Ready to Make Move to First-Party Data?

Shifting to a first-party data collection strategy won’t come easy, but it’s the right move for marketers to make now.

Digital marketers have done their best to keep up with changes in privacy and data collection laws in recent years, but it’s time we accept the fact that third-party data will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. And even if the regulatory changes that eliminate third-party data as a tool for marketers are years or decades off, the increased public scrutiny of third-party data collection, sales and purchasing will only speed up.

Five states have data privacy laws in effect or that will be in effect in the coming years, and the EU has put some industry-changing data protection laws in place. This trend will continue, and new data privacy laws will continue to pop up in new places. Refusing to address the bigger issue will set marketers back and make keeping up with our more progressive competitors impossible.

Instead of playing whack-a-mole as new rules and regulations crop up, marketers should embrace first-party data and the opportunities it presents.

The Inefficiencies of Third-Party Data

In many ways, marketers’ reliance on third-party data makes us hugely inefficient. Access to more data does not always mean access to better or more useful data. A lot of third-party data is wasted because it’s simply not useful to marketers, and we spend too much time parsing what is useful from what isn’t.

Third-party data is based on a lot of assumptions (e.g., because they’re interested in this, they must be interested in that). And while those assumptions sometimes pay off, building our marketing strategies on them creates reliance on individual team members’ assumptions. 

Third-party data is also typically collected from people who aren’t consenting to provide their data. This will become increasingly unpopular with buyers in the coming years, and it forces marketers to overcome the additional hurdle of engaging a lead who may be totally uninterested in your product or the services you offer. 

Finally, third-party data lacks a crucial piece of lead intelligence: intent. Because you don’t have an established relationship with leads whose data you’re utilizing, you can’t really know what their intention in seeking out certain information is. Without understanding their motivations, you’ll struggle to engage them.

Related Article: From First-Party to Zero-Party Data

First-Party Data Provides Opportunities to Truly Understand Your Buyers

If third-party data is based on assumptions, first-party data is based on reality. First-party data allows marketers to build true buyer intelligence instead of simply generating a lead or prospect and passing it to sales. Companies that shift their focus to collecting and utilizing first-party data will be unmatched in their ability to generate and convert high-quality, high-intent leads. 

Centering your data collection efforts around first-party data transforms lead generating into a dual-purpose tool: not only are you generating an individual lead, but you’re also collecting data that can be used to build a picture of your buyers that has more color and texture. Instead of surreptitiously gathering data from third parties, marketers need to gather more data directly from buyers and build a direct rapport. This data can be collected at each stage of the buying process and be used to provide the buyer a better experience.

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