Three kinds of marketing data

You can use three types of marketing data to enhance your customer and prospect targeting:

  • First party data is your data. It includes previous customer buying history, how a person interacts with your website and emails (what Eloqua calls their digital body language), their attendance on webinars or physical events, and so on. First party data rules, and it’s inexpensive for you to gather and use.
  • Third party data is bought from data vendors and can include more information about the person or account, what they’ve bought from others in the past, their behavior on other websites (have they recently started researching and reading articles about your products?), what kind of car they drive, have they filed any patents, and so on. Epsilon, Bombora, Harte-Hanks and TechTarget are just a few of the companies gathering and selling third-party data.
  • Second party data is a newer idea and is unique to your company; it’s kind of like private third party data. Second party data is created and collected in partnership with another company but not distributed broadly by data merchants. For example, if you do a campaign jointly with another company, or if you swap data with another company. You’re getting data directly from the source, not through a data merchant, and it may be deeper and tied to particular individuals.

Some companies gather and buy thousands of marketing data points for each contact. Usually they then use predictive analytics to create segments and sometimes even to generate marketing messages.

By using first-, second- and third-party marketing data you can significantly improve the personalization and targeting of your marketing, and its effectiveness.