As marketers, it goes without saying that data is one of our most powerful assets. However, the right kind of data for your campaign depends on a number of factors. Who are you targeting? Where do they spend time online? How long is your sales process? How they have interacted with your business in the past? These are a few of the questions you need to answer before deciding what kind of data will be best for your marketing strategy.

When it comes to data, there are three different kinds: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party. Each has its own advantages for your marketing strategy. Let’s break them down.

1st Party Data: How to Collect & Why You Should Use It

First party data comes directly from your customers, which is why it’s often considered the most valuable type of data. It’s also cost-effective because, as a marketer, it doesn’t cost you anything. Obtaining first-party data from your audience involves adding a pixel to your website, social media profiles, or collecting e-mail addresses through some sort of sign-up process to gather unique information about your audience.

This way, whenever someone visits your website, engages with your social media, or fills out a form on your site, you can easily and automatically collect their data in a safe and anonymous way.

How to Incorporate 1st Party Data Into Your Marketing Strategy

Once you have your first-party data, you can use it in your retargeting efforts to push prospects further along in their buyer’s journey. In addition, it will provide your team with audience insights that will help you better understand your customer base, which will help with your marketing efforts as you look to reach and acquire potential customers. This is the most reliable form of data because it’s trustworthy—you’re collecting it straight from the source—and powerful because it can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Use it to predict your audience’s future behavior
  • Learn more about who your core audience is
  • Personalize your content and advertising to better appeal to your most qualified customers
  • Connect true business objectives to your marketing investment.

While first party data is useful, reliable, and powerful, it’s not the only type of data available to marketers.

The Difference Between 1st Party and 2nd Party Data

Second party data is very similar to first party data—it’s just coming from a different company. You can use another company’s first-party data to for your own marketing efforts, making it your second-party data.

Although you’re getting it from a second source, it’s still a highly valuable form of data and you can trust that it’s coming from a reliable source.

In order to obtain second-party data, you’ll need to establish a relationship with a company that is similar to your company. Look for a company that has a similar target audience, as this is the information you’ll need to craft and optimize a better advertising campaign.

How to Leverage 2nd Party Data for a More Robust Campaign

If you use it correctly, there are a number of benefits to accumulating second party data. Three key benefits to second party data are:

  • You can add scale to your first-party data and build a more robust data set reaching more potential customers
  • Reach new audience types based on the information you collect
  • Further predict the behavior of your core, established audience

At one point, all data was first-party data. But, as other companies buy and collect data to use, it slowly becomes second-party, and third-party data.

What You Need to Know About Third Party Data

Third party data is bought from a data aggregator service, who bought it as second party data from a number of other companies. Third party data can be very useful for building out your data set, expand your audience, and gain deep insights into your potential customers.

To obtain third party data, you buy it from a data provider. There are a variety of different data providers serving every kind of industry. You can usually find providers like this through a data provider exchange service.

One example that we can probably all relate to is vehicle registration data. You register your new vehicle with the state you live in. Each state then sells that registration data to 3rd party data providers. The 3rd party data providers then clean up that data and sell it to companies to use as part of their advertising campaigns.

Use 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Party Data to Build Powerful Campaigns

To build a better marketing campaign, use a variety of different data types to better inform your advertising efforts.

We suggest partnering with a marketing technology company that uses different data sources to power successful marketing campaigns. This will increase the impact and efficiency of your digital marketing campaigns as you incorporate these different parties.

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