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Why advertisers and media agencies embrace first party data

Advertisers, along with media agencies, increasingly feel the need to collect first party data. But what is it exactly?

First party data is data directly collected by advertisers and media agencies. This can include data from behaviors, actions or interests demonstrated across their website(s), or subscription data for instance.

Next to this, there’s also second and third party data. Second party data is essentially someone else’s first party data (e.g. one of your partners who agrees to share their customer data with you). While third party data are mostly aggregated data (cut into segments and made anonymous) that you can purchase from larger, specialized companies (data providers).

First, second, and third party data

Benefits of using first party data

According to a study by Quantcast and Iligo, 65% of the respondents say first party data is the best stuff. The point of focusing on this type of data is pretty obvious:

  • Data is more qualitative because they correspond exactly to what the advertiser needs;
  • Privacy and data protection are easier to ensure;
  • Saving money, whereas purchasing databases from third companies can have a considerably higher cost.

  • First party data:which one of these benefits are you most enthusiastic about?

Consequently, a growing interest for first party data seems logical. Especially given that Europe will put a new data protection regulation in place in 2018 (GDPR). Moreover, the digital advertising business is a highly competitive one. Therefore, advertisers are increasing their search efforts to break out of the pack with more accurate and more qualitative data. They are often willing to pay the price if media can offer them effective targeting. Little qualitative data will always be worth more than a lot of imprecise data.

Tools to collect your first party data

The easiest way to collect first party data is to use forms on your website, whether for newsletter registrations or for prospects qualification.

To go further, there are also tools like Qualifio, with which you can create online interactions and collect data. And we’re not just talking about classic identification forms here. Those tools can propose a wide variety of formats: forms, quizzes, contests, personality tests, and many more. You decide what data you want to collect, and they help you get there.


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Roots in Brussels, work in Louvain-la-Neuve, Canada is my northern fling. Yoga doer, dog lover, intermittent runner. An aspiring digital generalist who's always in pursuit of more shoes. Happiest with a pen and paper. Or, just give me a fireplace, like-minded friends, and a good glass of red. Now playing: The Lumineers, Betty Who, Hailee Steinfeld, Anya Marina and anything else that makes me feel free.
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