Get Up-to-Date on Data

on June 10, 2015


Are you in planning mode for a new digital advertising, e-mail, or social media marketing campaign? Then it’s crucial to make sure you have the right list to make your project fly.

A plethora of data is of course available, but what type is right to meet your particular goals and budget? Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and differences between, first-, second-, and third-party data.

First-Party Data

As a publisher or advertiser, first-party data is your own. Such first-party information is collected through a direct relationship with consumers, and because it’s yours, it’s free. Depending on how you’ve collected that data, you should be able to extract not only demographic information but online behavioral information as well. For example, if you can determine a user visits your technology section on a regular basis, your might conclude that such a user may be more interested in receiving electronic offers. Evaluate your first-party-data methodology and usage goals regularly to get the most out of this inside data source.

Second-Party Data

Newer on the scene is second-party data. To obtain it, your company collaborates with another company and that company’s first-party sources. Working with only a vetted, trusted partner is crucial. Obtaining and exchanging second-party data with another company can facilitate audience extension and targeting. And because it’s not sold generally, not everyone can access it. To receive maximum return on this type of self-contained data exchange, companies must ensure they have the right platform in place for reliable handover and control of second-party data to make sure it stays secure.

Second-party data exchange example:

  • A credit card company partners with an airline to gain access to the airline’s data in order to target and win new customers for its credit cards. Each time the credit card company wins a new customer, the airline is compensated on the credit card acquisition.
  • How it works: Audience members visit the partner’s site, which is tagged with a cookie. Once they leave the publisher’s site, the cookie follows them anonymously, which then serves customized ads for that particular product. This also helps the client expand its data pool and retain some exclusivity.

Third-Party Data

Third-party data is generated through outside platforms and Web sites. This is someone else’s data, so there’s no direct relationship with the consumers. Typically, third-party data is purchased on a large scale from a publisher—usually on the basis of cost per thousand—and it gets utilized in campaigns as well as in analytics. Third-party data is not unique to one particular client and is based on information collected by the provider.

Data management platforms or data aggregators such as BlueKai, Lotame, and Experian sell and collect third-party data so as to determine how to precisely target consumers during marketing campaigns. The data management platforms are great for demographic, behavioral, and contextual targeting as well as for removing bot traffic.

First- and third-party data sources are still the most common kinds, and access to second-party data is a growing data segment for marketing professionals. The best data to use depends on the details of your company’s campaign goals. If you have questions about which type is right for your campaign, contact me. I’d be happy to discuss them with you.

Kara DegeorgisGet Up-to-Date on Data