Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marketers Should Stop Snub of Third-Party Data

Many data-driven marketers seem to suffer from a costly bias that focuses on first-party and second-party data and gives short shrift to third-party data. For example, an April report of the "Data-Driven Marketing Benchmarks for Success" study by Ascend2 and ZoomInfo shows that a company’s internal first-party data is used by 86% of data-driven marketers, but only 49% use data from marketing partners, 32% use data from channel partners, and a mere 27% use data from third-party vendors. Why the third-party data snub? Marketers may assume that first-party data is more powerful, but that power depends on data quality and completeness. In fact, third-party data has a vital role in enriching first-party data by adding key targeting information. Third-party data sets can be appended to first-party data to correct and fill in missing elements such as e-mail addresses, phone numbers, lifestyles, demographics, purchase indicators and more to strengthen customer insights. Second, while first-party data is more powerful for certain marketing goals--such as loyalty programs, targeting and retargeting existing customers, or profiling best customers--it's not going to provide a mailing list of new prospects for growth! Marketers can rent quality third-party data and segment these specialized data sets to target prospects by factors such as demographics or firm-ographics, trigger events, location, recency, purchase history, and more. Marketers also may assume that even second-party data from partners is of higher quality than third-party data. First, that ignores the inherited quality problems and integration issues of second-party sources. Second, more high caliber third-party data is available today than in the past. Marketers can further ensure third-party list quality by working with a data-independent provider, by selecting aggregated data from multiple quality sources and files, and by making sure all data is frequently updated and hygiened. For more on the power of third-party data for direct and digital marketing, read

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