Thought Leadership, data privacy, first party data

Four Clear Ways Brands Can Drive Maximum Value, Sales From Future-Proofed, Scaled First Party Data

By: Aaron Jackson, Chief Growth Officer

First party data is gold in the new digital economy, but how do businesses take full advantage of it? Combining separate data sets is key, as is converting offline intelligence into online insights. Here are four ways companies can drive maximum value out of their data by building scaled audience segments that don’t fall afoul of regional privacy rules.

The global data privacy landscape continues to evolve, and when it comes to future regulations and platform policies, there are a lot of unknowns. But there is one thing we know for certain: Going forward, the companies that can do the most with their first-party data will be at a decided advantage.

Not all companies have access to endless reserves of high-quality, multifaceted first-party data, but even those with limited files have the ability to onboard and enrich those disparate data points to unlock powerful opportunities for customer retention and prospecting. However, to extract maximum value from this process, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

Let’s dig deeper.

Unleashing the Full Power of Data Onboarding

When marketers talk about data onboarding, they’re typically referring to the general process of transferring offline data to an online environment for marketing use. But the value and utility of onboarding can extend much further.

By enabling businesses to unite disparate data sets—CRM data, loyalty card data, purchase data, behavioural data, customer surveys, third-party research, and in-store transactions, for example —companies can gain a more comprehensive view of their customers, which can in turn enable them to optimise existing campaigns and identify new audience segments. Part of this is done through deterministic matching (i.e., one-to-one matching that helps you understand and increase engagement among current customers), but proper onboarding shouldn’t stop there. Companies should also leverage data onboarding to create audience cohorts that can be used at scale across global markets—all without running afoul of regional privacy regulations.

That said, if companies want to get the most out of their first-party data, they need to do some foundational work to ensure the onboarding process unlocks maximum value. Here’s what that looks like.

Start with an organisational assessmentThe first step in uniting data is, unsurprisingly, identifying where it exists and—importantly—who is in control of it. In establishing an organisational understanding of data and stakeholders, be sure to think broadly. Any customer or prospect touchpoint, from marketing campaigns to transactions to customer service files, represents a potential deeper understanding of the individual and your audiences at large.

Consider permissions: Before you start connecting the dots among data sets, assess the level of permission that you have to use various customer data files, and in what capacities. Any limitations on certain data usage should be identified and accommodated early in the onboarding process.

Expand your lookback windowCompanies tend to disregard data that’s more than a couple of years old as no longer relevant. But when you’re trying to gain a comprehensive view of your audiences—past, present and future—a longer lookback window can be especially enlightening. If you have data that’s five to 10 years old, consider incorporating it into your onboarding process in order to enhance your understanding of lifetime value and how your audience profiles have—or haven’t—evolved over time.

Establish a data dictionaryWith the above foundational elements aligned, companies should then go about compiling a data dictionary that identifies and defines every data asset they own, and the parameters tied to each. This step is absolutely essential when it comes to being able to remap your data in every way you might care to remap it—by brand, by product, by geography, by transaction type, you name it.

By taking the time to do this kind of foundational work within the data onboarding process, marketers can best position their first-party data assets for activation and enrichment via both deterministic and probabilistic mechanisms—that is, customer engagement and retention, as well as prospecting at scale.

In a data environment where future regulations and policies are uncertain, companies need to double-down on the assets they can control. By ensuring maximum value is being derived from first-party data—all first party data—marketers can reduce the uncertainty and enhance the security of their go-forward strategies.

This article was first published by Mumbrella.