Data is big. Big data, first hand data, consumer data, and audience data, name it and add data to it: it all exists.
However, in the buzzy data-jungle, it’s often hard to determine what type of data you need – and how you may use it to advantage your company’s sales and development goals. So lets start with three types of data you come across in your marketing efforts.
This type of data – you may have guessed – is the type of data that your own company collects straight from its most valuable source: its current consumer base.
Because first-party data is acquired through consumer engagement, for example newsletter sign-ups or sales, it is highly relevant to the brand that acquires it.
If used well, it results in highly targeted campaigns and sales.
You could think of a supermarket, having exclusive and comprehensive insights on what a specific consumer purchases or their addresses following home delivery. First-hand data can provide extremely valuable insights in behaviors of current and prospective customers.
It’s essentially free, as once it’s gathered, it lasts you a lifetime. However, you can only collect so much of your own data, and it does not allow you to work in high volumes of new customers and sales.
Companies must replace on average about 10% of their client base for various reasons, including customers who move, customers who find new solutions from competitors or customers who no longer have a need for a given product.
To solve the problem of scalability in first-party data, companies often turn to third-party suppliers.
Third-Party Data suppliers
A broker who collects their data from a broad range of sources collects third party data. Often the sources cannot be validated, and brokers are often not eager to disclose where the data comes from, or how they got to place a consumer in a certain segment. The data is aggregated through various external platforms and websites, and provided by numerous sources. Think of database owners, who have collected significant amounts of data over a period of time.
But not following up with your prospects and customers right away is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain! Most sales are made when the lead is hot, not when cooling down, cold, or even unsolicited for.
This solution is great for low-cost loads, when prices per 1000 potential customers vary from 50 cents to 5 euro’s. But looking at hard numbers, you can see that contact rates are low, and due to the large number of middle men, the quality of the sales leads in terms of accuracy and heath decreases over time. Hard bounces, complaints, non-opted in data as result. Not a great look for your company.
Though widely popular amongst company owners and marketers in the 2000-somethings, now only 44% of marketers plan on increasing their use of third-party data. And who can blame them?
As of the 2010’s, a new kid appeared on the block: Second-Party Data.
Second Party Data
Second-party data allows marketers to choose the data sources they feel are most relevant. Rather than asking a third party to provide an audience, marketers can go directly to companies that they know will have the most relevant data they are missing in their first-party data store and ask to form a partnership and share data -
Second-party data assures a cooperative relationship that can be preexisting (a brand that already sells through a retailer) or entirely new (no clearly defined relationship…yet), creating a new means for advertising revenue and greater brand awareness, across both desktop and mobile.
Let’s propose an entirely new variant of second-party data: Lead Generation.
The main benefit here compared to third-party data is that the data and segmentation is done for you and your company, and is entirely fresh. No dusting off old third-party databases, or sharing your precious first-party data with others. But hot leads that are generated real time, coming straight from a partner who collects his data with your company needs as a priority. This new method allows for volumes that are as great as that of third parties, and unprecedented real-time delivery of new customers on the spot, right when, where and who you need. As you partner with a number of companies through your provider, costs remain low while you harvest all the benefits.
You can make a deal with a particular publisher, whether through your data management platform or elsewhere, to offer specific data points, audiences, or hierarchies to that other company. The terms of sale are determined by both parties in advance, and this sharing of high-quality first-party data gives you access to many non-prevalent audiences you might not have previously been able to reach.
Obviously not all data is equal. Whether you select first-, second- or third-party data, the most important thing is to understand the difference between the data sets available to you, and how they are unique. Data-driven marketing campaigns are useless or nonexistent without the data to run them, but thankfully there is an almost unlimited amount of data available for marketing campaigns.