First Party Data Strategy

You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” – Daniel Keys Moran, computer programmer and science fiction writer  

First-party data is information a company collects directly from its customers and owns. Part of the mosaic of data, marketers have at their disposal, it can complement, enhance, and reduce the need for other types of data.   

To get you started, let’s look at a few examples-  

Email response data, point of sale, and customer spending are cost-effective ways to quickly understand consumer interest. Brands can experiment with offers and product recommendations to gauge consumer interest and use a self-learning system to improve results.   

First-party cookies are another good access point to assess volume and patterns of consumer activity. This data is specific to a brand’s properties, such as apps or websites. Brands can analyze changes in customer browsing behaviour, engagement, and shopping patterns and subsequently alter website and app content to personalize offers  

The question that you might ask at this point is why is first-party data so important now?  

A SmarterHQ report discovered that 72% of customers choose to engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to them. At the same time, consumers are displaying their disappointment with existing data practices.  The current public mood has manifested into stronger data privacy legislation, such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as influenced major web browsers, many have decided to change the way cookies track online users.  

Major browsers such as Safari and Firefox have already imposed restrictions on first and third-party cookies, critical for most marketers. And Google’s Chrome has announced their intention to end support for third-party cookies by 2022.  

Nothing short of an emerging inflection point in the world of digital marketing.   

The way ahead – First-party data.  

The key insight that drives a First-party data strategy (also known as 1P data) is trust.    

And, Trust is Based on Consent and Mutual Respect.  

For a trust-based relationship, brands must ask consumer’s permission to use their data by adhering to these two best practices:   

  • Transparency: Ask users permission to use their first-party data and give them control by making it easy for them to withdraw consent. 
  • Value: Incentivize engagement by providing relevant personalized experiences that come with sharing first-party data.

The above is the foundation for an effective 1p data strategy. As you can see, it is not only a change in technology, it is a reformation within the marketing realm in terms of how the audience is understood.   

A first-party data strategy guides how data is collected, standardized, analysis, and activated in their communications channels.  

1P Data Collection  

Invest in building a high-quality first-party customer data pipeline.  

First-party data strategy allows for a never before comprehensive view of your customer based on data collected by creating a relevant and timely customer experience. Recreate excellent customer experience based on consent and value exchange.  

The data pipeline consists of all engagement points- Internal data such as transactions, CRM, and mobile and web interactions are enriched and normalized. These views are combined with external channels such as social media, email, beacons, call centers and web search. You can achieve a 360-degree customer view based upon a first-party data supply chain.   

Design consent obtainment into the customer experience-  

  • Your consent banner is now just as important as an ad, arguably more important
  • Opt-in buttons will become recognized as ads, so design intentionally or else targeting will be hobbled 
  • Multivariate test your consent strategy. If you don’t get it right, people will just opt-out 
  • Ask for consent as you need it. For example, ask customers to opt into customized advertising on the product page instead of the homepage. Create an experience driven by open conversations with the consumer around the usage of their data. 

1P Data Standardization & Analysis  

All human-created data e.g., content development, digital/media campaigns, promotion codes or product catalogues require extensive metadata that is often created by team members.  These data attributes are numerous, for every one digital campaign, there may be 1000+ unique tracking links required across all channels.   

With coordination, standardization, and governance managed across the organization, your first-party data will benefit considerably. You may have 32 different unique attributes that you want to be attached to a campaign link or piece of content. If you are creating this data properly, automating, and enforcing standards, it will flow into and enrich your owned data (aka first-party data).    

On the other hand, if you are not coordinated across departments within the organization, your first-party data is at risk for inaccuracy and an inability to be used meaningfully. It’s probably the number one reason your data quality is poor and should be a top priority for any first-party-data-driven) organization.   

1P Data Activation   

A new kind of network can be created based on healthy data collection and standardization practices that will build customer loyalty and vibrant entrepreneurial communities.  

The best way to activate and get the most out of first-party data is to work with partners with shared interests and commitment to customer privacy. With a partnership-based network organizations can connect information across the sell and buy sides of the ecosystem. This could be, for example, a neutral or an interest-based data network, to which both advertisers and media owners contribute. Through such a network, identity, commerce, and interaction data can be continuously updated and connected.  

To enable this connection and ensure the accuracy and longevity of the data, this requires deep direct integration on the demand and supply side. It also requires using artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform input into personalized product recommendations and dynamic advertising messages that meet consumer needs across devices and formats.  

By enriching and activating data within a first-party media network, advertisers and media owners can create richer customer experiences that enable holistic audience strategies and lead to measurable commerce outcomes across the value chain.  

In short- investment in technology and people who can enable these three steps is essential to adopting a 1p data strategy.

  • Collect: Support first-party data collection and connection by auditing your current data sources, assessing your durability, and acquiring more first-party data.  
  • Analyze: Extract insights and organize for activation by transforming your strategy, segmenting your audiences, and visualizing the data.  
  • Activate: Buy media and see impact against your insights by reaching your intended audience, measuring your results, and optimizing your approach.  


Keeping up with digitally native consumers is challenging as they seamlessly move from one channel or device to the next. But with the right data management process, technology and a customer intelligence strategy rooted in first-party data, you’ll pretty quickly realize that the most direct route to building great customer relationships might just begin and end with the data you already own. For more related articles. click on