Taking Your First-Party Data to the Next Level with Cohorts

By: Eyeota


Your first-party data provides a framework for marketing your brand. 

This data provides you with a wealth of vital information about your existing customer base, including:

  • Who your customers are
  • Where they come from
  • What they like to buy
  • When they like making purchases
  • How they prefer to pay
  • Why they are good candidates for cross-selling and up-selling

First-party data that is readily available to you in digital form is easy to find, manage and use to drive decision-making. But are you leveraging it to its full potential? And are you accessing all of the first-party data at your disposal?

You have more data than you think

If your data management is focused solely on the most readily accessible data obtained from cookies or email lists, you could be missing out on a lot more vital information stored in the recesses of your company’s various databases. 

Up to 15 or 20 years of remnant data that is siloed inside your organization but outside of your current data governance protocols could be right at your fingertips. Identifying, onboarding and leveraging this data can significantly increase your consumer reach and reveal even more details about your organization’s target demographics.

Taking siloed or offline data and integrating it into your overall data management strategy will help you more accurately profile your existing customers and build new targetable segments. All you have to do is look for the interesting information that sits within the offline data and build propensity models and cohorts out of it for customer clarification.


The necessity of holistic, comprehensive data management

Accessing and leveraging all available data is central to marketing decision-making and consumer engagement. In fact, 74% of marketers prioritize turning customer insights into marketing actions for the purposes of acquiring and retaining new customers.

However, many companies lack a holistic strategy to leverage the bulk of their online and offline data. Many haven’t yet developed a consistent, data-centric approach to onboarding and identifying new customers, and only 28% say that they consider their current data strategy to be mature, leading to a significant disconnect affecting how companies will be able to engage with existing customers in a cookieless world.

Additionally, although nearly all decision-makers in the marketing landscape know first-party data is critical, less than half (49%) have a consistent strategy for onboarding and identifying new customers. As third-party cookies slowly become obsolete, marketers are going to be negatively impacted by lack of a plan for addressing a cookieless future.

With the demise of third-party cookies, organizations must focus on a holistic pivot toward first-party data for improved customer onboarding. Nearly half (48%) believe they are not adequately leveraging first-party data sources in marketing decision-making, and want to find new ways to optimize data usage.


Building cohorts to grow your pool of prospects

Cohorts are an effective, high-value way to scale your first-party data in a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. You can use cohorts to scale your first-party datasets with similar consumers who have similar interests and needs.


How do traditional first-party datasets differ from cohorts?

Existing first-party data relies on deterministic IDs. This is a one-to-one comparison using identifiers that match only one individual, such as a cookie that identifies their browser, an email address from a registration, or a name/address/phone number from a payment or shipment. 

Since the one-to-one models result in relatively small target groups, look-alike modeling is often applied to provide more scale. However, this approach can often create a skew in the end results as the model may not be a true representation of your customer base. Obtaining more individual deterministic IDs to deliver a true one-to-one match can be a challenging, time-consuming, and expensive process.

Cohorts are built using a bespoke probabilistic method that analyzes your entire first-party data to identify similarities between consumers and groups them based on the postal code where they reside, their patterns or behaviors, and their demographics. As an example, let’s look at a grocery chain that has a popular loyalty card program. 

The grocery chain analyzes its loyalty card data across store and online transactions to understand that female shoppers in 150 postal codes have a high propensity to purchase organic products. This valuable data is aggregated to create anonymized audience cohorts that are onboarded as digital audience segments that the grocery chain can use to serve tailored advertising, target specific offerings across traditional and digital channels, and in turn, acquire more customers interested in the same product categories. 

Cohorts are built to match specific profiles from your existing first-party data and seamlessly rolled into your marketing campaigns as new prospects or leads. By creating these new targetable segments, you can increase your reach, find new customers and identify new opportunities. 

Access vast datasets and build effective cohorts with Eyeota

Eyeota makes it easy to scale your datasets by taking your existing first-party data, mining it and building propensity models that form segments of consumers in our own vast databases that have the same attributes. Since we use probabilistic methodologies instead of deterministic IDs, the data can come from many different data silos within your business that you likely think are not of any value. 

Cohort building works with both cookie-based and cookieless data. Potential customers can be targeted based on Universal IDs, mobile IDs, IP addresses, geolocation information and much more. The propensity file used to match to online identifiers doesn't carry personally identifiable information (PII), so cohorts are less constrained by data privacy laws.

The ability to scale your first-party data with cohorts is almost unlimited. Instead of onboarding 1,000 individual profiles of existing customers, you can add 5,000 potential customers in the form of cohorts. Since they are matched carefully to your existing buyer personas, they fit seamlessly into your existing marketing strategy. 

While one-to-one deterministic onboarding helps to deliver upsell and cross-sell efforts to existing customers, cohort onboarding supports acquisition and prospecting opportunities, opening up massive new consumer bases ripe for marketing your core offerings. 


Five benefits of Eyeota for expanding first-party data

No matter how big or small your organization is, Eyeota can help you scale. Benefits of partnering with Eyeota include:


Leveraging your own business intelligence

We dig deep into your own first-party data, identifying key attributes and developing high-value customer profiles. Attributes we look at to include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Household income
  • Property information
  • Socio-demographic profiles
  • Modeled transactional trends   
  • Geolocation data


Scaling out your first-party data

We take the newly developed and anonymized personas and look for matches based on probabilistic identifiers, grouping similar profiles together and creating targeted cohorts. These cohorts can rapidly expand your first-party datasets and readily come under your digital data management oversight.


Boosting new customer acquisition 

You can turn your marketing efforts immediately to targeting your new leads, leveraging insights from your existing demographic and psychographic data. Since your cohorts are created to match your existing customer profiles, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.


Combating the loss of third-party cookies

First-party data has always been important to marketing personalisation. Now, with the deprecation of third-party cookies, it’s also the essential foundation for finding and reaching new prospects. Cohorts are vital to ensuring all relevant forms of customer data—offline and online—are being leveraged to uncover new opportunities.


Ensuring global consistency

Deterministic onboarding has many global challenges, and there isn’t a consistent provider globally. In contrast, cohort data has the potential for high levels of consistency. Eyeota has successfully built and onboarded across more than 30 markets regardless of import format.

Using cohorts allows you to futureproof your data management and marketing strategy, scaling your first-party data and expanding your marketable consumer base. 

Are you interested in exploring today's data priorities and practices, and understanding how to leverage first-party data in your customer engagement strategies? Download our Forrester-backed study "Harness First-Party Data in Your Onboarding Journey" today. 


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