February 7, 2022

Privacy-Focused Customer Marketing Using First-Party Data

Albert Finder

For a long time, spamming potential customers into buying your product or service was considered to be an effective strategy. Companies would purchase a lot of third-party data from aggregators and immediately use it in their marketing efforts, without establishing any direct relationship first. 

Today, finding meaningful customer engagement through a database of email addresses is not an easy task. Your target audience only wants to receive relevant and expected messages that don’t waste their time. Otherwise, your emails are going to end up in a spam folder, and your sales calls will not be returned. 

Providing relevant information, however, requires an up-to-date customer data platform that is able to source and analyze first-party data, second-party data, and third-party data equally well. 

While over 50% of customers want more personalization, according to Salesforce, over 80% have concerns about sharing their personal data online, and over 70% said they would stop using an online service due to privacy concerns.

The key to successfully navigating the benefits of personalization with privacy laws and regulations lies in developing trust by doing your own first-party data marketing. 

How Marketers Use First-Party Data to Know Their Audience

First-party data can be defined as data you can collect directly from customers, as opposed to second and third-party data that you get from other sources. Some examples of first-party data sources are your website, web or mobile app, CRM, sales, promotions and surveys. 

When you get data from your customers, you have to be explicit in why you need it and how it’s going to be used. If using data has benefits, customers want to know about them in a transparent way. 

Some customer-oriented benefits might include improving interactivity, not requiring logging in every time, providing discounts, personalizing the user experience, and more. 

Many customers don’t mind sharing their data if they can see that it’s being used responsibly. Sometimes, they are even willing to turn off browser features that are designed to block trackers and ads. 

For companies, collecting 1st party data offers unparalleled insights into audience segments and customer profiles, allowing them to create new customer experiences and build strong customer relationships. 

The Benefits of First-Party Data Over Third-Party Cookies, Emails, and Advertising

Providing personalization and adding relevant information to a customer journey — from digital advertising to customer feedback — using first-party data can result in both cost savings and revenue increases for most businesses. 

Unlike second-party data and third-party data sources, first-party data is unique, actionable, and highly accurate. While third-party cookies and digital ads are increasingly getting blocked by web browsers, and email addresses tend to become unresponsive over time, most of the collected first-party data points stay relevant for longer.

For example, you may tap into a third party source of account-based intelligence which includes the IP addresses, emails, names, and more for thousands of website visitors. This data can be helpful for your ABM tools to identify users on your website, but what if the third party data source is outdated, or inaccurate? Suddenly that data leads to a dead end, or poor experience for the customer.  

Leveraging first-party data can be indispensable in improving customer segmentation and setting up timely, cross-channel personalization. It can also help analyze customer behavior and identify emerging trends in real-time. 

Additionally, first-party data is unique to your business. This means that you can turn it into a competitive advantage if used optimally. Second and third party data is available to all companies - including your competitors, which dilutes the edge you could gain by using first-party data.

That said, the best way to use first-party data is to augment other data sources (including second and third party data sources) to build out more comprehensive customer profiles. So why isn’t everyone using it? 

The Difficulty of Using First-Party Data in Customer Journeys

Successfully implementing first-party data remains a challenge for a lot of companies. Many businesses outsource their data collection or work through partners, who have limited access to their customers. 

Technology also presents unforeseen hurdles, as not all digital tools can be seamlessly integrated with each other — and looking at siloed data without proper context doesn’t produce nearly as many insights. 

Additionally, many companies try to avoid taking the responsibility for managing first-party data. However, it’s possible to use apps and integrations that combine good data management with actionable insights. 

How Privacy-Driven First-Party Data Wins Customers

Consumers today are becoming increasingly concerned about how their data is gathered and used, and often demand control over opting in and opting out of data collection, especially in light of high-profile data breaches. 

That’s why developing customer relationships based on trust are so powerful. Businesses should be upfront and clear about why certain data is needed — providing an improved user experience, for example. 

To get the most out of your first-party data marketing strategy: 

  1. Set a measurable goal (e.g. specific channel performance) that supports a larger business objective (e.g. increase website conversion rates by x%)
  2. Collect and clean up any first-party data collected from all sources
  3. Ensure your privacy statements and communications with customers is clear and transparent
  4. Combine and analyze that data and turn it into actionable marketing and sales insights

By following these steps, your business can reap the benefits of first-party data. There’s just one problem left. What first-party data should you be collecting and using?

First-Party Data You Should Be Collecting Today

One of the easiest and most powerful ways to use first-party data in your customer journey is by supercharging your online chat with first-party ‘buyer intent’ data.

Lift AI is a unique AI-powered platform that predicts the buyer intent (likelyhood to convert on your website) for every visitor, even if they’re anonymous and not identified by your other tools such as ABM.

Trained on billions of data points and 14 million sales conversations, Lift AI successfully merges third-party insights fed into the machine-learning model with first-party data available on your website (e.g. pages visited, time on page, referral sources). As a result, it’s able to identify every visitor who exhibits high buyer intent (the average is about 9% of the overall traffic). 

After Lift AI detects a high-value visitor, it can connect them directly to an available BDR through your existing chat platform (e.g. Drift). Low- and medium-scoring visitors can be directed to a nurturing bot or a self-help guide instead. 

Within the first 90 days, Lift AI helps companies boost their chat conversions anywhere from two to 10 times. Drift customers, for example, increased conversions by 9x. PointClickCare grew its conversions by 400%. Formstack saw an 88% increase in pipeline. 

The best part is that anyone can benefit from Lift AI — for free. Just sign up for a 30-day trial and get a complementary Revenue Opportunity Assessment for your website as well. All it takes to get started is pasting a small JavaScript snippet to your website. 

Lift AI is by far the easiest way to leverage your first-party data to considerably improve online chat conversions in record time.

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