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Ain't No Data Like First-Party Data

Posted on 6.24.2015

Marketers have long enlisted the help of third parties to gather data to help them inform business decisions. It turns out, however, that the data they already own can be more meaningful and proivde richer insights into consumer behavior. 

In fact, according to a new Econsultancy and Signal report, first-party data is marketers' top choice for success across key metrics: 74 percent said it gives the greatest insight into customers, 64 percent said it offers the highest increase to customer lifetime value, and 62 percent said it provides the highest lift among data sources. Further, less than 10 percent of marketers surveyed reported the same benefits from third-party data.

"Marketers are under pressure to provide more relevant customer experiences powered by insights from their users," said Mike Sands, CEO, Signal. "This report highlights a sea change in the industry's data landscape, as marketers increasingly turn to first-party data -- data derived from their own customers -- to fuel better personalization, more precise targeting and improved marketing ROI."

What is the difference between first-, second- and third-party data? First-party data, as described in the report, is what brands collect for themselves. This includes website, mobile app, call center and anything produced by or within products.

Second-party data is the first-party data that is shared by a trusted partner, according to the Econsultancy and Signal report. For example, an airline and a credit card company might team up to give each other a more complete view of their shared customers.

Finally, third-party data is for sale by aggregators. It can include demographics, purchase history, recent online behaviors and most other types of data. It is not unique by definition.

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