How to Leverage Data for Your Marketing Strategies

Enormous amounts of data are available and it can be really overwhelming if it is not analysed properly. Every other marketer is scavenging for data while trying to fathom how to use this data optimally in their campaigns, which if not done properly will simply render the efforts worthless.

While the smarter ones are already using data to design their marketing strategies, others are still figuring out ways to comprehend data and apply insights to their campaigns waiting down the line. So if you are one of the enthusiastic marketers trying to get the most from your campaigns but are still figuring out answers to several data related queries then let’s try to demystify the common ones and get you to speed with the others.

What is First-Party Data and its Common Forms?

First-party data is nothing but the data about your users and their direct interactions with your brand that are collected by tracking your website, your app, retailers or when they become your customer and hand over their information. This is considered most valuable because it is directly collected from your audience and is owned by publishers and marketers themselves. So if your company is collecting but not using first party data, then you are practically turning your back on the money sitting right on your table. First-party data is composed of basics like name, address, email addresses along with behavioral data, actions and interests demonstrated across your platforms. If there are additional steps which are needed for your brand to complete a purchase then additional data like lifestyle preferences and other personal information may also be collected.

How to Leverage First-Party Data?

The game has moved beyond collecting and using cookies and making different strategies on different channels. With a stronghold on first-party data, reaching consumers has become efficient, effective and precise across all channels where the marketers can respond in real-time to consumer behavior. So to harness the power of first-party data, the first thing that marketers need to do is get a holistic picture of company’s data by categorizing and classifying relevant data points, their sources and how they are being used. Once the data audit is done, have a clear definition of actionable objectives that are achievable in a given time frame. It is also necessary to identify missing data points which if needed can be addressed by third-party data. Even after doing this, due to their fear of “privacy” and doing something unethical with consumer data, some value might get missed by the marketers that make them overlook the ability of lookalike modelling that can find people similar to their customers.

What is Third-Party Data and Who Should Use It?

Third-party data is data that is generated on other platforms and comes from other providers. Simply put, it is not the data that comes to you from direct relationships with your customers.  This kind of data has limitless power because it can give you that information about your customers and prospects which you cannot source directly. Once you have your hands on this data then you can use it to identify and define what your potential customer looks like. Although third-party data comes at an extra cost, it is easily available and accessible to all, so definitely all marketers should use it to their advantage if they want a good marketing strategy in place.

Who are the Providers of Third-Party Data and is it Priced?

There are many companies selling third-party data, where there are some who are bigger data providers like Experian and Bluekai and there are others who are more specialized providers for niche markets like NinthDecimal for mobile targets. While these are the data brokers, one of the main sources for third-party data, another main source that can be availed is public data. However, you can’t make much use of public data if you don’t have first-party data.

Pricing is dependent on the way third-party data is accessed. A brand can purchase a comprehensive license to the data by which it can use it to its will, which makes sense if the brand’s volume usage is large and the pay-as-you-go option is expensive. Pay-as-you-go is a more favorable and affordable option especially when the usage is limited. An additional benefit with this option is that separate deals need not be signed with each provider as your agreement with the Data Management Platform covers your use and rights to all of the data providers available.

What are the benefits from combining First-Party and Third-Party Data?

While both kinds of data have their individual powers, marketers can harness benefits by combining first-party and third-party data as well. One benefit is that marketers can understand who their customers are and gain insights into what changes they need to make to their products or services for these customers. Another benefit that can be reaped is, by finding other customers who are more likely to engage with the brand and make a purchase depending on the new sets of attributes and information.

As a marketer, when you understand the power of different kinds of data you can then create data-driven marketing campaigns by gaining insights into it. However, all these insights must be used before investing in the media, or else the gains may not justify the expenditure. Although the power is in the hands of data just like the racing horse, the marketer must be the efficient jockey who utilizes this power and drives the horse to the finishing line!

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I'm a self confessed foodie, king of the kitchen, wannabe anthropologist, technology evangelist , curious, inquisitive & experimental entrepreneur at @DigiLands and an adrenaline junkie. Love spending time with my wife & two young children and faulty KitKats that consist purely of solid chocolate.