To drive better marketing with your customers, maximize your first-party data


First-party data is a powerful marketing tool.

That’s because it can give you a lot of direct insights about you customers: Their contact information, website activity, signups, purchases and more. But many brands aren’t using this quality data set to its highest potential. Why? Because they’re still relying on third-party cookies and other weak identifiers to fuel their marketing strategy.

But as third-party identifiers deprecate and privacy regulations change, customers are becoming harder to reach across channels and devices. If you rely on third-party cookies or identifiers, there’s a high likelihood you’re missing the customers you know as well as in-market consumers who are ready and willing to buy your products.  

For marketers who want to continue driving important conversations with their customers, maximizing first-party data is critical to success.

Setting up for success

The first step for brands looking to build a better first-party data strategy is simple: Examine the state of your data today.

Specifically: How much do you have, and how are you collecting it? Some brands will have a lot of data already at their fingertips, like retailers, while others may need a vehicle to collect more data or augment the limited data available to them.

  • Build: Things like loyalty programs and owned channels (email, app, SMS, for example) are great ways to begin building that rich first-party data.
  • Collect: Find the right solution to collect your data in a privacy-safe environment, like a customer data platform (CDP).
  • Augment: For brands without a lot of first-party data, a clean room solution serves as a great tool for augmenting your data by enhancing it with partner data in a privacy-safe, secure space.   

But this is just the foundation. Once you have data, you want to make sure you can actually use it.

The power of data enrichment

The first-party data you have can tell you a lot about your customers, but it won’t tell you everything. Your customers do a lot out in the wild outside of your owned channels, and they often use multiple devices and emails. Connecting these behaviors and preferences can help tailor personalized marketing that resonates.

Identity resolution can help by cleaning, aligning and enriching first-party data to fill in data gaps, including connecting an individual person to multiple devices and emails.

Adtech and martech solutions with identity resolution can maximize campaign performance. They reduce over-frequencing of ads, help find in-market customers who love you but aren't in your file and identify the right messages for the right people in the right channels.

In short: Identity resolution makes your valuable first-party data even sharper, allowing you to deliver higher performing media activation across channels.

Here’s an example of this in action: Visionworks struggled with high impressions but low conversions. They were getting tons of views, but that wasn't translating into customers and purchases. This was because their previous digital media vendor sent campaigns to audiences based on fragmented cookies and email addresses, not real people.

After switching to Epsilon, Visionworks’ cost per action (CPA) landed a whopping 87% below their goal. By using identity resolution, Visionworks could determine which customers were ready to buy and reach them on their preferred channels. They also connected multiple devices and emails to one person, so they stopped overfrequencing a single customer who looked like several. 

Finishing strong with measurement

When you start with good data, you end with good measurement. 

The power to deploy campaigns to individuals also gives you the power to measure those campaigns at an individual level. When using martech and adtech in conjunction with things like AI and machine learning, you're enabling your data to continue to get better.

You can measure true campaign performance and adjust your strategy to meet your goals. And, with closed-loop reporting, those insights go back into your first-party data. That means as your customers change, you change with them. You can see a person's preferences and needs as they evolve, and because of that, you can reach them in the right way every time. 

At Epsilon, our industry-leading identity resolution solution CORE ID powers our martech and adtech tools, helping our clients reach more in-market customers and activate high performing media campaigns. And, with our connected tech stack, you can have the confidence in your data security and fidelity.