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First-Party Data: Future of Digital Marketing


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As we all know the digital industry ecosystem is very dynamic in nature. With the recent developments and changes in the marketing space, one thing always remains constant, Audience. Understanding our audience's behavior and reaching out to the right set of customers is the most important aspect. And for this, marketers require data to pull insights about their user behavior. This data is available in three forms: first, second, and third-party data.

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What is First-Party data?

This is the advertiser’s data that they collect themself. First-part data includes information such as demographics, interests, time spent on the website, purchase history, etc. This customer information is collected from both online and offline sources, such as the company’s website, app, CRM, social media, or surveys. These data points can be segmented further and monetized by using a data management platform resulting in a personalized experience for the end-user.

Why First-Party data matters:

  • First-party data is gathered for free and is owned by the respective organization/ company.
  • In comparison to third-party data, it is safe and considered privacy-friendly. It is highly dominant in this GDPR and CCPA era.
  • The advantage of first-party data is that we deterministically know our true audience. This data is extremely pertinent to our business as it is collected directly from our digital or offline properties.
  • Using first-party data we have the behavioral information and are sure it is accurate.
  • Focusing through first-party data we can efficiently use our marketing dollars and know we are not wasting.
  • Using first-party data we can create similar audiences that can be used to reach out to new customers who have the same interests.

In future, organizations will no longer use third-party data to target their audiences. They have started to look for ways to use first-party data as the core of their advertising needs.


  • The New York Times will no longer use third-party data to target ads starting in 2021. Beginning in July, they have started to offer clients 45 new proprietary first-party audience segments to target ads. And by the second half of the year, they are planning to introduce at least 30 more interest segments.
    The company has created a machine-learning marketing tool (TAFI: Twitter and Facebook Interface) that will allow them to target potential consumers on Facebook and Twitter platforms without leveraging its users' browsing history [1].


  • Vox Media announced the launch of Forte, a new ad-targeting data platform designed to help advertisers reach Vox's monthly audience of 125 million consumers efficiently without using shady data practices to target them. They are positioning themselves to be a partner in a third-party data-less world. In the next 24 months, an industry that runs on the back of third-party data will move their dollars to platforms that have scaled, direct-to-consumer connections [2].


Collecting first-party data gives us an opportunity to not only store data but also to look further into our users’ profiles. By utilizing data management platforms, we can combine our user data from various sources (in-store purchase, survey data, subscription data, behavioral data, etc) to create a full customer profile that can be used for further business planning.



Next Steps for Advertisers and Brands:

  • The effort should be to create a privacy-friendly experience for the end-user
  • Position yourself to be a partner in a third-party data less world
  • Start building out first-party data solutions in response to the digital industry’s recoil against using third-party data to target ads
  • Utilize data management platforms to combine consumer data from different sources
  • Create a customer profile and use that to create similar audiences to reach out to new customers who might have the same interests


Its time marketers should have a clear focus on first-party data as their consumers are demanding increased data privacy and deserve the best-personalized experience.