5 Ways You Should Be Using First-Party Data… But Aren’t
At Rise, our love for data is the core of the day-to-day work we do for clients, and it’s what guides the strategies we use to drive the results that our clients want to see. In fact, as an agency, we’ve equipped ourselves with the right tools and resources (including our Cookieless Task Force), so we can provide future-proof approaches that focus on gathering and analyzing consented data. This is especially important as consumers demand more personalized, privacy-first buying experiences — along with the rise of shifting privacy laws and the sunset of third-party cookies.
Now that audience-centric marketing is the “new normal” in digital marketing, we’ve often found that brands are sitting on very powerful first-party data, but are underutilizing it. When you think of first-party data, you might first think about data from your customers that’s based on a specific behavior. For example, someone who provided their email address in exchange for a coupon code. Or, someone who has purchased a product or service from you in the past. While these are certainly accurate examples of first-party data, the marketing strategies to most effectively use this information are not one-size-fits-all.
What if someone got your coupon code, but found an alternate deal through a different brand and abandoned their cart? What if your past purchasers haven’t bought anything from your brand for a year or more? What if someone fills out a form for more information on insurance policies, but doesn’t follow up with any further action?
Let’s explore five high-impact ways you can be even smarter about how you use your first-party data.
Five Ways To Be Smarter About Your First-Party Data
1. Target with Tailor-Made Messaging
For brands that have multi-step sales cycles and which begin with a focus on attracting and converting qualified leads, such as insurance or healthcare brands, specific pre-purchase actions (like submitting a form on your website) provide useful data that brands can use to fuel campaigns with messaging and targeting aligned to that lower-funnel level of purchase intent.
CHALLENGE: Your insurance brand wants to hit revenue goals by increasing conversion of leads requesting policy quotes through the website, and upselling existing policyholders.
SOLUTION: Tailor your targeting and retargeting messaging based on action, audience, and intent.
For new customers that requested a policy quote but took no further action, use targeted email marketing to re-engage them.
For existing policyholders, use paid media retargeting to a specific list of existing customers to promote complimentary services and products.
2. Re-Engaging Past Purchasers with the Right Offer
Brands might think they’re maximizing their first-party CRM data because they’re focusing on retargeting, but that kind of blanket approach doesn’t provide the finesse or nuance needed to stand out in an audience-centric environment. We often see eComm brands make the error of treating all customers who have ever purchased from them the same. For example, say a fragrance brand runs a remarketing campaign in order to promote a new scent. If this brand serves the exact same messaging and ads to past purchasers without considering when they last purchased, they’re not going to be able to optimize the amount of customers they can effectively re-engage.
That’s why, if your goal is to boost re-engagement, you’ll want to adjust messaging for recent customers versus what’s known as a lapsed purchaser, a segment of customer in a brand’s CRM that hasn’t converted in a long time. This will allow you to properly communicate based on intent — these two groups will have distinctly different needs, and different kinds of communication that will resonate the most.
CHALLENGE: Your fragrance brand is promoting a new scent formula for its best-selling perfume line, and you want to increase conversion of both those who have purchased within the last year, and lapsed purchasers.
SOLUTION: Create unique CTA messaging for your paid social efforts that targets each group’s intent and level of awareness (i.e., “Come Back and Try” for lapsed purchasers).
3. Revving Up Ad Engines with First-Party Data
First-party data is powerful fuel for ad engines, but we often see brands underutilizing it in the context of their paid advertising strategies. If we revisit what lead-gen-focused brands (like insurance) typically have in terms of data, they’re able to see:
- How many of their leads convert (aka how many customers buy policies)
- The average value of an insurance policy
- Which other products or services a customer uses over time
Feeding this kind of data to ad engines at the keyword or ad level will help maximize spend while targeting the right audiences with the right intent. It allows you to prioritize your spend to top performing keywords or ads, all while identifying the highest-value customers for your business goals.
4. Increasing Profitability through Product Category Data
We know that marketing teams and finance teams don’t always speak the same language. At eComm brands, for example, we sometimes see misalignment when marketing teams are using ad engine ROAS metrics as their north star, while finance teams are more interested in tracking against margin and profitability to prove campaign success.
Sophisticated eComm marketers that are tasked with driving profitable sales can use their “owned” knowledge of profit margin by product category. If you are a footwear brand that sells sneakers and sandals, you’ll have access to the profit margin data for both kinds of shoes (or product category) — and you’ll be able to set more specific goals. For example, you may set more aggressive ROAS goals online for low margin products, whereas high margin categories may benefit from a lower ROAS threshold. Setting unique goals by product category requires a sophisticated approach to campaign structure and management. At Rise, we use Connex’s ability to streamline and manage multiple category budgets and goal pacing in paid search, in order to efficiently bring these strategies to life at scale.
5. Leveraging a High-Value Standard for Look-Alike Campaigns
Whether you’re trying to convert qualified leads, sell products, or promote your services, there’s always going to be a dedicated segment of customers that possess high lifetime value — they’re the 'brand evangelists' on which we make big bets for our bottom lines. This makes them an ideal blueprint for testing look-alike audiences. By using the first-party data from customers with the highest lifetime value in look-alike campaigns, rather than a broader list of customers, you can better understand how new potential ‘all star’ customers are likely to behave and engage with your brand across different advertising platforms.
If you’re pushing to be advanced with testing look-alike audiences, you’ll want to test their performance on top performing customer lists across platforms like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat. This is where Connex comes into play once again: We use it to compare the look-alike performance of the exact same first-party data segment across multiple platforms at once, and in real time. It allows us to make agile, strategic decisions that push long-term incremental growth, all while making the smartest use of our client’s first-party data.
Being Savvy about Your First-Party Data
Your brand’s first-party data is a treasure trove of insights that can refine your messaging throughout the funnel, across channels, and for the different audiences you’re aiming to capture. By keeping an integrated and cross-channel mindset about the way you’re leveraging first-party data, you’ll be able to make the most of your budget through precisely crafted and executed messaging that meets your audiences right where they are. If you’re ready to level up the way you wield your first-party data, contact us today!