Collecting & Using First-Party Data

First-party data is a vital element of digital marketing and is set to play an increasingly important role. If your business has yet to systematically collect and leverage this 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 your CRM data. This differs from third-party data you can’t directly access such as cookie-based advertising segments with Google or Meta.

Third-Party Data Deprecation

With increasing privacy concerns and data regulations in recent years, top digital ad platforms are planning to migrate from third-party cookies widely used to target shoppers. Though this data will be replaced by a different methodology, advertisers are rightfully doubtful of the targeting precision of the alternatives.

Where to Gather First-Party Data

First-party data your business can own and utilize can be developed rather easily. Google Analytics can capture website visitor data that you can convert into remarketing lists. As your privacy policy allows, you can also leverage data from forms submitted on your website, CRM databases, and email provider. However, ensure these lists are well-maintained to ensure contacts’ data remains accurate.

First-Party Data Uses

First-party data will become more crucial to Google Ads and social media advertising as other data types become limited. In the meantime, first-party data has valuable uses in reaching your owned audiences directly or supplementing existing third-party ad targeting.

Owned data is core to remarketing, enabling advertising exclusively to recent visitors of your website. Additional parameters can further narrow this list based on behaviors, including if users didn’t convert during their visit. Also, consider incorporating contact lists from other sources such as your CRM to ad platforms as “custom audiences” which can be matched and used for advertising.

Lookalike audiences are often created from first-party data and allow you to target shoppers who share similar characteristics to your customers. These user segments are more likely to convert than generalized audiences and are poised to play a larger role.

Experiment with layering owned audiences over third-party targeting in your advertising. You can use audience combinations to further refine your targeting, including first-party exclusions to negate ad spend towards users who’ve already converted into customers 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 reach your ideal customers.

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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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