Analyzing and processing prospect and lead data can be overwhelming and stressful. It's often made worse by the fact that the data collected isn’t relevant to your business or target audience. This is because businesses have been on the search for big data since the early 2000s and have neglected to source relevant and high-quality data - it was always about quantity over quality. Today, thanks to online metrics, social media, and digital presence, we are able to track user behaviour and figure out what lead data is relevant to a business and what data is inconsequential.
The traditional approach to collecting vast amounts of consumer data (known as third-party data collection) has become dangerous and even legally questionable over the years and with the Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulations being updated and containing stricter provisions, marketers have had to change this tactic.
But beyond the legality that comes with collecting big data, it simply isn't effective and efficient (as stated previously). There is no way you can create a truly profitable marketing and lead generation strategy based on irrelevant information and data collection. Today, in 2021, data and marketing need to be more personal and targeted to ensure greater outcomes and better business profits.
And this is where first-party data becomes vital for sustainable business growth.
Introducing First-Party Data for Business Growth
Before we introduce the tactic of first-party data collection, it is important for us a look at second-party and third-party data and how marketers have used these tactics.
Second-party data is data that a marketer or business purchases from another business while third-party data is collected from online cookies and websites and amounts to purchasing “off the shelf” data sets. This kind of data is generally of lower quality and there is no assurance that the information you receive is even relevant to your business.
But what is first-party data and why is it better than all other forms of data collection?
To put it simply, first-party data is the information you collect directly from your audience or customers. This information can be collected from landing pages, lead forms, lead magnets, and social media campaigns. It includes collecting data from certain online behaviors, actions, or interests that have been demonstrated across your apps, website, and social platforms by users.
First-party data is a result of trusted and direct relationships and communications between a brand and the consumer. Owning first-party data gives brands and marketers the freedom to create segmented lead profiles based on unique and relevant customer data that has been collected directly from the consumer - this is what makes it so much more powerful. According to a report by Econsultancy and Signal, this kind of data is the most valuable and relevant compared to second or third-party data.
So, how do you use first-party data to grow your business in 2021? Let’s take a look.
Growing Your Business with First-Party Data
If you are looking to grow your business in 2021 and accelerate your lead generation tactics, then first-party data is vital. But, where do you even begin when launching your first-party data collection strategy and how can this kind of strategy help your business grow?
1. Start From the Beginning
Don't stress out! This does not mean that you need to toss all of the data you have collected in the past. This just means that you need to clean up your data. This means that you should remove any inactive email addresses or related contact details you have collected over the years. This kind of data wastes storage and time and you want to focus your marketing and sales efforts on quality leads as opposed to cold leads or clients that are definitely not going to come back.
A strong data strategy should be attentive and you need to eliminate any data that can waste time and energy. Stick with the most current information that is available and relevant to your business growth goals and target audience. If something is not relevant - don’t hold onto it.
2. Set Your Goals and Objectives
If you are unsure of what is and isn't relevant data for your business - you need to set your goals and objectives. In order to understand what data is important for you, you need to set your objectives and work toward them. This doesn't have to be a long arduous process, it can be simple and specific. The more specific, the better.
The kinds of questions you should be answering when setting your goals are:
- “What is your buyer persona/s?”
- “Do you want to focus on nurturing long-term relationships with key clients?”
- “Do you want to focus on a specific location?”
- “Are you broadening your product or service offerings and do you need to keep clients informed of these new products or business changes?”
Once you have an understanding of what you want, keep track of your leads and current customers' purchase behaviour and create lead generation campaigns around those behaviors and every segment of your audience.
3. Collect Your Data
But how do you begin collecting and organizing this data? This is where landing pages, discounts, and creative marketing comes into play. For example, you can create downloadable and helpful content that your audience can receive by providing certain information through a landing page. This kind of tactic works wonders because you are providing your audience with something they need, which in turn, drives them to take a specific action such as providing you with their information.
Once you have collected this information you can segment your audience based on preferences, career, demographic, and where they are within the customer pipeline. And this allows for personalized experiences between your brand and the consumer.
4. Create Personalized Data Collection Experiences
First-party data allows marketers the opportunity to clearly identify individual customers and deliver relevant experiences to each customer. This is a major benefit, as businesses are able to learn at a customer level what it is they want and how best to deliver an individual experience to a specific customer.
This allows for greater customer engagement and interaction when it comes to marketing and re-marketing. Customer Relationship Management systems are able to store your first-data party, and analyze each individual lead based on their data and behaviour, and create segmented marketing campaigns that reach a particular lead, with the right message, at the right time, through the right platform. This ensures you meet the customer where they are at within the buying cycle and help drive them through the sales process without a “sell sell sell” approach. This kind of data usage makes for greater brand trust and nurtures loyalty.
5. Marketing, Sales and Service Alignment with First-Party Data Collection
As stated above, using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform such as HubSpot is a great way to track, store and manage all your first-party data in a single place. When you store your data in a single location your information is readily accessible to all your teams including your marketing, sales, and service teams.
By organizing your client and lead data in a single place your teams are able to access any information they require at a click of a button which means for consistent customer experiences. Essentially, this means that no client or lead information will get lost and no interactions with leads and customers can get lost in translation. Today, customers expect a personalized experience and with this in mind, their data needs to run horizontally between vertical departments if you want your business to be a success and create a sense of customer loyalty and brand trust.
The Wrap Up
The above is a simplified step-by-step guide to creating a successful first-party data generation strategy. When you create a streamlined first-party data collection strategy, and use the data you have to create personalized marketing campaigns for your individual leads and current clients, you are sure to grow your business and improve your bottom line.
Today, consumers expect personalized interactions with brands, and by segmenting your audience, understanding their online behaviors, and reaching them with the right message, at the right time, you are able to guide them through the buying process.
However, none of this can be done if you do not collect and adequately organize your first-party data.
Do you need a regular flow of qualified sales leads and relevant customer data?
If so, we can help. Nexa has been generating highly qualified sales leads for businesses of all types for almost a decade. We have both the experience and track record to help businesses in all industries generate highly qualified sales leads.