Today, marketers agree that first-party data is of paramount importance. In fact, 90% of marketers say that proprietary data is a critical strategic element for them. Yet only 30% of them collect and integrate this data across all their channels and only 1% use this data to deliver a fully omnichannel experience to their customers.
Proprietary data and its benefits
First-party data is data that you collect directly from your audiences, customers and prospects, without going through an intermediary. For example, it can be data relating to visits to your website, your e-commerce or your app. It provides you with information about the behaviour of your customers, their actions or the interest they have shown following their interactions with your company.
This data is easy to collect and can be extremely useful for your business. It is much less expensive to collect than second or third-party data and therefore more profitable for marketing purposes. Moreover, first-party data comes from users who have a tangible interest in your brand because they have already interacted directly with it. They therefore represent qualified leads.
Compared to a company that partially integrates its data, a company that uses proprietary data in an optimised way (omnichannel) can double its incremental revenue and increase its profitability by 1.5 times.
Collecting data: the challenges
It is possible to collect this information using various digital tools. For example, a simple opt-in form is all you need to start collecting user data.
However, if you want to develop a data-driven strategy , you will face several challenges:
- Access to data can sometimes be complicated due to some customer’s reluctance. If you focus on personalisation , it is important to be careful not to scare off people who are concerned about their privacy.
- Ethics is a major challenge when you decide to engage in data collection as your targets are increasingly concerned about it.
- Collecting data without thinking it through is a lot of effort for little result.
Challenge 1: access to data
Since some customers may be reluctant to allow their data to be collected, you need to build their trust. If you have direct contact with your customers, it will be easier to reassure them about the use of their data and convince them to share it with you. If not, you will have to be creative.
Data collection should be visible and understandable , with a user-friendly interface that puts the consumer in control as much as possible. Of course, it is important to tell the customer that their data can be deleted or changed at any time if they wish. You should also make it clear what you intend to do with the data collected.
The advantage of first-party data is that you know exactly where it comes from, so you can easily demonstrate to your users that you are collecting their data in full compliance with data protection regulations.
Customer trust will come from the way you communicate. Demonstrate to your customers that this is a two-way street. Customers are much more likely to share their data with companies when they see that the company is proactive in building trust and providing a personalised experience.
Challenge 2: data ethics
Today, more than ever, we are witnessing a change in consumer expectations of brands. The issue of ethical data is omnipresent. Customers are more demanding and now expect companies to be more socially responsible. Before taking an interest in the products offered by a brand, they want to know the reason for the brand’s existence.
Genuine commitments, tangible actions, transparent and sincere communication are nowadays essential for gaining or maintaining customer trust. An effective and responsible marketing strategy can then turn into a real competitive advantage for the brand and a greatly improved experience from the consumer’s point of view.
Advertising saturation, fake reviews and misinformation have led consumers to become more distrustful. The trust they place in companies has therefore decreased and they place more credence in the opinions of influencers and other customers. This affects the way brands communicate. They now have to reveal who they are, and share their values and commitments as a priority. Consumers expect them to be committed to key issues such as health, society and the environment, but also the protection of their personal data.
Be honest and smart. Don’t collect a lot of data if you don’t need it. Use artificial intelligence to optimise the allocation of your resources and avoid wasting data to reduce your digital impact on the environment.
Challenge 3: thinking ahead
Your data marketing strategy needs to be well thought through to be successful. You will need to test and optimise the data collection process as you go along. Do not hesitate to question the KPIs you are measuring and to change them when you feel it is necessary. A good strategy is an evolving strategy.