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What Is First-Party Data, and Why Does it Matter for CTV Advertising?

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

It can be a struggle to prepare for changes in modern marketing and data targeting techniques, let alone leveraging them to your advantage. But with the right tips and tricks on how to combine two powerful components of advertising, you’ll be well on your way to staying ahead of the curve and gaining a competitive advantage.

It’s no secret that CTV advertising is the present and future of successful advertising. Not only does research back up its advantage in consumer reach, but when combined with knowledge collected from first-party data, you’ll also get a boost in your retargeting efforts. Media Post reports that 80% of consumers watch some kind of ad-supported CTV Programming, and 60% admitted to liking the ads they have seen. The positive responses indicate how useful a successful CTV ad campaign can be in driving purchases.

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Optimize Your CTV Advertising With First-Party Data

An in-depth understanding of first-party data can do more for your campaign results than you may have imagined. Extending into advertising opportunities, you won’t want to miss out on — the intersection of first-party data collection and CTV advertising.

However, before you learn more about optimizing your CTV advertising campaign, there are some important facts about first-party and data collection you should be familiar with.

What Is First-party Data?

First-party data is the information you collect from your audience directly. It’s the most credible, reliable, trustworthy data you can collect because it is executed and managed by you. Plus, the data is proprietary to you — your competitors don’t have access to it.  While it can be time-consuming and tedious to search through your own data to get to relevant information, it does eliminate the risk of misrepresentation of research and inaccuracies. 

It is an excellent method for retargeting as it can be used to learn more about what your ideal customer looks like and the best ways to reach them successfully. 

Collection Methods

Data collection provides you with insight into your target audience’s demography, interactions & time spent on websites, purchase history, interests, and other behaviors and actions you may want to know. All of which strengthens your relationship with your current and potential customers.

Some ways first-party data can be collected:

  • Surveys and interviews
  • Subscription-based emails or products
  • Customer feedback
  • CRM 
  • Social media and mobile apps
  • Google Analytics

How it Differs From Second- and Third-Party Data

The difference between first-party data collection and second- or third-party data collection is quality and method. First-party data is reliable and trustworthy data that you collected and own, so you know it hasn’t been manipulated or mistaken in any way. That can’t be said with complete assurance with data collected third-hand.

However, second-party data is significantly more useful than third-party because it is tailored to your specific needs. Second-party data collection is the customization of third-party data that is obtained through credible, reliable sources. It can be used in the same ways at first-party and with as much success. The main difference is it saves you time but can cost you a pretty penny to obtain and include data you have no use for. For many marketers whose own first-party data is not detailed enough, or lacking in volume, second-party data can be used to augment.

Third-party data is a less desirable form method of data collection because it is not proprietary. This data is often purchased from another company, typically preventing you from customizing it to your own audience members and their behaviors as they relate to your product or service.

How Legislation Is Impacting Data Collection

Furthermore, legislation is significantly impacting data collection and how you’ll obtain it in the coming years. These changes are forcing marketers to rack their brains on ways they’ll recover and adapt to such changes. 

The most important change is the death of third-party cookies. This news started with Google’s announcement that they’re building a more private web and will be phasing out third-party cookies by 2022, explaining that “users are demanding greater privacy — including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used — and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.” It’s important to note that Google specified third-party cookies, not all cookies. This specification will make first-party data more essential than ever before.

HubSpot points out that data isn’t the only concern surrounding the topic of Google’s announcement. In fact, Google’s reasoning behind the phase-out is what most marketers are talking about. Matthew Howells-Barby, HubSpot’s Director of Accusation, addresses motivation, stating, “Is it to improve privacy for the end-user, or is it to gain a further grip on the ad market by forcing the adoption of Chrome’s own first-party cookie, which would likely result in many of those dollars being previously spent on third-party platforms to move in Google’s bottom line?”

Either way, the death of third-party cookies is inevitable and has already been sunsetted by Firefox and Safari, making first-party data collection more and more important. Looking ahead, you’ll notice more reliance on first-party data, and that’s not even including its beneficial focus on CTV advertising.

The Marriage of First-party Data and CTV Advertising

The icing on the cake — the marriage of first-party data and CTV advertising. It’s the combination of credible data collection and successful target advertising — the best of both worlds. Use the data you collected first-hand from your target audience to better reach and retarget them through CTV advertising.

In fact, Martech says that “your first-party data is crucial, which means CTV advertising must be able to leverage that info to truly be effective [and] because it functions just like a digital ad channel, you can make full use of your first-party data.”

Why first-party data collection can be incredibly important in your CTV advertising campaigns:

  1. Target already interested viewers on CTV. By using first-party data to narrow down your audience’s location and interests, you open up the opportunity to focus your CTV efforts only on viewers who are most likely to be interested in what you’re offering. Too much time and effort are wasted on a portion of viewers who can’t be swayed one way or another. Eliminate that issue and reach viewers who need you and didn’t even know it.
  2. Retarget them after watching the ad on mobile devices, laptops, etc. Retargeting site visitors is possible with the right CTV ad solution. Strategus’ Encore Omnichannel technology retargets already-engaged viewers after they watch a targeted CTV ad to completion. It makes CTV advertising clickable, encouraging more follow-through on interested parties.
  3. Use first-party data to monitor their engagement with retargeting ads, website visits, online behavior, etc. Using first-party data to monitor engagement gives you more insight into the most effective ways to reach your audience. It allows you to analyze what works best, what doesn’t, and what needs to be adjusted. 

Also, the combination of first-party data and Connected TV can reduce TV advertising costs by giving more focus to streamers (in a relevant location) who are likely to be interested in what you offer and personalizing it to them directly. Reduce the cost of targeting everyone by giving focus to your ideal customers.

The Key Takeaway

It can be challenging to target the right audience and do so in a way that is personalized and unique to your audience. Even more so, as consumers demand more privacy and legislation adapts accordingly, the solution is to take two key components of advertising and combine and leverage them to your advantage. Third-party data collection and cookies may be going under, but first-party data is stronger than ever.

Strategus stays up to date on the latest trends and downfalls in the advertising industry to keep you informed and prepared for significant changes. Contact us for more insight into first-party data and how it can boost your CTV advertising campaign.

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