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It’s Time to Change the Way You Leverage Different Party Data

As marketing and media move closer to a world without third party cookies, we’re all being forced to reevaluate the ways in which we’re building and executing against our audience data. But while the methods may be changing, the goal remains the same: To ensure we continue to reach the right people with the right message in the right place at the right time.

Despite the constant evolution of digital technology, first-party, second-party and third-party data still present viable, valuable opportunities for smart advertisers. But the specific strategies and tactics employed to reach consumers all depend on which party they’re “attending.”

Data Types

First-Party Data
  • Data collected directly from users through your channel
  • Trustworthy
  • No privacy concerns
Second-Party Data
  • Data acquired from someone else’s first-party data
  • Complements your own data
  • Involves privacy concerns
Third-Party Data
  • Data purchased and collected from various sources
  • Large volume
  • Significant privacy conerns

Leveraging the Power of First-Party Data

AI and machine learning have progressed exponentially over the last few years, and that technology can be leveraged to great effect with your own first-party data. Working your existing customers into new models can provide a plethora of new insights into the behavior signals along their customer journey.
But at the same time, these signals can also be linked to consumer aim, helping to present a much clearer picture of the most efficient ways to target your audience for greatest impact.
With all of this data more clearly mapped, it quickly becomes easier to leverage your own first-party data to build look-a-like audiences, as well, thus expanding their potential even further.

Building Second-Party Relationships

In addition to maximizing applications of your own first-party data, you can also establish direct relationships to receive and leverage second-party data. Because second-party data is essentially just the first-party data of another company, you still enjoy all the inherent “perks” of first-party data, while gaining insights into data sets to which you wouldn’t otherwise have access.
A classic example of using second-party data to your advantage would be a large hotel chain looking to expand upon its first-party audience of hotel intenders. They might look to other companies in their or associated industries (i.e., travel) for a “data partnership.” One obvious choice would be a fare aggregator site (e.g., Orbitz or Kayak), or even a direct relationship with various airlines. Layering this data on top of their own allows the hotel chain to model more expansive, holistic targeting strategies that are greater than the sum of their parts.
Entering a direct relationship with a second party also allows for more complete data transparency. You can be more confident that their data is precise, of higher quality, and comprised only of the information you really want. At the same time, you can verify that data was collected and delivered to you in accordance with current regulations – such as GDPR, CCPA, and the other acts that will soon be in effect in Colorado, Utah and Virginia.
While the above example is a good introduction to the power of data partnerships, it barely scratches the surface in terms of the immense versatility on offer. Being able to take multiple data sources and combine them in a made-to-order fashion can give your data team the potential to sculpt unique solutions custom to your brands and campaigns.
Comic of man being targeted with advertisements

Refining Contextual Targeting

While the popularity of contextual advertising certainly waned during the era of the third-party cookie, we’re starting to see a resurgence in its application amongst brands and advertisers. Steady advancements in technology and methodologies have helped to breathe new life into what was once considered an outdated way of serving ads.

In fact, a recent market report by Global Industry Analysts forecasts the global contextual market will reach over $335 billion by the year 2026.

Far from simple keyword matching, new AI algorithms now allow for the scanning of hundreds of parameters and attributes on pages to determine not only topical relevance, but also brand safety, emotional tone, and even objects on display within embedded pictures.

So, when an advertiser knows and really understands the type of person they’re trying to reach, modern contextual advertising can be a significant boon for upper funnel brand awareness.

Remaining Open to New Ideas

The advertising landscape is still very much in flux, and innovative ideas are being presented every day; ideas about how we can better leverage data – of all types – to build audiences without having to rely on third-party cookies.

The most successful brands and advertisers of the future will be those who are not only able to spot new technologies, but willing to take advantage of new methodologies to better target and serve their consumers.

Ryan Rogers

Author Ryan Rogers

After more than a decade traversing in the digital advertising landscape, Ryan Rogers has developed specialized expertise in the disciplines of media operations. His focus on fostering a collaborative, creative environment combined with automations and process efficiencies allows him to ensure every campaign – regardless of scale – is executed and serviced to the highest possible standard. Preceding his position as a director of Modern Impact, Ryan lead ad operations for a large scale complex measured media buys, establishing an impressive track record for building, leading and streamlining teams of variable size and scope.

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