Getting Creative With First-Party Data

In today’s digital marketing world, data is everywhere. According to eMarketer, nearly 40% of executives say they have spent over $100 million on data in the past five years.

While marketers are spending handsomely on other people’s data, they are also making use of their own first-party data, and for good reason: being able to leverage information about your own customers, pulled from your own properties, can be a powerful tool. But with the costs associated with the gathering, organization and implementation of first-party data, how do marketers know if they’re making the most of it?

The good news is, first-party data provides more opportunities than simple customer retargeting. In fact, it can be a gold mine if you’re willing to get a bit creative.

Below I offer four out-of-the-box approaches to using first-party data to help ensure marketers maximize efficiency and drive results in digital video and TV.

1. Use reverse targeting to net new customers. The traditional use of first-party data is to find and target a known customer base. But what if you flipped that on its head? First-party data gathered through a Web site tag can also be used to suppress existing customers, resulting in a segment of new customer prospects. To drill down on targeting even more, marketers could pair this up with third-party insights like privacy-compliant credit card data to ensure they are reaching an interested audience  — for example, a hotel brand looking to reach frequent travelers who are not current customers.

2. Reach customers across devices — even TV. When a pixel is placed on a Web site, brands can see the digital footprint of their existing customer base. To take this a step further, they can find these same customers across all video screens, including linear TV. Tying digital data to TV data through a 1:1 match is an effective way to reach consumers offline, requiring a technology or measurement partner to connect the dots.

A major financial services brand recently used this approach to reach known customers not just on laptops, mobile, or connected TV, but also on their TV sets. Reaching consumers across devices with a holistic plan ensures you’re in front of your consumers wherever they are watching video.

3. Use CRM data to model high-value customers. While first-party data is often used to reach a brand’s exact customer base, it can also be used to model prospects who look like your current customer base. Recently, a major insurance brand was looking to find consumers with similar attributes to their best customers. They were able to achieve this by bumping their CRM data up against a Nielsen 1:1 digital/TV match, to see what shows its best customers were watching on TV. This information helped the company determine which programs, networks and day parts similar customers would be more likely to watch on TV — and to reach them with a brand message.

4. Determine optimal frequency and avoid overexposure. Brands should consider their first-party data an opportunity to drive efficiency when working with a limited budget. To do this, determine the optimal frequency and reach to drive a specific outcome among current customers, who may need less exposure than a non-customer or a new customer.

An online travel brand recently looked at different response levels among current customers vs. known frequent travelers (identified through standard third-party data). By looking at different response levels for those exposed vs. the control in each bucket, they were able to determine the exact level of exposure needed for each group without wasting impressions.

However you choose to use your first-party data, be sure you’re looking for creative ways to get your message in front of the right person. The data is yours for the taking, so be sure you’re putting it to work.

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