Are You Ready for a First Party Data Strategy?

If you’re like me, your inbox floods with new year  sales and marketing trends that we absolutely need in our strategies. But unless those trends focus on first-party data, take this as permission to ignore them. 

As data privacy regulations tighten worldwide, marketers should anticipate significant fragmentation. This won’t just affect our advertising platforms, where we pay to reach customers effectively, but also our messaging platforms, like social media.

Irrespective of your company’s goals, a first-party data strategy will soon become a foundational element in sales and marketing. This shift is due to drastic changes in the data environment and consumer behavior. But before diving deeper, let’s start with the basics.

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data refers to information a company directly collects from customers or users. Your company likely already possesses this data. The question lies in whether it’s organized in an actionable manner.

Customer data is derived from interactions and transactions—website visits, purchases, registrations, even those business cards on your desk or successful email marketing campaigns. All these touchpoints represent first-party data, which can greatly assist in understanding our most valuable customers and engaging them more effectively (which essentially defines Bondfire Strategy’s mission).

why must companies establish a first-party data strategy?

1. Data Privacy Compliance: Relying on first-party data minimizes legal risks posed by strict data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Explicit user consent allows responsible data collection and use, ensuring compliance.

2. Third-Party Cookies are Declining: Third-party data sources, once crucial for digital advertising, will sharply decline in 2024. Companies dependent on these sources will need broader targeting options.

3. Enhanced Customer Interactions: Activating this data enables personalized experiences, tailored marketing campaigns, product improvements, and more.

4. Competitive Edge: Marketing to potential customers resembling your best customers helps position your brand as the obvious choice. First-party data allows a deep understanding of these buyers and their lifetime value.

5. Improved ROI: Developing better customer relationships and adapting to their needs invariably boosts profitability.

By leveraging first-party data for informed decisions, companies can optimize marketing spend, reduce waste, and improve return on investment.

How to Begin with First-Party Data

Start by evaluating where your data is stored. Contrary to belief, most customer relationship platforms (CRMs) offer affordable ways to collect and connect prospects, leads, and customers, providing deeper insights. Explore options like Keap or utilize built-in CRM capabilities in platforms like Shopify for retailers, or if you can swing it, launch straight into Hubspot or Salesforce. 

Next, assess the data you’re already gathering and identify additional information necessary for informed decisions. Integrate app analytics for insights on user engagement or consider incentivizing surveys for lifestyle attributes.

Once you correlate existing and required data to achieve your goals, measure and optimize. Implementing data analysis tools for swift identification and adaptation to customer insights should become standard practice.

First-party data strategies aren’t merely about navigating a cookie-less world; they’re about strengthening customer relationships through data-driven decisions and innovative practices within companies.

When to Initiate First-Party Data

By this time next year, the predicted fragmentation will have occurred, leaving those without a first-party data strategy scrambling to catch up. Now is the opportune moment to begin.

Bondfire Strategy exists to help companies activate sales and marketing data to improve customer experiences.

Can we help you get started with your first-party data strategy?