What is First- and Third-Party Data and How Does it Affect My Business?

Data is one of the biggest drivers of successful marketing today. It can determine the most efficient way to reach your customers, old and new. First- and third-party data is therefore critical in any business marketing plan.

With the introduction of Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 update, businesses have started to question this data. This update has created the ability for its user to opt in or out of app tracking, this means a decreased amount of third-party data can now be collected through this once endless stream.

But how does this directly affect your business and what even is third party data? We’re talking to Simran Goyal, one of our paid marketing experts to explain what all this means for you.

First Party Data

First party data is defined as data that your company has collected directly from your audience. This can be achieved through your business’ website. The data collected here can provide information on the customers and their behaviour. This data can then be used to retarget and enrich your customers’ experience and engagement.

Third Party Data

Third party data is any data that’s collected by a business or other platform that doesn’t have any direct link to the visitor or customer. For example, if you click on an ad on one platform and get taken through to the advertiser’s website, they can then collect data about where you first encountered the ad and where you visited, etc. Which can help your business to then analyse insights from the data to ultimately find more potential customers with the same behaviours.

How is this data used in digital media? 

Both of these types of data will be used to increase and refocus the engagement your business presents to its customers. The difference is the richness and quality of insights that the data can provide.

First party data is the information that companies collect directly from the user. It essentially allows you to deduct what digital marketing strategies have and haven’t worked and make improvements based on this. First party data is used in audience retargeting through ads. It’s also used to find resemblances between customers and learn more about what an ideal or best-fit customer looks like, to be able to successfully reach out to these new audiences.

“Data has always been used in marketing, but the way that we are utilising it is constantly changing. You can’t just create an ad and expect it to land, it has to create value for your end user or consumer.” Says Simran Goyal, FMD’s paid marketing expert. “Marketing has to change and evolve as customer needs change. It’s similar to a ‘wallpaper effect’, if you’re not creating something that stands out, solves a customer’s problem, or is relevant to the customer in some way or the other, then it’ll all get lost in the noise and become like wallpaper to them.”

Although more people are now opting for the use of first over third party data because of its data volume and reliability, third party data can still provide you with a broad range of insights that could help you improve your digital marketing strategy and connect with your consumers in a more meaningful way.

Is one form of data more important than the other? 

First- and third-party data can help to retarget new and current customers to create a better understanding and more valuable content for these customers; so, both are important to your business. As more people have the option to opt out of data tracking with the new iOS 14.5 update it means that the third-party data once collected by social media platforms has significantly dropped. This doesn’t mean that it’s rendered useless but that in comparison to first party data, the results found will be smaller. It’s important to analyse both types of data, as it can assist in advertising strategies that are more valuable to customers and promote engagement, as well as create better customer insights for your business.

How can my business find this information?

Business owners can analyse and assess this data themselves, but to truly understand the power of customer insights, hiring a specialist in the field like a digital marketing agency would be the way to go. Digital agencies are made up of a team of experts that work with this data every day and know how to push your marketing out from the clutter and influx of online marketing. Hiring these teams will ensure that your business is utilising and leveraging the right data for the production of successfully engaging content. With a digital agency, you’ll know that the data is being handled in a responsible way that creates returns for your business while respecting the privacy of your clients.

If you want to create content and connect to your customers in a highly engaging way, talk to us today to find out how we can use first- and third-party data to benefit your business.