Glossary | F | First Party Data

What is First Party Data?

First-party data is information that a company collects about its customers and prospects, based on direct interactions. 

This can include data that people share with a company, such as their name, email address, transaction history, visits to the company’s website, apps, or physical stores, and other information. Companies use first-party data to build customer profiles and segment their customers into categories for future marketing activities. 

For example, if someone buys something online, they typically share their name, mailing address, email address, and product preferences with the company they purchased from. That company can then use that first-party data to personalize future ads for that specific customer. 

First-party data provides several key advantages: 

  • Control and ownership: In most cases, companies have full control and ownership over their own first-party data and can use it to segment customers and build targeted ad campaigns. In some places, customers can request that companies delete their personal data. 
  • Accuracy and reliability: First-party data is typically more accurate and reliable than third-party data, because it’s directly collected from the source. 
  • Relevance and context: First-party data is directly relevant to a company’s business, and can provide signals around customer behavior, allowing the company to better tailor content to each of their customers. 
  • Data privacy and compliance: Regulators have historically focused heavily on third-party data brokers and their practices, rather than companies that gather first-party data. Companies have greater control over their own data privacy practices and can build compliant policies around data collection and use. 

First-party data is a valuable resource for companies, allowing them to better understand their customers, personalize their customers’ experiences, and build targeted ad campaigns.