First Party Data is King

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Programmatic advertising got along with it a lot heavy duty jargons, but the simplest term and the most complex application among all is Data led advertising. This article will help both Marketers and Publishers understand the importance of First party data, the current state of third party data marketplace in India and what exactly to do with all this data.

Inputs by Evgeny Popov who is the Sr. Director of Data Solutions for Lotame – APAC. Evgeny has more than a decade of media advertising, programmatic and advertising technology experience.


1.Decode 1st party, 2nd party and 3rd party data with use case.

Data, data everywhere. First-party, third-party, now there’s even second-party. How do you keep them all straight?

Obviously not all data is equal. Whether you select first-, second- or third-party data, the most important thing is to understand the difference between the data sets available to you, and how they are unique. Data-driven marketing campaigns are useless or nonexistent without the data to run them, but thankfully there is an almost unlimited amount of data available for marketing campaigns.

Source – IAB AU

 2. How important is 1st party data? What if there are companies either Publishers or Advertisers not collecting their 1st party data? What are the first 5 things they should do?

First-party data is YOUR data.

This can include data from behaviors, actions or interests demonstrated across your website(s); data you have in your CRM; subscription data; social data; or cross-platform data from mobile web or apps. This data is collected from your own audience and customers, and it is generally thought of as the most valuable because of its quality. Not only is it the most valuable, but It is available to you for no cost (making it cheaper than 3rd-party data). And most importantly, because of current privacy debates and the questionable future of third-party data, first-party data is safe. Whatever is decided regarding third-party cookies, first-party data will always be your own.

While it is evident the importance of first-party data, it is equally important to define the strategy of data utilization. Use cases and implementations can vary – starting from data monetization, where data exchange would deploy data collection tags to sophisticated DMP scenario, where data collection, organization and activation would be taken care of as part of the data management platform roll-out. All of the above are just examples, always start with “why”, and move to “what” as a next step.

Always start with “why” and then move to “what.”

There are no five specific things to do, I recommend starting with one – which is defining your data strategy and use cases, while taking “crawl, walk, run” approach to advance forward.

Data strategy – Crawl, Walk, Run!

3. What is India as a market in terms of Data buying preference -1st, 2nd or 3rd party? Any future predictions?

India is the country of unity in diversity, and it not a surprise that data marketplace shares the same principle. There is a wide spread on data knowledge from first-party only, to combination of first and second to purely third-party data strategy. It demonstrates diversification in utilization, but also level of data maturity of different business groups. That being said, it is evident, that market has reached its tipping point and ready to experiment with different data strategies.

Five future predictions:

  • First-party data strategy would remain the main focus, while combination of second and third would be seen as complementary and implemented at scale.
  • Economics of third party data would change to accommodate high volume of performance driven campaigns to justify investment and overall ROI.
  • Second party data would overtake third party data consumption due to premium nature of deal with full transparency around derivation, modality and data sources.
  • Third party data players would be laser focused on Data Quality as its primary initiative to drive performance and data efficacy.
  • There will be a rise of data co-ops to battle walled garden duopoly, with the main objective to offer premium and scalable data solutions across all major categories.

4. In India, Lotame is a popular DMP among the leading publishers. Are those publishers monetizing their Data segments?

“First-party data is King”

Everyone knows that any company not collecting and activating 1st party data from their properties is basically leaving money on the table. First-party data is created and owned by publishers and marketers themselves. Taking control of this first-party data should be a priority for any company today who wants to monetize, learn from, and use this asset to scale valuable audiences, deepen engagement with consumers and improve ROI across marketing efforts.

Although, we are unable to comment on specific publisher strategies due to confidentiality agreements in place, it is safe to say that publishers see first-party data monetization as an incremental revenue stream. Part of the on-boarding process to any blind data marketplace is to anonymize the data set and map it to the standard taxonomy (data hierarchy). Due to this process – brand/publisher specific audiences i.e. data segments, can’t be explicitly targeted by buyers, which protects the data supplier yield erosion and direct sales channel conflict. It is very effective and easy to get started with data commercialization.

5. Where is India in terms of 3rd party data marketplace development? What can be done to take it to the next level where every media buyer and seller start using it like commodity?

The problem is twofold: there is perception that third-party data in India doesn’t exist as scale and current economics (CPMs) are simply not working for high-performance campaigns, which are 80% of the market.

To solve this in India, Lotame invested a lot of time and effort to meet with market makers to share expertise and provide enough level of confidence and education around – quality, efficacy and data strategy. With most scalable data offering in the market (200M uniques across desktop and mobile) and on the ground support, which acts as a data intelligent layer between publishers and buyers, it is time to start testing your data strategies. Smart retargeting, dynamic creative optimization and more efficient audience buying should use third-party data targeting wisely to drive the most performance and best ROAS (Return on Ad spends).

6. What are the most popular or high in demand audience segments?

All data strategies are different, so there is no magic or silver bullet to solve audience targeting problem. You would be forgiven as a programmatic trader, searching through hundreds of different data segments from dozens of data vendors within your various DSP’s, for thinking that all third-party data is the same. However, understanding the differences between data providers and the segmentation they offer to the market can prove critical in ensuring the best performance for a given campaign KPI. To help guide you in making sense of this data deluge, here are 5 areas you should focus on, and questions you should ask, when selecting a data provider:

  • Data Collection
  • Data Segmentation & Modeling
  • Data Onboarding Methodology
  • Data Scale
  • Data Quality Initiatives

Lastly, back to the most popular data segments. Just by looking at the past two quarters, we can uncover frequently bought audiences based on usage trend. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Travel, Demographics and e-Commerce data are leading the pack, with Computer & Technology, Finance and Entertainment are following right behind.

Hope the above article helped you in understanding the Data landscape in India slightly better.

For any queries, suggestions, or feedback please write to us on [email protected]

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4 years ago

Great article… specially the point where you mention economics of 3rd party data needs to change. My observation has been that though all advertisers need quality, few are willing to pay a premium for the same. Everything boils down to CPMs & considering that data cost itself is more than media cost at present (in most cases, specially in India), one ends up hitting a dead end. This will change once people at grass roots (agency planners, buyers) who are key touch points to both sides understand the value of data & are not fixated or driven only by price… Read more »

Ashay Padwal
Ashay Padwal
4 years ago

No Doubt – First Party Data is King, however DMP as a service for managing first party data is a DEAD proposition.
Firstly “fit-all” DMP isn’t delivering value to publishers nor is it an out of box solution.
In an era of robust open source options like MongoDb, Couchbase, etc it would not be a wise choice to use proprietary solutions like Lotame. Effort and cost invested in building first party data solution is rightly secured when built on open source platforms.