Collecting & Using First-Party Data

First-party data is a vital element of digital marketing and is set to play a more important role in the near future.

First-party data is a vital element of digital marketing and is set to play an increasingly more important role in the near future. If your business has yet to optimally leverage this type of data, now is the time to act.

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data is information collected directly from your audiences. Common examples include analytics data captured from website visitors and CRM data of your customers and prospects. This differs from third-party data to which your business does not have direct access; common examples of third-party data include cookie-based advertising segments on platforms such as Google or Meta.

Third-Party Data Deprecation

With increasing privacy concerns and data regulations in recent years, top digital ad platforms are planning for migration from third-party cookies many businesses currently use to target shoppers most likely to be interested in their products / services. Though third-party cookies will be replaced with another methodology, many advertisers are rightfully doubtful of the targeting precision of the alternatives.

Where to Gather First-Party Data

It’s relatively simple to develop first-party data your business can own and utilize. Collect data from shoppers who interact with your brand online such as utilizing Google Analytics to collect website visitor data. As allowed by your privacy policy, leverage data from forms submitted on your website, CRM databases and your email provider. However, ensure these types of lists are well-maintained with frequent updates to ensure contacts’ data remains accurate.

First-Party Data Uses

First-party data is forecast to be even more crucial to digital advertising on platforms such as Google and Meta as the other data types become more limited. In the meantime, first-party data has highly valuable uses in reaching owned audiences directly or supplementing existing third-party targeting in your advertising campaigns.

Owned data is core to remarketing, which enables advertising exclusively to recent visitors of your website. Additional parameters can further cull this list based on behaviors such as if the users didn’t complete a desired action such as a purchase or form submission. Also consider uploading/integrating contact lists from other sources such as your CRM to ad platforms as “custom audiences” which can be matched and used for advertising purposes.

Lookalike audiences are created from first-party data and allow you to target shoppers who share similar characteristics to your existing customers or followers on social media. These users are generally more likely to convert for your business and will play a larger role in the future.

Experiment with layering owned audiences over third-party targeting in ad campaigns. You can use audience combinations to further refine the shoppers to which ads can show, including creating a first-party exclusion to not use ad spend towards users who may have recently converted into a customer from another marketing channel.


Effective leveraging of first-party data can pay dividends immediately and as third-party data becomes more limited in the future. Ensure you’re collecting available data from those who interact with your brand, and be aware of opportunities to utilize owned data to best reach your ideal customers.

Taylor Brown
Taylor Brown

Taylor is the owner & digital strategist of Go-To Man Marketing. With a passion for digital marketing and analytics, he's helped clients to grow their businesses for more than a decade.

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