First-party data is customer data collected with consent and owned directly by your company (the data controller). It is a valuable source of customer insight in the age of data privacy, as regulations and security measures now make other types of data less secure, accurate, and reliable.
First-party data is any information collected directly from your customer (online or offline) with their consent. For example:
First-party data is important because, compared to other data types, it is:
First-party data is a privacy-oriented, ethical data collection method that enables marketers to gain a clear view of their customers, control costs more effectively, and significantly impact their campaigns. For these reasons, many digital marketers consider first-party data to be the most valuable customer data at their disposal.
In the past, digital marketers could rely on third-party cookies to collect data from websites, apps, and other channels. This data enabled marketers to target audiences and measure engagement.
Today, many popular browsers have introduced privacy measures that limit or prevent cookies and prevent customer data from being forwarded to Google Analytics. This includes measures like Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP 2.3) in Safari and Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) in Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and other browsers. Ad blockers have also become a standard feature of many web browsers.
Nearly 40% of users now use a browser with built-in tracking prevention and ad blockers. As a result, marketers get an incomplete picture of their marketing data in Google Analytics and Meta. That means you have no accurate way of analyzing the performance of your online content and campaigns or calculating Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS).
In addition, data privacy regulations such as the GDPR, CCPA, Denmark Cookie Order, and Belgium Cookie Guidance make capturing reliable data using third-party cookies increasingly challenging.
In response to this trend, many companies focus on collecting first-party data. This data is more secure, more reliable, and far more profitable.
A study by Google and Boston Consulting Group found that companies using first-party data in key marketing campaigns increased revenues by up to 290% while reducing their advertising spend by up to 150%, compared to companies that did not use first-party data.
To get the greatest benefit, successful marketers use first-party data for various activities, such as:
Common first-party data collection methods include:
You can track users through Google Analytics (third-party data collection) and integrate a first-party tracking tool like TraceDock into your website. You get the most out of your data by combining both first- and third-party data collection.
Using CM.com’s TraceDock offers many first-party data collection advantages because it:
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