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First-party data: What it is and why it matters

In today's digital age, data is king. And first-party data is the crown jewel. So what is first-party data, and why should you care? First-party data refers to the data a company gathers about its customers. It can include contact information, purchase histories, demographic data, website behavior and more.

As first-party data is so specific to a company, it offers unparalleled insights into who its customers are and what they want. This makes it a valuable resource supporting effective targeting and engagement. According to McKinsey, well executed personalisation can deliver eight times the return on investment on marketing spend and increase sales by 10% or more. So if you would like to boost your bottom line investing in first-party data is a great place to start.


First-party, second-party, and third-party data

First-party data is usually collected via website registration forms, customer surveys, and loyalty programs and is specific to a company's customers, users, and prospects. First-party data is valuable because it offers deep insights into customer behavior.

Second-party data is collected by one company from another company’s customers. This type of data is typically acquired through partnerships or other arrangements between the two companies. The value of second-party data lies in its ability to supplement first-party data with additional insights about specific customer segments.

Third-party data is collected by companies that specialize in gathering consumer information. This data is then sold to marketers who use it for targeted advertising and other purposes. The value of third-party data lies in its breadth and depth of coverage, which can be used to reach large audiences with targeted messages.


Benefits of using first-party data

First-party data is data that is collected by a company from its own customers and interactions. This data is highly valuable because it provides insights into the preferences, behaviors, and trends of a company’s customer base. First-party data can be used to inform marketing strategies, product development decisions, and customizations. Additionally, first-party data can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with consumers. The benefits of using first-party data include:

  • Lower cost – as it is collected by your own business
  • Improved data accuracy - as it is sourced directly from customers
  • More control and relevancy - as you can decide how it is collected, used and shared
  • Highly personalized and unique - as you can select the information to collect
  • Compliant with laws and data protection - as you follow your own company processes.


How to collect first-party data

There are a few ways to collect first-party data, but the most common is through web forms and surveys. You can also collect first-party data through customer interviews and focus groups. You can even collect first-party data by purchasing it from a data provider. However, collecting first-party data can be time-consuming and expensive. If you're not careful, you might end up with low-quality data. Therefore, it's important to work with a reputable data collection company that has experience in collecting first-party data.

When collecting and using first-party data, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, it's important to make sure you have explicit permission from customers to collect and use their data. This means being transparent about why you're collecting the data and what you plan to do with it.
  • Second, you need to ensure that the data you're collecting is accurate and up-to-date. This can be a challenge if you're relying on manual data entry, so consider investing in automation tools to help keep your data clean.
  • Finally, it's critical to keep your customer's data safe and secure. This means using robust security measures to protect your data from cyberattacks and unauthorized access.

By following these best practices, you can make sure that your first-party data is an asset that drives real business results.

Creating customer connection through first-party data

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How to use first-party data

Now you have collected your first-party data, it's time to use it. Here are some tips on how to use first-party data:

  1. Use it to gain insight into your customers. First-party data can be used to segment customers, understand their needs and preferences, and track their behavior over time. This information can be used to improve the customer experience, inform marketing messages, and develop new products and services.
  2. Use it to drive marketing and sales initiatives. First-party data can be used to identify potential customers, track leads, and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. It can also be used to personalize marketing messages and improve sales conversions.
  3. Use it to improve website and app performance. First-party data can be used to understand how users interact with your website or app and identify areas for improvement. This information can be used to optimize the user experience, improve conversion rates, and drive more traffic to your site or app.
  4. Use it to inform business decisions. First-party data can be used to make better-informed decisions about where to allocate resources, which new products or services to develop, and how to respond to changes in the marketplace. This information can give you a competitive edge in your industry.

First-party data is a valuable asset for any business. By using it effectively, you can gain a deeper understanding of your customers, improve your marketing and sales efforts, and make better-informed decisions about your business.


Preparing for the future

There has never been a better time to start investing in first-party data. In June 2021, Google announced that it will be removing third-party cookies from its Chrome browser in 2022, before delaying the move to 2023.

There is a lot of speculation about what this means for the future of tracking and online data. This move will have a major impact on online advertising, which has come to rely on third-party cookies for targeting purposes. In the short term, this could make things difficult for marketers, but in the long term, it is hoped this move will lead to a more privacy-centric online ecosystem.

Every way you look at it, to improve buyer and customer experience, marketers need to know more about their customers. And first-party data can play a massive role in that.


How we can help

Our data activation platform is built on unique first-party data collected at the world's leading events. We offer access to highly-qualified audiences built from that data, and partner with clients to execute full-funnel marketing startegies that unlock their value. Get in touch today if you'd like to hear more about how our data can improve the performance of your marketing.