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Heads up! This is How First-Party Data Makes Your Marketing and Advertising Even Better

Data is King. And Queen. Data is one of your company’s most valuable assets, and it is equally valuable for your competitors. More and more data is being collected in our digital world every minute of every day. The websites we visit, the ads we click, the emails we answer, the social media posts we share and like, the products we purchase – and return.

We collect both business-related and personal data. Certain data we collect ourselves. Other data are collected by companies who then sell that data – or use it to bet on where the next big thing will land.

What is First- Second- and Third-Party Data?

We can make decisions based on the data we collect (first-party data). We can purchase more data from others when necessary (second or third-party data). Which data is the best? And, what is the difference between first-party data and other data?

First-Party Data – Our Data Streams

First-party data is probably the most cost-effective type to collect. Such data can be optimally used for campaign planning, segmentation, or A/B testing. Technically, these data types are collected via our web analysis tools, enabling a connection between marketing and sales through web analysis and our CRM system.

Example of First-Party Data

Let’s say I log in to the website of my insurance company to check my health insurance deductible. By opting in, I am allowing the company to use my data. When I’m logged in, they can track my journey and get to know my preferences for products, items, or content.

Second-Party Data – External Data Streams

These data streams represent partner data that provide information about behavioral patterns among the corresponding partners of potential customers. This sharing model enables the external use of data for different demands. The origin and quality of the data are, however, still known.

Example of Second-Party Data

Let’s say my insurance company has collected data about myself and other customers, including information about our purchase history, interests, and demographics. They’ve used this information for marketing campaigns. Then they realize they can use this data in another way — they can boost their revenue by selling it.

Third-Party Data — Aggregated Data Streams

Third-party data is particularly exciting but should be used with the most caution. The source of this data may not immediately be known. The collection of this data is realized via professional data providers for resale. In most cases, data collection takes place via complex cookie systems, activated across websites.

Example of Third-Party Data

Let’s say after leaving my insurance website, I visit a wine website and select my favorite wine. I then visit a wine enthusiast’s blog and finally fill out an application for a points card on a grocery store website. The grocery website doesn’t necessarily know that I like wine or carry insurance.

Unlike the insurance website, the data provider does not have a direct relationship with me. However, since the provider collects data from me as I travel the web, they can form a bigger view of what I like and do.

 “More than half of marketers are utilizing digital experiences and strategies to collect first-party data, ahead of tech solutions like identity resolution (36%) and omnichannel orchestration tech like a customer data platform (26%).” Marketing Dive 

Understanding How to Correctly Collect Data

There are different ways to collect data. Most companies generate data via their website through contact forms, downloads, purchases, and memberships.

To enrich and expand its data, a company sometimes must draw on data it did not collect. For this reason, companies often integrate data from other companies or organizations, such as market researchers. The future of first-party data is combining it with data append services like ours.

A major advantage of third-party data is its rapid availability and the volume of data available. The use of this data may be risky, not only in terms of quality but also in data protection. Inform yourself in detail about the source and user rights.

When personal data is collected, the user must be informed about what happens to their data. In addition, the customer must give his explicit consent for his data to be collected at all.

Caution should be exercised when using any non-first-party data. Why? You are dependent on the provider of any data which is not your own. When a company buys data, there can always be dependencies or complications with the other company, which is precisely why trusting partnerships are so important.

  • Is the data correct?
  • How trustworthy is the supplier of the data?
  • Can you use the data in a legally secure manner as specified by the provider? This applies in particular to personal data in email marketing.

Liability lies not with the data provider but with the data user. Infringement of data protection laws, even in the US, can be expensive.

“The maximum fine for a data violation under the GDPR is 20 million euro or 4% of a company’s global revenue. There are no similar regulations to the GDPR in the US, but most states have laws regarding data collection and requirements. States like California are modeling their legislation after GDPR.” AWI 

The Strategic Benefits of First-Party Data

In our data-driven world, information is a crucial key to the success of any marketing campaign. In particular, customer information collected within the company itself has enormous potential. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, companies that link all of their data sources to key metrics can sometimes double their revenue growth with single-ad placement.

With data compliance and privacy issues, consent to use data has become a real consideration and issue. This is the primary driver of first-party data gathering by businesses. However, with first-party data, comes big responsibility – with how that data is stored and protected.

According to BCG, there are three best practices to keep in mind when obtaining consent for data collection:


  • Clear and easy-to-understand user interface and consent to use the data.
  • Option to revoke consent at any time -> user retains control.


  • Open communication of benefits to user and reason for data collection.


  • Emphasize the positive aspects of data sharing.

“Mature marketers follow a three-part process to make the consumer value exchange work. The first step is setting a strategy that supports broader business objectives. The second is the collection: gathering, storing, cleansing, and combining consumer data from multiple first-party sources. Ensuring good-quality data is an essential consideration at this stage. The third step is analysis and activation: putting the data to work for marketing activities at all stages of the purchasing funnel.” Boston Consulting Group

Find Out More About the Benefits of Data

At AWI, our passion is helping clients by providing solutions that are far more efficient and thus far more cost-effective than attempting to do it yourself. We also ensure the accuracy of the information. Think of us as your data designer. We leverage the data pieces you have, enhance your data with a pop of color here and there to remediate the gaps and deliver you a cohesive, complete customer profile.

Contact Us Today and let us show you how to monetize your first-party data.

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