1st Party Data Vs. 3rd Party Data: Why It Matters For Your Brand’s Strategy

1st Party Data Vs. 3rd Party Data: Why It Matters For Your Brand’s Strategy

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When Google announced it would be phasing out the use of third party cookies by 2022, it dawned on advertisers that much of their current data collection methods were as good as dead. While some organisations are still stressing, others are reviewing their response to the change and shifting their strategy.

You’re going to want to be in the second camp. With the resolution of third party cookies comes the focus on first party data. We built this guide to help you understand the differences between the two, and why this knowledge should form a key part of your marketing strategy this year.

What is first party data?

First party data is collected by your company. This data is taken directly from your audience, which includes site visitors, customers and social media followers. This type of data is most often used for retargeting campaigns; because it’s based on your audience, it provides the best indication of what future behaviour might look like.

This data is mostly collected from:

  • Actions/behaviour that take place on your website or app
  • Your CRM
  • Your social media communities
  • Subscription-based emails
  • Surveys and customer feedback

What is third party data?

Third party data is collected by an external business that doesn’t have a direct link to your own customers. This data is then sold to businesses like yours to help them with targeted marketing strategies, but this means it’s also available to your competitors.

Third party data is most often collected through surveys, interviews and feedback forms. Best practices dictate that third party data should be used as a complement – not in place of – your own data collection methods.

Customer data platforms at the heart of your strategy

Instead of dwelling on the absence of third party data, the companies getting ahead are those enhancing their marketing strategies using their own data. Taking control of your own data starts with building an effective customer data platform (CDP).

There are 3 stand-out reasons to make data collection a key part of your strategy:

  1. Effective targeted advertising
  2. Automation
  3. Customer privacy

Targeted advertising

A CDP is a type of marketing technology that’s gaining momentum at the moment, for obvious reasons. It combines all of your customer data into unified customer profiles, for use in marketing campaigns. When you make first party data collection a driving point in your brand strategy, that means you can continue rolling out effective relevant advertising.

Because this data is collected straight from the source (your audience), you know it’s accurate and tailored to your business. You can use this for retargeting, nurturing, and during the selling stage.


Customer data platforms collect first party transactional, behavioural and demographic data for a 360-degree profile that can be used by automation tools. Incorporating automation technology into your strategy boosts efficiency across processes and enhances personalisation throughout the buyer journey.

As put by the Founder of CPD Institute, David Raab:

“The most challenging barrier to marketing automation success is data integration between the various marketing systems of an organisation.”

From segmenting email lists through to sending out personalised promotions, first party data merged with automation enables you to engage your audience with the stuff that really matters to them.


A very key concern of today’s consumers is privacy. For a long time, brands and third parties have collected customer data without a great deal of transparency. With Netflix shows such as The Social Dilemma educating the general public on what’s happening behind the screen, users expect data protection – and many won’t interact with brands that don’t explicitly provide this. 87% of consumers are concerned about how their data is collected. So, having a transparent privacy policy in place has become more than just doing the right thing – it’s a competitive advantage.

Dive into a data-backed strategy

A survey carried out by Campaign found that 96% of advertisers feel ready for a world without third party cookies. That’s great news all around, because collecting data directly from consumers is more relevant, cheaper and competitively advantageous.

We use automation and leading marketing tech to build powerful customer data platforms, so your campaigns are backed by real insights and targeted to the people that care. Get in touch to find out more about how we put data at the heart of your strategy.


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