smaller ones, use a wide variety of software solutions. Their marketing tech stack can consist of dozens of tools, many of which include customer touchpoints.

This leads to scattered and siloed data pools. Your Facebook data is in one place. Your Google Ads info is in another location. Also, your Shopify first-party data is within the application’s native system. When you leave all of these sources separated, it’s impossible to draw meaningful conclusions.

You can use eCommerce attribution hubs like Triple Whale to bring everything together into a single location. The self-titled “eComOS” gives eCommerce brands a clear, quick, and transparent view of the metrics that matter.

By using a solution like this, you increase your data organization. You can also improve your data visualization. In other words, you don’t need to read lines of code or sort through spreadsheets. Instead, you can reference a single, user-friendly dashboard.

2. Invest in Understanding Data Attribution

Unifying your data is a good first step. If you want to use your marketing info to genuinely impact your future promotional efforts, though, you also need to consider data attribution.

According to Google, “Data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people engage with your various ads and decide to become your customers.”

The search engine giant adds that data attribution uses your data to figure out what factors are having the biggest impact on your marketing goals. For instance, you may be bidding on a variety of keywords through Google Ads. Several may result in clicks, and those are worth focusing on. You could take things even further by trying to understand which of those click-throughs are leading to a sale.

By isolating the keywords, ads, and even the different campaigns that are generating traffic, sales, and other conversions, you can hone your marketing efforts. Fortunately, this is often information you can find directly in a software dashboard.

The above-mentioned applications all provide data attribution metrics. Take the time to understand these and gain insights into where your marketing dollars are leading to the best ROI.

3. Use Customer Feedback to Inform Future Marketing

Finally, first-party data doesn’t just consist of generic customer data in isolation from your business. They can include feedback and takeaways regarding things like the customer journey and experiences using your products and services.

Surveys are a great way to collect post-sale information. They provide a stream of hyper-specific first-party data, such as pain points and customer expectations, that can inform your future marketing. Customer service interactions are another excellent source of detailed first-party feedback.

Make sure to set up ways to collect and organize this data, as well. For instance, Tech Radar recommends a variety of survey tools, including staples like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms, that can collect and organize this first-party data for you.

From organizing and visualizing data to proper attribution and feedback loops, there are many ways to optimize your first-party data — not just for your business but for marketing, in particular. With third-party data on the way out, make sure to invest in a proper data analysis infrastructure so that you can use first-party data to boost your ROAS in the year ahead.

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