For marketers, the new year means it’s time to go to the party –- the first party, that is. With the fading away of third-party data, companies will have to find ways to access data directly from consumers –- ideally, in ways that might even be superior to traditional tools.
Greg Higgins, general manager for Europe/Middle East/Africa and head of global partnerships for Splash, an event marketing technology company, said that longtime sources of third-party data -- including Safari and Firefox -- have already eliminated it, while Google is doing away with it in the near future. Many marketers are scrambling to find a replacement.
The good news for the events industry, said Higgins, is that meetings have always been a quality source of first-party data. For Splash, acquiring that data is in its DNA. The company founder was an event professional and from day one, Splash has helped brands obtain first-party data from conference attendees.
But companies don’t need a background in events to leverage their ability to generate valuable first-party data.
Here are three ways businesses can utilize events to acquire first party data, according to Higgins:
Create an event playbook for small, local events that include a branded website, email sequence, and surveys -- allowing brands to exchange valuable experiences for progressively profiling their audiences, learning a little more with each communication and providing the ability to measure which event types are performing better so that planners can evolve their programs from there.
Integrate event management tools with customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Typically, Higgins said, event technology is not where first-party data can have its best impact, so companies need a way to move it over to their CRMs like Salesforce.
Make sure events extend beyond the marketing or events management teams. As an example, a sales or product team might be doing an event like a VIP dinner or a “lunch and learn” workshop. Typically, because of various restrictions, these events happen outside of core operating procedures – or are “rogue events.” However, they are in fact “golden” opportunities as channels to earn more first-party data.
With these event-centric tactics, said Higgins, companies can cultivate the data sources necessary to go beyond what they were able to do in the past through third-party data. A first-party data strategy, emphasizes rebuilding a brand through a direct relationship with customers. Programming is built in a way to nurture relationships. Not only can marketers weather the loss of cookies, but they can deploy a more human and personal way to do marketing.
Marketers should be moving on the path to first-party data now – and own it -- especially with the pressure of an impending recession where capital efficiencies will be prioritized more than growth at all costs, he said. Change is difficult at an enterprise level, and when marketers still have access to simply buying third-party data, it might be tough to justify.
Mature teams, however, know they will need to have these tools in place. And while events might lend themselves to acquiring first-party data, these approaches are fully applicable to marketing campaigns of all types, he said.