What do I mean by this? Today, if a brand runs a campaign on Facebook, Facebook retains all of the resulting data within its walled garden. Not collecting this information firsthand is a major mistake, with long-lasting repercussions. As more brands are realizing the importance of first-party data, those who aren’t prepared for this reality will quickly start losing market share to competitors who are prioritizing it.
First-Party Data = The Gold Standard
The fact is, brands need to capture first-party data in order to truly own their audience,. Facebook’s algorithm changes this past January reinforced that the audiences brands have been paying a lot of money to build through social media channels are merely “rented” -- which puts brands in a very precarious position.
Additionally, first-party data gives brands an unvarnished view into what consumers want. A recent study from Accenture found 91% of people are more likely to shop with brands providing them with relevant recommendations and experiences. By obtaining first-party data, brands can design a more-personalized consumer experience to better meet expectations -- resulting in stronger relationships, increased loyalty and better sales.
How to Win the First-Party Data Race
In today’s world of digital marketing, it’s imperative for brands to glean invaluable first-party data from each and every consumer interaction. The best way to do this is by providing transparent, engaging, and compelling experiences that drive consumer participation through a brand’s own products and digital properties -- and then encourage those consumers to share about the experience on their social networks.
Brands doing this effectively are combining the best of traditional advertising with the best of user-generated content, resulting in a new category altogether: user-generated advertising (UGA).
User-Generated Advertising in Action
What does UGA look like?
Take Sephora, for example. Through an AR experience called “Virtual Artist” within the Sephora app, customers can “virtually” try on different makeup products before making a purchase. Consumers can also take a photo or video of themselves in their virtual makeup, with Sephora branding, and seamlessly share it across their social channels.
This formula is a win-win for both consumers and brands. The experience provides a virtual trial, along with a fun, shareable experience for consumers.
And Sephora gets to capture data from the interaction -- including customer interests, preferences and purchases -- to increase levels of personalization.
By making the experience branded and shareable, Sephora also benefits from the social aspects of its customers’ sharing to encourage friends to try the service too – and they are doing it all within Sephora’s own digital ecosystem.
If brands think strategically about utilizing UGA and building engaging sharing experiences into their owned digital properties, they will learn more about their customers, improve their customer experience and build stronger 1:1 relationships with those consumers.
Perhaps more important, they will finally start to “own” their audience moving forward, without relying on third parties to “rent” an audience any longer.