What’s On

Understanding 3Ws of the first-party data: What, why & where to use

Consumers are on the move, always seeking to find out what’s hot, and permanently online – in other words, they’re always-on, and it’s tough for advertisers to keep up.

As a result, data has become a critical component of modern marketing campaigns.

One of digital advertising’s biggest attractions is that it flips the traditional media-buying model.Instead of buying a specific context – like time of day, or a specific radio station or TV channel, or an outdoor location – advertisers can now buy the specific audience–such as expecting mothersor millennial males– they’re trying to reach. What’s the magic formula that’s made this evolution possible?

The answer of course is rich data sets. Data is information about individual people that advertisers can use to eliminate the guesswork from advertising. But what is this “data” exactly – and where does it come from?

Data is information that people volunteer about their interests; their wants; their personal habits, including how old they are, where they live, what they like, where they spend their money, what they watch on TV; and much more. Individuals volunteer this information because they now expect that they will receive a more customized and higher level of service from the companies that collect this data.

Across Asia, marketers are increasingly asking their technology providers to provide better data, to fuel more finely tuned digital advertising and programmatic-based display and video campaigns. They can start by interrogating their own data sets and asking their ad tech partners how best to deploy internal insights into their digital branding campaigns.

In Southeast Asia, both social and location data have the potential to be particularly robust given the region’s high mobile penetration and estimations that just under 1 billion residents across the region will use social media on a monthly basis.

As programmatic media buying gathers steam in the region, more advertisers will seek to layer data into this channel and achieve better branding results in their target demographics. A brand’s own data can add considerable weight to the performance of their digital advertising efforts.

Which brings us to an important point: not all data is created equal. The quality, or accuracy, of individuals’ data – and, importantly, the manner in which the data is used – largely depends on the institution that collects that person’s information. There are three types of these institutions, but we’re going to focus on first-party data: data that is owned by a company, usually the actual marketer.

First-party data is widely regarded as the most important type of data because it holds the most advertising value:

  • It’s the most cost-effective data. Since the data is volunteered directly from the consumer to the company, the company doesn’t have to pay additional fees to make use of the data for advertising.
  • It’s the safest data. Since the individual willfully consented (or “opted-in”) to providing their information to the company, there are no privacy issues. This stands in direct contrast to second- or third-party data, where an intermediary will sell or transfer an individual’s data to the marketer in exchange for something else of value.
  • It’s the most accurate data. Since the data is coming directly from the individual, it’s the most reliable.

There are multiple different capture points for marketers to leverage to gather the requisite knowledge about their clients, but the most popular are: search history and webpage visit data, social media data, location-based/check-in data, loyalty program sign-up data, and purchase history data.

Through these different channels, brands can paint a very thorough picture of who an individual is, what they’re interested in, and how best to reach them at any given point in time.

The strategic deployment of data for ad targeting will vary based on specific marketer objectives. However, we believe that data use will only increase and should be a central component of every marketer’s plan – in Southeast Asia, and in every market worldwide.

Susan Salop

Susan Salop is the Vice President of TubeMogul in Asia.