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June 17, 2019

The value of using first-party and third-party data in mobile ad campaigns

The best ROI for mobile advertising campaigns comes from effective ads, which are the result of competent data.

Accurate, qualified data is highly valuable for mobile ad campaigns, and we also know that consumers value data privacy and security. Thus, we must reconcile these two market needs, and determine the best way to utilize data while operating with compliant and secure systems.

Traditionally, third-party data was easy to obtain and use to run mobile ad campaigns. With new regulations going into effect (and others being considered), companies are revamping their data collection and management, and shifting focus toward first-party data.

“Web browsers restricting ad trackers, new data privacy laws and constant data breaches have given marketers incentive to use less third-party data, which they obtain from companies without direct user relationships, in favor of more first-party data collected straight from their customers” (source). First-party data can also be collected from prospects, which is another valuable piece of the data puzzle.

Increasing use of first-party data is a high priority for many corporate marketers, even though it means overcoming challenges that come with collecting, cleaning, and storing such data. First-party data is highly valuable because it tells the story of your current customers, their customer journeys, and their buying habits.

With that being said, third-party data is still a useful asset for many companies. Third-party data gives you access to new audiences because it goes beyond the reach of what your first-party data has captured. In addition, it helps “fill in the gaps” of first-party data.

A combination of first-party and third-party data can be used to create effective campaigns. Build your target audience using first-party data, then layer third-party data on top of that to expand on assumptions and provide more demographic and behavioral data to the mix. One way to implement this with mobile ad campaigns is through lookalike audiences. In a lookalike audience, you supply first-party data and tell your platform to find people who look like them, but aren’t actually those people. When done correctly, the first-party data you supply would be your highest value customers, and by using a lookalike audience, you’re asking your platform to find other people who look just like those people.

And while third-party data still has a role in marketing, it’s definitely time to shift focus to first-party data. Start by figuring out what data you already collect, which system it’s stored in, and strategize how to connect data across platforms.

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