The value of first-party data has never been higher, and your building materials brand could be missing out on significant opportunities if you’re not leveraging it. In fact, recognizing the worth of first-party data for your marketing efforts opens up a multitude of opportunities to strengthen your campaigns.
However, before we get too far into what first-party data can do for your business, let’s do a quick level-set about what this data actually is.
First-party data is information about your customers (or potential customers) collected directly from the person. That’s what gives it so much power. Your audience has chosen to share their details with your brand. Their hands are raised to let you know that they are interested in you and what you have to say.
Because first-party data comes directly from the source, you can be confident in its accuracy and reliability — and in its ability to improve your marketing efforts.
If you’re not already taking advantage of your brand’s first-party data, here are three reasons why you should reconsider.
1. Boost your targeting capabilities
The B2B landscape is a niche market — even more so in building materials. There’s a very specific (and finite) audience you are trying to reach. That’s why laser-sharp targeting is so important.
But the ways to target your ideal audience are changing. Soon, third-party cookies are going away and they’re taking certain targeting parameters with them. That makes it even more critical to shift your efforts from relying on third-party data to using your first-party data more expertly and efficiently.
Speak directly to your customers
When first-party data is a foundational pillar in your campaigns, it opens the door for you to speak directly to your customers through segmentation. Consider the following examples:
- Customers who purchased specific products can receive messages about a product upgrade or a complementary product
- Seasonal promotions can be directed to audiences in a particular geographic area
- Contractors who have not purchased in a 12-month period can receive a special offer specifically designed to re-engage them
But these scenarios are only possible when you know who your customers are and can target them differently. More of these opportunities are amplified when you can gather more information from your customers and create a robust first-party database.
Find new customers that match your target audience
When you know your audience and understand their behavior, you can use that information to your advantage.
Build look-alike audiences with attributes collected in your first-party data — items like job titles, locations, or other interests. Since these audiences resemble your ideal customer, they are valuable prospects for your building materials brand. Look-alike audiences can be targeted in media campaigns or other marketing efforts to extend your reach. And when you create conversion opportunities for this audience, you increase the number of known contacts in your first-party dataset.
2. Gain a better understanding of your customers
Tracking audience behavior across media efforts and your website helps you understand how customers interact with your building materials brand. These insights can also help you track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make the necessary adjustments.
As your knowledge of the customer journey increases (particularly within the digital landscape), you can optimize the overall experience. By including more relevant messages or conversion opportunities at key points, you can encourage prospects to become loyal customers.
First-party data also proves to be powerful when A/B testing at the campaign level. A/B testing with your first-party audiences provides a more direct opportunity to learn the messaging that best resonates and engages your existing customers. This knowledge will serve you in a variety of ways. Use it immediately to improve the performance of current campaigns. Or refer to it to make more informed decisions about future considerations for media, channels, creative, and messaging to shape your overall marketing strategy.
3. Align your sales and marketing teams
In a perfect world, your sales and marketing teams have a synergistic relationship. However, the more likely truth is that each team is focused on its priorities. Marketing is working hard to generate leads while sales is focused on closing business. And both are seemingly unaware of — and unconnected to — the other’s efforts.
In most building materials organizations, the rub happens because of a perception that the leads produced by marketing campaigns aren’t the customers the sales team is interested in. But anchoring your marketing campaigns with first-party data can drive alignment between these groups.
Keep the lines of communication open. Sales should know when campaigns hit the market and marketing should understand how lead follow-up will occur. More specifically, engage teams in conversations that address the following:
- What campaign messages are generating the most results. These insights can inform sales scripts and follow-up and ensure consistency in the full customer experience.
- “Warm leads” that the sales team is nurturing. The marketing team may have more insight into specific people or companies based on the first-party data. Sharing that information can help the sales team tailor their approach and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
- How attributes and engagement metrics collected from first-party data line up with the current customer profile. If the sales team is reaching out to one customer persona but your data is telling you that the audience engaging with your brand is different, it might be time to update your customer profile or adjust your message.
When your marketing and sales teams are working in lockstep, your campaigns will be more successful and your building materials brand can provide a better overall customer experience.
First-party data drives the most impactful marketing
First-party data is an effective way for your building materials brand to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with your customers. Segmenting it allows for a more personalized and engaging experience for your customers, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty — not to mention an increase in your sales and ROI.
Ultimately, the value and power of first-party data will improve customer experience and enable you to more potently target marketing and sales efforts. In a world that is becoming more data-driven, first-party data is becoming increasingly important. As a marketer for a building materials brand, understanding the impact and taking steps to collect, use, and maintain your business’s data will be paramount to ongoing success.