Using First Party Data in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

May 30, 2018

This is a guest post from Ashley Aptt, Account Director at 3Q Digital.

A marketer’s data is as good as gold. Certainly, there are number of ways to collect data via internal and external sources.

The most common data sources are first party and third party—first party data is essentially your data. It’s the information you collect directly from your customers or your website. In contrast, third party data comes from other sources—it’s data aggregated from a variety of sources.

Due to changes that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires, the future of third party data is uncertain. Under the GDPR, companies are required to inform consumers about the data they’re collecting, such as how they intend to use it and with whom they intend to share it. Given this change, there are concerns that this can lead to the end of third party data as we know it.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

With all the shake-up around third party data, now’s the time to rethink your marketing strategy and utilize your first party data as much as possible. If your website is already tagged with a remarketing pixel for your various media platforms, then you’re off to a good start. Remarketing pixels are considered first party data since they capture the user’s behavior and activity while they’re on your website.

If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system to help manage your customer information, then you likely have details about your customer’s past purchases and other interactions with your business. When used properly, you can leverage your remarketing audiences and CRM data to create targeted marketing lists to re-engage site visitors and past purchasers.

Incorporating First Party Data into Your Digital Media Strategy

Most advertisers are already familiar with the basics of remarketing and the importance of segmenting your data to re-engage users with relevant messaging across search and social platforms to increase conversion prospects. But by using your remarketing and CRM data, you can take your strategy to the next level by analyzing customer data and trends to home in on customer retention and repeat purchases, while also using that data to expand your reach to a targeted audience.

Here are some ideas to leverage your first party data and up your remarketing game across paid search and social:

  • Push upsells and cross-sells: Once a visitor converts, leverage CRM data to determine complementary products they may be interested in. For example, if a customer purchases a swimsuit, follow up with ads to sell them a beach towel or swim cover-up.
  • Re-engage seasonal shoppers: If you have a set of customers who only purchase during a certain time of year (such as holidays or summer), that’s okay! Create lists for these purchasers, and ramp up your marketing efforts for them during the time of year they’re most likely to convert. Also consider if there are other holidays or promotional events when it might make sense to re-engage these visitors.
  • Don’t forget about video: Video advertising is becoming more and more popular and it’s a great way to reach your audience. Consider using a sequential messaging strategy to build a story and keep users interested in your brand.
  • Expand your reach with lookalikes or similar audiences: Google and Facebook both have the ability to build a new audience based off your first party data. This is a great way to expand your reach and find users who are like your current customers.


While first party data may not offer as much opportunity to scale your marketing efforts as third party data, there’s still a lot of potential to leverage first party data to increase revenue and improve ROI. Put your customer data and insights to good use to refine your remarketing, retention, and acquisition strategies.

Ashley Aptt

3Q Digital
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