What’s Your First Party Data Strategy?
By Megan Wells
Your first-party data is your most valuable asset when it comes to marketing and customer experience. But the looming death of cookies and increasing scrutiny around data privacy are creating new challenges for marketers and advertisers. How can companies hook prospects and engage customers otherwise? The answer: now is the perfect time to tap into--or rather, pool--all streams of customer intelligence you have available to build better prospects and customer profiles.
Companies that earnestly re-evaluate how they’re using their first-party now stand to pull all departments ahead of the dust cloud that’s been kicked up by recent industry shakeups. You already have the data you need--the key is to synthesize it and use it correctly. Knowing every interaction along the customer journey is more than enough fuel for better marketing campaigns, a winning product strategy, or your next cost-cutting supply chain initiative.
But first, let’s look at what gets in the way.
Barriers to a comprehensive data strategy
Getting a more dynamic picture of your customers and prospects isn’t always easy, but it’s often not as difficult as you think. Recent research finds that the data utilization rate is less than 10-15% in most companies. Your customers and interested buyers are likely giving you more information than you’re able to use efficiently--be it a point of sale, web behavior, customer service history, billing history, etc.
The question becomes: how can you create a data strategy that truly unifies the intelligence across every interaction you have with a customer or prospect? Here are three common challenges companies face when building a comprehensive data strategy:
1. Lack of real-time insight
Oftentimes data needs to be translated via an ETL process, the data science team, or a complex infrastructure filtering as it moves through different departments, leading to significant lag times between user action and understanding. If you’re not engaging prospects or customers at just the right moment, you lose them. Companies need to make sure their intelligence platforms are built for speed and enable teams to easily evaluate (aka without complex queries) incoming data streams for patterns and insight.
2. Siloed data and fragmented views
Behaviors and patterns that can better help you identify with your prospects or buyers take many different forms and live across disparate channels. This creates a fragmented view of your users or customers--one team groups an audience based on one particular behavior, and another is only concerned with their payment activity. This fragmentation, if even slight, leaks inaccurate insight into your segments and leads to faulty measurement. Creating a true picture of your prospects and customers means bringing that siloed data into one unified view.
3. Security and privacy concerns
Making sure you have the appropriate consent, security, and authentication mechanisms in place is step one. Keeping your targeted prospects or customers informed of how their data is being used now will build the foundational trust you need to build your brand’s future. Giving data owners control over how their data is used gives you a better chance of collecting accurate information--so long as the customer experience you deliver exceeds expectations.
Building a new first-party data strategy
Creating a new foundation for your data strategy will require a future-forward vision for your first-party data collection and usage. In creating this new orientation, it’s essential to keep the following in mind:
- A new paradigm for record creation: What information do you currently have about your prospects and customers? Map all of those areas out. Start to create profiles that leverage all of the first-party data you own and seek solutions that can complement that data later.
- Enhance your findings: From this new profile configuration, ask yourself: where do the gaps exist? Make sure your intelligence solution of choice can seamlessly overlay disparate datasets to uncover opportunities to enhance your dataset. Seek out best-in-class 3rd party solutions only if your efforts to fill gaps aren’t solved via your own inter-department collaboration.
- Streamline and take action: You may have built a new view of your database, but how do you ensure that an individual's identity is accounted for on all the channels you operate? Having this unified view makes personalized experiences that much easier to create. Make sure you have a solution that not only carries that identifier through the customer journey, but that allows you to take action in the moments that count. Seek out a strong partner that integrates across your outreach and measurement tools.
Customer intelligence as the way forward
Creating your own unique form of identifiers for prospects and customers will have more than just a stronger foundation for your marketing campaigns. The context that data provides can lead to innovation across the company, from customer experience to product to engineering to operations.
To enable every department with an innovative data strategy that will only get better with time, you need a solution that can:
- Seamlessly marry disparate datasets that deliver both historical and real-time insight
- Empower employees across departments and technical skillsets to access those insights
- Allow you to maintain the control, speed, or security of your data
Scuba Analytics is a privacy-by-design customer intelligence solution that creates actionable insights out of your first-party data. Our unique, managed service approach means your data can be ingested as is, without needing an extensive ETL process. Our technical team will give you the tools you need to get started quickly, and you can maximize the amount of information to analyze in as little as 30 minutes.
Ready to start on a customer intelligence journey? Request your demo today.
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