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. These are details your audience has chosen to share with your brand — and that’s what gives it so much power. First-party data might be found through:

  • Form or survey responses
  • Past purchases
  • Previous conversations with your sales team
  • Email and social media engagement

Plus anything else the audience has conveyed to your business directly. And 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

Like most B2Bs, the building materials landscape is a niche market. 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. You can no longer rely on third-party cookies and the targeting parameters that came 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 of 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 again, these scenarios are only possible when you know who your customers are and can target them differently. More of these opportunities will be  amplified as you gather more information from your customers and create a robust first-party database. And as you compile this database, you can begin to segment your audience based on the messaging that’s most likely to resonate with them.

Find new customers that match your target audience

The more robust your database, the more you’ll be able to get to know your audience and understand their behavior. You can then use that information to your advantage. And that’s not just true for the prospects you already have. It can also help you attract new ones. 

Using your database, 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 paid 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 social media channels, emails, and your website helps you understand how customers interact with your building materials brand. These insights can then help you track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make the necessary adjustments to reach more prospects.

As you increase your knowledge of the customer journey (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 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 own priorities. Marketing is working hard to generate leads while sales is focused on closing business. And both are seemingly unaware of — and disconnected with — the other’s efforts.

In most building materials organizations, there can be an internal 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.

To leverage first-party data most effectively between departments, keep the lines of communication open. Sales should know when campaigns hit the market and marketing should understand how and when lead follow-up will occur. More specifically, engage ‌teams in conversations that address the following:

  • Which 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” 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 this data allows for a more personalized and engaging experience for your audience, 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 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.