Marketers ‘firing blanks’ by not using first-party data

consumers2First-party data might have been hailed as one of the most powerful weapons in the marketing arsenal but the majority of firms risk missing the target in their personalisation efforts by failing to use it.

According to new findings from Twilio’s fourth annual State of Customer Engagement Report, first-party data is fundamental to driving marketing success and, by extension, business success.

But while the study reveals nine in ten (89%) companies agree that using first-party data in marketing improves customer experiences, over half (53%) of UK brands still rely on third-party data. Three in ten (29%) report using an even mix of third-party and first-party data, 14% use mostly first-party data, and just 5% use solely first-party data.

While Google has postponed its deadline for the phaseout of third-party cookies in Chrome until 2024, the research suggests that the end of cookies is as much about customer demand as it is about their use stopping.

As previously reported, consumers are running out of patience with cookies. Nearly one third (32%) of UK consumers always or often reject cookies on websites, and half (50%) of UK consumers have left a site in the past 12 months rather than accepting cookies.

The data shows that seven in ten (71%) consumers trust that the brands they do business with will only use first-party data in personalisation – revealing a major gap between what consumers expect and current marketing practices.

Organisations have a long way to go to catch up, yet only a third of UK brands (33%) report that shifting to first-party data is a critical priority, and just four in ten (38%) UK companies are prioritising first-party data as part of their personalisation strategy.

Twilio customer engagement consultant Sam Richardson said: “Brands shouldn’t see the transition to first-party data as something that is being forced upon them. First-party data comes directly from consumers, so it is more accurate and better reflects present demand.

“This means there’s a massive opportunity for companies to deliver safe, secure, and highly personalised customer experiences and can have a positive impact on their bottom line.

“With huge potential gains for customer engagement and long-term loyalty, first-party data must be at the core of any successful marketing strategy.”

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