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The way we acquire and use customer data for marketing is changing. Today, most websites use cookies – short snippets of text that websites send to the visitor’s browser – to allow them to remember information about the visit. Websites also collect first-party data from users who submit forms with their personal information. This information can then be used to create targeted marketing.

Definition: First-Party Data

Any information that a customer or website visitor shares directly with a business is called first-party data. This may be in the form of personally identifiable information, such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers, or even IP address and cookie data that is set by that business.

Talk to us about acquiring first-party data for your business

Privacy Concerns with Data

First-party data can be used to personalise marketing. This usually isn’t a problem because the user implicitly consents to the use of their data in return for a more personal service. Privacy concerns, however, arise when third-party platforms such as Google and Meta also track users via code snippets or SDKs added to websites and apps.

How to Acquire First-Party Data

As the use of third-party cookies declines, marketeers must rely on information collected directly from customers and prospects to create personalised marketing. Acquiring this data can be challenging for businesses who have relied historically on the platforms to identify relevant audiences. Here are some tips for businesses who want to grow their first-party data:

  • Take a gradual, step-by-step approach to earn customer information
  • Start with freebies – newsletters, offer emails
  • Collect more info by giving something of value – product samples, white papers, free merchandise
  • Be transparent about how you will use this information
  • Protect customer privacy by securing and encrypting data

Privacy-First Marketing

A new approach to marketing with data is required to succeed in the post-third-party cookie, post app-tracking era. Relying on Google, Apple, and Meta to track user events and attribute conversions correctly will not yield the best results. Savvy business leaders need to take back control by implementing advanced server-side tracking, and identifying and growing your own target audience lists. When businesses respect customer privacy and deliver relevant advertising that doesn’t feel intrusive, everyone is happier!

Originally published: March 11, 2022
Updated: May 21, 2023