What You Need to Know about First-, Second-, and Third-Party Data

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
April 04, 2019

For advertisers, marketers, brands, and others who depend on audience-related data, it’s critical to understand the difference between first-party, second-party, and third-party data.

The key to making the most of your ad budget is by taking advantage of all available forms of data and intelligence about your customers and audiences while managing digital advertising campaigns. In this way, you can determine how to most efficiently and effectively reach your desired audiences.

ZypMedia uses three primary kinds of audience data, depending on what’s best, to optimize ad campaigns to meet customer goals: first, second, and third party. Keep reading to find out more about these various types of data.

First-Party Data

First-party data is the data that you collect directly from your customers and is generally thought of to be the most valuable to your business. Some sources of first-party data include:

  • Data from behaviors, actions, or interests demonstrated across your website or mobile app (e.g., pages visited, time spent on your site, and referral sources)
  • Data you have in your CRM (e.g., sales engagements)
  • Subscription data
  • Social data (e.g., social profiles)
  • Marketing automation data (e.g., newsletter sign-ups or forms filled out)
  • Beacons (e.g., areas of a venue visited)

First-party data can also include non-online information such as completed surveys, customer feedback, and other customer information stored in your CRM database.

First-party data is highly valuable because of its quality and the amazing results it can bring for your brand and your right audiences. It is straight from the source and very relevant to your business as it comes directly from your audiences.

At ZypMedia, the first-party data onboarding is done using other data-onboarding platforms like LiveRamp.


Second-Party Data

While second-party data is a relatively new concept compared to first- and third-party data, it can be extremely useful if you find the right data set.

Second-party data is almost like your first-party data in that it is also audience data that’s been collected by a direct relationship, except that it just wasn’t collected by you. An example of second-party data is the data you might get from a partnership with a business that’s offering products or services complementary to your own.

Another example is keyword data from Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). When someone googles a keyword, they’re not giving that information to you. They’re giving it to Google, and you’ll get it because of your relationship with Google Ads.


Third-Party Data

Third-party data is data that is bought from outside sources that are not the original collectors of that data. This data is bought from large data aggregators that pull it from various other platforms and websites where it was generated. These aggregators pay publishers and other data owners for their first-party data.

Data from a third-party is powerful when you combine it with your first-party data.

Third-party data is great for demographic, behavioral, and contextual targeting and can be used to remove bot traffic. It also plays a very important role in solutions like audience targeting.

Examples of third-party data that can be bought include:

  • Demographics (e.g., household income or number of children)
  • Psychographics (e.g., market research data)
  • Various data collected over time (e.g., website visits to different publishers working with ad platforms)
Third-party data is bought and sold programmatically, which means it happens rapidly and on a large scale. The large volume and broad scope are some of the primary benefits of third-party data.

ZypMedia works with transparency, and we help you gain unique audience intelligence by tapping into our reliable third-party data resources.

When you're ready to use data intelligence efficiently as a part of your digital advertising strategy, we're here to help you accelerate your success!

For advertisers and marketers looking to access cutting-edge marketing technology, ZypMedia promises the full package. Not only do we help media companies, advertisers, and marketers plan and execute their digital advertising campaigns, we also help prevent ad fraud by giving our clients real-time reports.

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Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.