You Have More First-Party Data Than you Think: Here’s How to Use it

by | Featured Articles, Marketing


Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Gain A Better Understanding of Your Customers 

Reaching customers without intruding on their privacy continues to be a priority for marketers in 2022. Google, Apple and Facebook have taken steps to reduce the amount of third-party tracking on their platforms, which translates into less data for marketers to leverage. This information historically has been the cornerstone of effective marketing, helping to shape marketing content, advertising strategies, and more.

A Shifting Reliance on First-Party Data

First-party data is information a company collects directly from its customers. This data is collected firsthand without an intermediary between you and the information.  First-party data can only be accessed via platforms that you own and control. As a company, you can gather information about digital interactions, purchase history, social behavior or profile preferences to create content, ads and digital experiences that cater to an individual’s interests.

Third-party data sources can be incredibly helpful, but as we’ve seen, these sources are becoming less reliable and more expensive. Which is why it’s more important than ever to focus on collecting and using data that you own.

Benefits of First-Party Data

By relying on actual interactions with your brand, you’re building a strong foundation to understand your customers. The results can translate into a superior product or service without the “creep factor” that is associated with third-party tracking. First-party data is readily available and much easier to collect than you might think.  It’s about knowing what’s available and using it to shape your business strategy.

So, how can you effectively get the most out of your data without the help of third-party tracking?

Pro Tip: Use first-party data to create highly personalized messages and increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Sources of First-Party Data


Digital interactions via your website are a primary way to collect data. Traffic sources, visitor behavior and even names and email addresses collected through website forms are valuable data points. Consider how users respond to your website and the pages they visit the most. 

Email and SMS

Your subscriber list is another valuable data source. Open rates, click rates and bounce rates all shed light on how these individuals interact with your brand and your content. Both email and text messaging are considered intimate forms of communication and can shed light on how customers view your company.

Call Centers

If your company runs a call center, you likely have access to call records and transcripts. This information can be used to understand patterns, keywords or other quantitative data that can help shape your strategy.

 Survey Data and Customer Feedback

Simple online surveys can yield plenty of information about your customers and what they want from you. More formal surveys conducted by a third party are still considered essential if you want unbiased feedback from customers.

Common Challenges with First-Party Data

Despite access to a wealth of information, there are challenges to collecting and leveraging this data. 

Poor Strategy  

Do you know what sources you have? And are they properly configured to collect data? It might take several weeks or months to understand what information is relevant to your brand and how to go about collecting it. And don’t forget to consider how you plan to map the data to your customer journey.

Integrating Data from Multiple Platforms

It’s challenging to pull data from different sources into one cohesive system or report that will give you a true sense of the big picture. Even though you own these data sources, the technology across platforms may or may not integrate easily. Consider partnering with an agency with the technical experience to guide the strategy and implementation of this piece. 

Taking Meaningful Action in Real Time

Your data is only valuable if you use it in a timely matter. Customer behaviors are ever evolving which means companies need to move efficiently when they recognize valuable trends. And always be ready to shift your strategy as the landscape evolves.

Your Next Steps

Using first-person data to guide your marketing campaigns is no longer optional – it’s a must do for every brand. Invest the time in understanding what data sources will be valuable to you and build the necessary system to collect and distill the information in a way that’s actionable. Over time, you’ll be able understand what data points are key success metrics for your brand.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your campaigns. Have more questions about data driven marketing? Reach out to us directly.

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