First, Second & Third-Party Data: What’s the Difference, and How Is Each Used in Mobile Marketing?

By AppLift | August 10th, 2015

It’s often been said that data will be the oil of the 21st century. Now, when managing an advertising campaign for the mobile realm, it’s important to know the differences between types of data and how you can best leverage them for your needs. Here are just a few insight on the various kinds of data, and why each is potentially valuable to your marketing efforts.

First-Party Data: Generally the Most Valuable

First-party data is data which you have collected about your customers yourself, and it is usually the most desirable type. It can be demographic data provided by your users themselves, or behavioral data that your collect. For example, it may come in the form of website visits on a mobile device or interactions on a Facebook page.

After gathering first-party data, you for instance could tweak an advertising campaign so it more accurately reflects your customers’ needs and wants. That’s especially true if first-party location-based data indicates that you’re getting a higher-than-normal amount of traffic from a certain geographic area. In that case, you could target a mobile advertising so people in specific areas are more likely to see your advertisements than those who live elsewhere.

First-party data also enables targeting of returning customers. By creating calls to action based on things people have bought in the past, you can deliver a highly customized shopping experience that suggests what they’re most likely to buy. Amazon uses first-party data to display what customers may want to buy next. Assuming you have a mobile-friendly eCommerce site or an app that allows direct purchases, a similar tactic could cause a person to linger and browse for more items on their smartphones, rather than just buying one item and then navigating away.

Second-Party Data: The Data that Comes Along the Way

You can get second-party data through a direct relationship with another entity or simply through media buys.

Source: Ad Week

Second-party data is any data that gets relayed along the media buying activities, such as the user device model, the location of the user, the OS version they use, or the application or mobile website the ad opportunity is available on. This data is sometimes the most valuable for a mobile marketer to use for segmenting audiences into targeting categories.

For example, if you are a mobile marketer offering a product suitable for tech-savvy, early adopters, second-party data helps you target those early adopters by targeting your campaigns to the most high end devices with the most latest OS version, making your marketing campaign more effective by focusing your message to relevant audiences.

Third-Party Data: Collected by Specialty Companies

Third-party data is purchased on a massive scale from data management platforms (DMPs) and then sold to marketers and businesses. BlueKai, eXelate, Peer39, and Nielsen are just a few of the most prolific companies that collect, store, sort, and sell third-party data, also known as data aggregators.

The key benefit of DMP offerings is the broad and expansive amount of data that is available. It is also useful for targeting based on consumer behavior and demographics. Marketers are able to analyze all types of audience data to get more well-rounded insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns, and can adjust their plans accordingly. One potential drawback, however, is that third-party data isn’t provided on an exclusive basis—other competing marketers can also purchase and access it.

Survey responses are one type of third-party data. By reviewing what people said when answering survey questions about what their ideal app would include, for example, you could build a mobile app that’s almost solely driven by user feedback.

Now that you know the differences between data types and why each is valuable when building or marketing a mobile app, hopefully you’re more equipped to develop your app and promote it effectively.

Which type(s) of data are you leveraging? Let us know in the comments!

AppLift is a leading mobile ad tech company that empowers mobile app advertisers to take control of every stage of the app marketing lifecycle. AppLift’s programmatic platform, DataLift 360, enables advertisers to launch their apps as well as grow and retain quality users from one interface. With DataLift 360, app marketers can programmatically access all major mobile ad inventory worldwide and control their campaigns through a single proprietary technology platform, which provides advanced data integration as well as extended targeting and audience management capabilities.

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