Data Driven Marketing? The difference between 1st, 2nd & 3rd party data

Posted by Zane Furtado on Feb 19, 2015 11:11:50 AM


First-party data, third-party data, even second-party data are all used to help target ads and offers to the right users at the right time. 

Typically, when marketers talk about first-party and third-party data, they’re referring to information they can use to target or tailor ads or offers. This often comes in the form of cookie information they can use to target and track specific users. This data is often “plugged in” to a demand-side platform to help it decide which ad impressions it should buy from exchanges.

First Party Data: The Holy Grail

First-party data is any information that’s collected by an advertiser or a publisher through a direct relationship with a consumer.  In the context of display advertising, first party data is most often cookie-based data, and it can include information gathered from website analytics platforms, CRM systems, and business analysis tools.


An advertiser’s first-party data might include things like customers’ email addresses, purchase histories and behaviors demonstrated across its site. Amazon, for example, uses its first-party data to show users products it thinks they might buy on its homepage. That information can also be used to target and tailor advertising elsewhere across the Internet. 

First party data is always the most useful and valuable, but eventually you’re likely to find yourself in a position where you want to reach an audience that you don’t have first-hand information about. This is where second party and third party data become useful.

Second Party Data:  The Turkey Gravy

Second-party data is a newer concept, but it basically refers to a situation in which one “first-party” gives data to another. For example, a large advertiser such as P&G might strike a deal with a large publisher to gain access to its audience information. As far as P&G is concerned, that information isn’t “first-party” data because it didn’t collect it itself. But it isn’t third-party data, either, which is typically gleaned from a variety of places. The possibilities of 2nd party data are endless, and the key is to seek out, form, and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships.

Third Party Data:  Free for all, well not "Free" but for 'ALL'

Third-party data, as the name implies, is data that a marketer acquires from a multitude of outside sources. It’s basically anything that isn’t first-party data. For example, a third-party data provider might pay publishers to let it collect information about their visitors, and use it to piece together detailed profiles about users’ tastes and behaviors as they move around the Web. This information can then be sold to advertisers to help them target their ad buys. Third party data is great for demographic, behavioral, and contextual targeting, and can be used to remove bot traffic

Advertising will continue to change. And the only long pole is getting publishers and agencies and advertisers to wrap their brains and their cultures around a world that looks very different from the one Don Draper grew up in.

Viewability, personalization and engagement - not impressions - are the new measures of success, and companies can no longer afford to ignore the role that data plays in the success of their campaigns.


Source: Digiday & Retargeter


Topics: DATA