Capitalizing on First Party Data

Are you using your consumer data to drive results?

Marketing expert Philip Kotler defined marketing as a science and an art that explores, creates, and delivers value to satisfy a target audience’s needs at a profit. Historically, many have viewed marketing as strategic and creative; however, describing marketing as a science has never been more appropriate than it is today. The use of technology to collect and analyze consumer data to create highly personalized consumer profiles and strategic campaigns has solidified the notion of marketing as a science.

Data-driven marketing communication is a strategic methodology of utilizing consumer data to identify your target audience and craft personalized messaging that will land at the right time to improve results. To be effective, organizations need to take data from multiple sources and create a compelling brand story that resonates with their target audience. Although many organizations collect data, many don’t have the tools necessary to turn it into actionable intelligence. The data itself has no value unless extracted and applied strategically to create the right messaging at the right time.

In a recent survey by Talend, a global leader in data integration and integrity, The Talend Data Health Barometer identified that 99% of companies recognize that data is crucial for success, yet 97% face challenges in using data effectively.

The proliferation of consumer data has made data collection omnipresent. Historically, third-party data has helped marketers better understand their target audiences. However, due to the increase in digital privacy laws and security concerns, the importance of first-party data will be significant moving forward. First-party data is information that customers have consented to provide. It is a more accurate and reliable picture of consumer behaviour and facilitates strategic audience segmentation, which helps to improve conversion rates and client retention. According to a Google study, 92% of leading marketers believe using first-party data to continuously build an understanding of what people want is critical to growth.

A joint Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study highlighted how brands succeed with first-party data strategies. They found that those using first-party data for key marketing functions achieved up to a 2.9X revenue uplift and a 1.5X increase in cost savings. They also noted that despite the positive benefits of first-party data, most brands aren’t utilizing it to its full potential.

Many businesses gather first-party consumer data from various sources, including surveys, customer purchase history, form fills, customer feedback, CRM data, website visits, and social media interactions. Major consumer goods companies use first-party data so effectively that consumers have come to expect personalized messaging. However, the reality of capitalizing on first-party data remains challenging for many organizations. Yet, in today’s marketplace, successful marketing campaigns rely on building relationships through relevant, value-added consumer experiences.

Benefits of First-Party Data

  • Provides a more accurate picture of consumer needs and wants.
  • Reaches your target audience at the right time with the right message.
  • Complies with privacy laws.
  • Targets more effectively.
  • Predicts future trends.
  • Improves customer loyalty.
  • Increases conversion and response rates.

Collecting First-Party Data

  • Align first-party data collection with business objectives. For example, if your objective is client retention, then utilize customer feedback, surveys, and purchase history to build campaigns that address issues and personalize offers. If your objective is to grow your business create incentives for prospects to provide you with their data in exchange for offers and information.
  • Define customer experience goals and determine what data you need to exceed customer expectations. Ensure the customer realizes the benefit of sharing their data with your organization. This includes anticipating consumer needs and personalizing communication and offers.
  • Ensure you follow regulations and legislation relating to collecting and handling first-party data to maintain compliance and avoid losing consumer trust.
  • Invest in the appropriate technology and enlist the help of channel suppliers that can assist with getting value from your first-party data.
  • Measure the cost-benefit analysis of collecting first-party data to ensure the cost doesn’t exceed the value it will create for your business.

How Channel Partners Can Help

The struggle to use data to drive results is real. Some channel partners with data programming capabilities can help use first-party data in ways that can strategically improve outcomes. “We can synthesize consumer data from multiple sources to create personalized and automated trigger-based direct mail that can improve response rates. We also create customized and relevant content using data programming to examine historical support patterns and apply calculations to show future values, which is very effective for fundraising campaigns.”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management.

Utilizing first-party data has the added benefit of anticipating consumer needs which can lead to higher response rates. Data programming enables marketers to use their proprietary first-party consumer data, including invoices, statements, policies, and marketing-related data collected, to set pre-determined triggers that automatically generate direct mail at the right time with the right message. “We can take client’s first-party data to create personalized messaging and set direct mail triggers,” says Leonard.  Trigger-based marketing occurs when communication is triggered once a particular event occurs. For example, a specific date can trigger communication, such as a membership or insurance policy expiration date, birthday, anniversary, holidays, and events. A trigger can also be applied to life events, such as the birth of a child, graduation, wedding, or moving into a new neighbourhood.

As the collection of first-party data increases, so does the responsibility to safeguard that information. Customers trust businesses with their data and expect their data to remain secure. Choosing the right channel partners with Information Security Management System (ISMS) in place is critical to ensuring they can be trusted with your confidential consumer data. It also ensures that you maintain regulatory compliance. A vendor that is ISO 27001 Certified provides assurances that they take the responsibility of managing your confidential data seriously. “Nothing is more important to maintaining trust with consumers than protecting the personal data they entrust you with,” says Leonard.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management. He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416)752-8100.

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