First-party data gets a lot of talk, but what actually is it?
First-party data is data that your company has collected directly from your audience, your audience being your customers, site visitors, and social media followers. “First-party” refers to the party that collected the data firsthand, and in this case, that would be you.
First-party data is collected from the people you have the most to learn from, your current customers! That makes the data very useful and very reliable.
How can you collect First-Party Data?
You can attain first-party data from your CRM, surveys, and subscription-based emails or products. Google and Social Media Analytics can also come in handy. Google Analytics has a massive list of capabilities and ways to track website data, data such as:
- time of visit
- pages viewed
- the time spent on each page
- what browser and OS are being used
- referring site details
- network location and IP address.
This information can help you see where (and how) traffic is flowing to and through your website. Google Analytics also has a lot of other tools that make it easier to track customer data.
Social media analytics help flesh out the demographics of your most engaged customers. What can you learn about people from their social media usage? Here’s a short list:
- What platforms your customers prefer to engage on
- What content your customers enjoy most
- What type of campaign or advertising works for them
- Their hobbies and interests
- More specific customer demographics, such as age or gender
It’s also super important to connect as many touchpoints to your customers as possible. The more ways you have to interact with the customer, the more likely they are to become a repeat loyal customer. Think about the companies you follow on social media. Have you bought from them? More than once? Are you loyal to them? Do you agree with their ideals? Following companies on social media feels like a personal one-on-one connection, and therefore generates brand loyalty.
Step Two: Data Organization
The next step of first-party data is organization. Having important information about your customers and leads doesn’t do much good if you can’t find it or if it’s not connected properly. No matter what size your business is, having a CRM is key. A CRM is like a new and improved Rolodex, connecting all data channels to a given contact.
In our CRM, we keep track of more than just name, company, phone, and email. Our CRM keeps track of every social media touchpoint and every time the contact has engaged with us. We have it set up so that the CRM tracks all the actions a contact or lead can take, such as opening emails, clicking links, liking a post, and ordering.
How Can You Use The Data?
How does all that information benefit us? There are many ways! For one, we use the information we have to target or retarget contacts, leads, and prospects. We can try different channels and types of touches until we find which one they respond best to. Having more than one channel connected to each contact makes multichannel campaigns possible.
The other advantage to First Party Data is that you can collect data and analytics about your customers from the channels you are using to constantly to learn more about your demographics and your customer’s buying habits. The more channels you use, the easier it will be to learn about your customer. Then the more customers you have the more information you can learn about your potential target audience. You can use a Look-A-Like to build a list of potentials you can target based on information on your current customers.
What ways do use First Party Data?
Here’s how First Party Data might the key to the future cookie-less world.