There is a hard fact that anyone seeking to market a business on the web these days needs to grasp: the internet is not new anymore. Modern web shoppers are much more savvy than they were fifteen years ago and are beginning to understand the hidden and insidious cost of the endless barrage of “personalized” ads: their online privacy and personal data. Once an aggressive company has got your number, they are going to do everything they can to fill up your feed with ads and clog your inboxes with emails and messages.
Even if you don’t understand the tech terms involved, it’s far more likely that you, as a consumer, would much prefer the online shopping experience of organically finding a business that can satisfy your want or need via search or social media, then engaging with that business directly, at your own discretion, with technology’s primary function being to aid in the customer service experience.
If that second experience sounds better to you, then you, like most people, will respond better to First-Party Marketing than the first scenario, Third-Party Marketing.
First-Party Data vs Third-Party Data
To really understand the difference in First- and Third-Party Marketing, it really helps to know the difference between First- and Third-Party Data Collection.
In the early days of internet commerce, the idea of a “cookie” was conceived as a way to identify a user when they came back to a website to make the shopping experience more smooth, more personal, and more pleasurable. This was done by the website storing a piece of data in the user’s web browser so that the website could identify the user if he or she returned. If you’ve ever put something in an online shopping cart, left the site, then came back later to find it still there, then you’ve seen this in action.
In the above description, we’re talking about First-Party Data since the only entities involved were the user, and the business, a.k.a. the “first party”. First-Party Data would also include an email address, phone number, or any other form of information the consumer gave directly to the business to facilitate a transaction or to seek further information from the business-like specials or events.
But what if that business sold that personal data (and the cookie that collects it) to another business and they used it to advertise, email, or even text that user? Now this data becomes Third-Party Data, and any marketing with that data would be Third-Party Marketing.
Why First-Party Marketing Should Be Your Business’s Top Priority
In order for any business to excel, it must first learn to master First-Party Marketing. Engaging with prospective buyers, developing customer relationships, growing brand loyalty, and even customer service all come into play in First-Party Marketing. You can think of it as using old school marketing principles with a technological twist.
But there is another reason to prioritize First-Party Marketing strategies over Third-Party ad buys: Third-Party Data Collection is in the middle of a major shakeup.
Third-Party cookies are being phased out in 2023 and many browsers like Chrome and Safari have already eliminated or restricted their use. And yes, the shake up in the online advertising world will be huge. Currently, there is no single good solution on the horizon to replace Third-Party Tracking and Data Collection. Companies that got a bit lazy in their customer engagement in lieu of simply dumping their marketing budgets into third-party ad buys shouldn’t expect the ROI they’ve been enjoying.
If this has been your company, it’s time to get back to basics.
Putting Together a Successful First-Party Marketing Strategy
The key to a solid First-Party Marketing Strategy lies in the First-Party Data your business has collected. Remember, this data was given to your business by a potential customer along with their consent to use it to possibly conduct business with them. Not only does this mean that you have the opportunity to directly communicate with them, but if you do it in a way that offers them a positive and fulfilling experience, it is very likely that they may tell their friends and family, or better yet, express their experience on social media or in a positive review. This in turn will bring other potential customers your way with opportunities to engage and hopefully do business with them.
Sometimes getting ahead of the curve simply means going back to basics.
If your business is in need of a marketing reset to help get back to the basics, please reach out to our team. We’ve helped many businesses like yours grow and flourish.