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The Beauty of Second-Party Data

This post is a part of our larger “The OTT Advertiser’s Guide to Second and First-Party Data,” click here to learn more.

The Beauty of Second-Party Data. It isn’t easy to reach your exact buyer, and every marketer struggles to do just that, especially since it involves getting to know and thoroughly understanding other human beings. The problem is, many marketers think first-party data is the only viable option for collecting data, so if you don’t have access to it or want an alternative, you’re stumped.

Second-party data (and third) are stigmatized by the fact that you could get unreliable data if you’re not careful. But in reality, 88% of marketers use data obtained through second and third parties to enhance their understanding of each customer.

In more cases than not, second-party data usage is a practical, reliable tactic to implement in marketing and advertising campaigns. When customized reliably and effectively, it can also be what you’ve been looking for to maximize your reach and connect with your target audience.

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It’s OK!

First-party data is great, but it’s often difficult to obtain, both from a financial and legal standpoint, due to changing privacy protection regulations. However, first-party data is not the end-all, be-all solution to data collection — as long as you do your due diligence and make sure your source is credible, second and third-party data can also be a viable way to collect consumer information.

You can obtain the same data

There are some notable differences between first, second, and third-party data, but the data itself isn’t necessarily different. You can also get the same essential information you need to target a specific audience, including:

  • Demography — age, marital status, job, etc.
  • Websites they visited
  • Interests & hobbies
  • Purchasing history
  • Time spent on websites

Studies report similar efficiencies

In fact, Statista reports that second-party data is nearly neck-and-neck with first-party data in terms of being used effectively to target relevant audiences.

In the study, the share of marketers worldwide was divided up into three categories, and these were the results:

  • Traditional with an e-commerce component — 80% effectively used 1st party data, and 81% effectively used 2nd party data.
  • Traditional without an e-commerce component — 80% effectively used 1st party data, and 80% effectively used 2nd party data.
  • Direct brand marketers — 83% effectively used 1st party data, and 70% effectively used 2nd party data.


There are quite a few reasons to use second-party data collection when it is produced by a trustworthy and reliable source. 

1. First-party augmentation or replacement

Because many companies don’t have the ability to activate first-party data, they turn to second-party data (customized third-party data) as either an augmentation to first-party data or a complete replacement. You can get the same crucial information needed to effectively target your audience, regardless of whether you have access to first-party data or not. 

In many cases, it can even be used to test and validate first-party data. No data collection method is guaranteed to be 100% valid without considering alternatives that support that validation. Even if you get it first-hand, having supporting evidence of authenticity through other results confirms your advertising and campaign efforts are on the right track.

2. Data customization

One of the greatest benefits of second-party data is the ability to customize third-party data. You can use multiple sources of data like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud, and more to create the perfect snapshot of your buyer and meet them where they need to be met. This combination of data is the sweet spot that allows you to create meaningful relationships with buyers through hyper-specific targeting.

3. Results are finalized

Another beautiful thing about second-party data is that the research has already been combed over and sifted through. In first-party data collection, it’s up to you to go through everything you collected to figure out what is relevant, meaningful, useful, and not. It’s a task that could take a significant amount of time.

However, when you go through second-party data collection, you don’t have to worry about that. Someone already figured out what was useful and not — now all you have to do is determine the resulting data’s value for yourself and customize it accordingly.


Strategus customizes second-party data effectively and efficiently, allowing you to access information and insights you can’t get from first-party data by itself. This involves the booleaning of different data sources — GPS location, browsing history, purchasing history, media consumption, etc. — to help create exact buyer personas and successful campaigns.

Our team of experts at Strategus has utilized second-party data in nearly all of its campaigns with great success over the years. When it is gathered reliably, you can be sure that second-party data usage can be a vital component of your advertising and marketing campaigns, with or without first-party access. 

Encore Omnichannel Marketing

More specifically, second and third-party data can be extremely beneficial in omnichannel marketing campaigns. With the help of reliable second and third-party data, we are better able to target the right audience with the right message at the right time. 

Personalization and consistency is a vital factor in the success of omnichannel tactics. Our Encore Omnichannel technology and resources, combined with quality second-party data, gives you access to a multitude of information that can narrow your targeting efforts to speak directly to your target audience. 

Partner With Strategus

It’s not easy reaching the right buyers directly. Still, it gets much easier when you partner with an experienced team of professionals who have a track record of helping businesses like yours get their campaign up and running successfully. 

When you’re ready to maximize your reach with reliable data usage, partner with Strategus for help running a campaign that uses second-party data effectively, or contact us today for a more in-depth dive into how we can help you grow your business.

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Andy Dixon is a seasoned Content Writing Specialist at Strategus, renowned for his expertise in creating engaging and impactful digital content. With over a decade of experience in content creation, Andy has honed his skills in a variety of niches, ranging from technology and marketing to education.

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