With most forms of advertising being heavily reliant on the use of cookies for the last decade, now is the perfect time for a first-party data crash course. With cookies shortly being abolished, advertisers need to understand how to use first party data to understand audience behaviour and optimise campaigns accordingly. 

What is first party data? 

First party data refers to any data that you own as an advertiser. It is valuable information collected about your audience, such as contact information, behaviours, past website actions and even purchase history. All of which can be gained from your website, your customer relationship management system (CRM), and any other source of compliant data collection.

Why use first party data? 

First party data can help your business succeed in running programmatic advertising campaigns more efficiently and effectively by leveraging data that paints a picture of who your customers and prospects are, instead of relying on third-party data which could end up being too broad or generic. 

How is first-party data related to the death of the cookie?

The looming death of the cookie has become a catalyst, pushing publishers and advertisers to prioritise first party data usage across all digital advertising. Google announced a prediction that when third-party cookies disappear, ad revenue will go down by 60%. As advertisers are forced to become less reliant on cookies, there has been a greater demand for first party data usage across publishers. There has been an increase of 20% of advertisers buying first party data through Private Marketplace Deals (PMP) but also direct deals. In 2020, Forbes announced ForbesOne (the business publisher’s first party data platform) that began data collection across 22 audience segments built using user behaviour across its website.

Challenges ahead

  • As first party data usage becomes more attractive to advertisers, the importance of how data is collected and managed has become a top priority. In June 2020, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) launched the first guide for brands on data ethics. The guide is timely in recognising a need for data ethics education across the advertising landscape. As the removal of cookies draws closer (predicted 2022), advertisers will be pushed to adapt across programmatic advertising.
  • Scale: as publishers and data management providers begin to start collecting data for advertisers to use, one thing on an ad buyer’s mind is the scale of these first party data sources. Will the data have enough scale to generate strong performance compared to using third party data?

For more information on how you can use first-party data to optimise campaign targeting, reach out to your ADMATICian.