You have a massive database of your audiences, but are you using it to its fullest potential? First Party Data and segmented audiences are the future of business – due to the deprecation of 3rd party cookies – and this First Party Data is likely sitting in that database of yours! Check out how you can audit what you currently have, determine whether you have the right consent to use that data, and create a strategy moving forward to target and grow those audiences for easy and substantial monetization.
What Is First Party Data? How Are You Using It Now?
First Party Data is information that you collect directly from your audience. In the way of promotions, you would collect First Party Data from your users within the registration form where you can ask users to provide demographic information, opinions about your organization, lead generation information for your sponsors, etc. All of the information your users provide from that registration form is considered First Party Data because the user submitted it directly to you.
When collecting First Party Data, you’ll also need to be sure you are receiving explicit permission to contact those users who provide you with their data. This can be done by including an opt-in (that is NOT pre-checked!) on your registration form. When an opt-in is included on First Party Data collection, that data is now actionable, giving you the ability to now also contact those users with information about your organization, your sponsor, etc.
Keep in mind that First Party Data is already a part of your current strategy and goals – this isn’t something that will be brand new to your plan! Your goals of audience growth, increased revenue, and higher email open rates will only be boosted by a focus on First Party Data. For example, you already are focusing on diversifying your newsletters by introducing niche newsletters to your audience, creating more exciting programming that ties into promotions, or driving more content with information collected from promotions. First Party Data will only help to improve those efforts!
Why Is It Important?
First and foremost, First Party data will be the cleanest data you receive, as you are getting it straight from the source – your audience. You aren’t relying on a third party to provide you with reliable data about your audience.
We also know that everyone is constantly looking to reduce cost, and a First Party Data strategy will provide you with the most cost effective way for you to collect this data directly from your audience, rather paying a third party for this information. Also, when utilizing promotions to collect this data, you can cover cost and actually bring in revenue by including sponsors or advertisers. And, if these promotions lead to more content sources and programming capabilities, that’s even more cost-savings and increased ROI!
Also, as privacy concerns increase, and third party cookies become deprecated across more platforms, broadcasters could see large revenue losses if they don’t implement First Party Data strategies soon, so now is the time to act! According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the local media industry stands to lose lose 42% of its digital ad revenue, equating to $4 billion annually by 2024. However, they also state that The phase-out of 3rd-party cookies is likely to deliver more benefit than loss to local media. And this is because you will now need to take control of your audiences, which will lead you to establishing first party relationships with your users and to reach beyond your traditional audiences that reside outside of print geographies. It will also provide a springboard for you to drive further personalization and segmentation within your audiences, which is exactly what your users want.
Where Do You Start: 4 Simple Steps
Get Proper Consent
You won’t be able to do much of anything with the First Party Data you collect if you don’t also collect consent. Include opt-ins on everything, and make sure they are not pre-checked so that your users are providing action and explicitly opting in. You can also scrub your lists of unengaged users so you are only targeting those who are actively engaging with you.
If you don’t currently have a good strategy to gather consent, the time to start is NOW! Create opt-ins and include them on all registration forms, add them to your website, etc. You can also plan a re-engagement campaign to try to get sleepy users to engage with you again.
Use Interest Tagging
Start tagging everything! You will want to apply interest tagging to promotions, email, niche newsletters, purchase behavior, website behavior, etc. so that you can start tracking the interests of your users. If you haven’t historically been tagging, you can start with your biggest engagement drivers like your Best Of or another promotions that drove massive participation, or focus on a key audience and tag promotions and other engagement associated with that category.
Create Segmented Audiences
When creating your segmented audiences, make sure the first filter you add is an opt-in, as you need to be absolutely sure that this audience that you are building has provided consent. From there, add filters like age, postal code, gender, and interest tags that will allow you to filter to your ideal audience.
Evaluate and Act
Take stock of what you have, and determine what segments you can act on immediately. Do you have a large segmented database for users who are interested in automotive? Secure an automotive sponsor and run a sweepstakes!
Then take a look at the segments that are lacking and would like to grow. With this knowledge, you can determine what advertisers you need to target and also what First Party Data you need to gather from your users. Keep in mind that a Best Of ballot is a great way to gather large amounts of opt-ins and First Party Data all within one promotion!
The Way Forward
The time to create a First Party Data strategy is NOW! Make your First Party Data strategy a year-long strategy using promotions – and get executive level buy-in so your entire organization can be aligned. Also remember, a strategy like this is trial and error. You will need to innovate, develop, and test, test, test to drive success!
Check out the slides!
Liz Huff Second Street
Liz is the Director of Customer Success and has an extensive background in media. She is a huge advocate of the power of promotions for every department within an organization, including sales, marketing, audience development, and editorial.
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