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First Party Data Report

Learn how to use your First Party data more effectively in order to increase ROI by providing better customer experience, increasing lifetime value of the customer and gaining deeper understanding of their needs.

We worked with YouGov to answer these questions and more, so sit back and have a read below.
The Great Data Puzzle: First party data, customers want to protect it; you want to use it.

So, what’s your next move?

The power to disable selected cookies has finally given customers a degree of control over their data, how its used, stored and shared.

It’s far from a perfect system, but it’s a step in the right direction and will, we can only assume, become more sophisticated with further iterations.

As our digital landscape continues to shift beneath our feet, the challenge now lies in finding new and better ways to relate to the customers you already have, and earn the trust and loyalty of those you want.

Our new research reveals insights that shape the path to creating meaningful, valuable customer relationships – without the need for digital stealth.

01.
The Cost Of Stealth

61%
of people are not comfortable with businesses knowing their online behaviour
70%
of people think that companies collecting data on customers is an “immoral” practice
Source : Rehab Agency YouGov Report Summer 2021
The culture of digital advertising, tracking and cookies has a lot to answer for.

It’s damaged people’s trust in all companies because they can’t easily spot the honourable from the self-serving. Breaking news like the Cambridge Analytica scandal popped red flags with consumers, showing them how a breach involving their personal data could affect them. Add to this the numerous viral disinformation posts about technology “listening” to people’s conversations and spying on their communications, and you have a serious trust problem.

The solution starts with transparency. Brands must explain honestly what data they’re collecting, how they’ll store it, how they’ll use it, and whether (and with whom) they’d like to share it. They must show customers exactly what value will be created for them by spelling out the ways in which their interactions with the brand will be enriched.  

Only through offering clear, honest information in basic terms can we start to dispel some of the misunderstandings that have become widespread. It’s too easy to believe that our devices are listening to us when we’re served interior design ads the day after consulting a mortgage broker, or when ads for far-flung places pop up just after we voice the need for a break.

The truth of it is that we’re not as mysterious as we’d like to think we are. Algorithms have become so good at predicting our behaviour, they can target us with what feels like personalised information. It’s why Google can afford to ditch third-party cookies.

02.
The Value Of Privacy

35%
of people would be interested in paying £5 for a version of WhatsApp that wouldn’t share their data with Facebook’s other companies
Source : Rehab Agency YouGov Report Summer 2021
The immediate takeaway from this statistic is that it demonstrates the strength of people’s feelings.

They are so keen to ringfence their data to stop Facebook’s companies using it to sell to them that they’re willing to pay for a service they can currently use for free.

This is a pretty direct result of some poor decisions by tech companies in the past, which have chipped away at people’s trust and shown them how their online behaviour can be monetised – to the detriment of their experience.  

If an experience or service is genuinely valuable, people will pay for it. The key is to pin down exactly which moment or element of a service solidifies its value to the people who use it. That’s where the gold in the service lies, and that’s where the biggest opportunities can be found. Rather than earning through ad revenue and treating every transaction as a new customer, plenty of services and platforms offer subscription models.

They bring in money, they strengthen a relationship with each subscriber, and they quite often yield voluntarily shared customer data (known as zero-party data). Over time, these services can be optimised to better meet their customers’ needs.  
While most people say they wouldn’t agree to share their personal data for any reason, others were more amenable to incentives:
22%
5% discount
20%
free gifts and surprise products
12%
more personalized experience
While discounts and free gifts might pique customers’ interest and warm them up to the idea of sharing their data, they’re not always aligned with the best interests of the brand. A better approach would be to invest in creating a coherent bundle of services and experiences that represent real value to people. A discount or gift is quickly forgotten, so the gesture needs to be repeated to keep customers interested. A bundle that delivers tangible, lasting value will build a long-term relationship.

Deals or bundles so complex that people need to do maths to work out the benefit aren’t going to fly. It needs to be obviously relevant and beneficial.

03.
The Opportunity In Strategy

62%
of people assume their personal data is used to target ads at them.
52%
think it is sold to other companies. 
45%
think it’s used to personalize their experience. 
23%
think it’s used to improve a business’s products and services. 
Source : Rehab Agency YouGov Report Summer 2021
In our experience, less than 1% of non-tech large brands use people’s first party data to inform or improve their products or customer experiences, which is a huge opportunity lost.

Collecting meaningful data (and not just gathering all the data available) can offer a window into people’s behaviours, wants, and needs. In the right hands, such information provides a roadmap to world-leading products and services that evolve and grow as people move through their lives. 

Most companies capture data but usually have a basic CRM strategy. Developing a strong first-party data strategy that enables constant collection only of the most relevant, informative data is essential for generating the experiences that stand out – those that people willingly come back to time and time again. 
62%
of people think the companies they interact with don’t understand their needs.
16%
think they do. 
Frankly, they’re probably right, and this represents a huge opportunity to those willing to invest in the right first-party data strategy and follow through on what the data is telling them. 

04.
The Fall Of Ads And Cookies

53%
of our respondents buy products based on ads once a year or less.
Source : Rehab Agency YouGov Report Summer 2021
We’re seeing a general decline in the effectiveness of advertising, which radically increases the cost of acquiring each individual customer.

42.7% of global internet users now use ad blockers. This, along with the rise in VPNs, and subscriptions that mute ads is reducing the number of people ads can reach, but there’s a secondary problem here, too. The fact that people actively seek ways to liberate themselves from ads indicates a breakdown in the relationship between advertisers and the people they want to reach. They’ve had to put up with the noise of brands clamouring for their attention for a long time now, and the chance to silence some of them is often too good to pass up.  

Brands would be well advised to break from what they’ve always known, and redirect ad spend to investing in crafting the kind of experiences that help people, that are enjoyable to use, and that make people want to keep coming back.  

86.4% of internet browsers will no longer have third-party cookies by 2022. This is great news for people who are fed up of being chased around the internet and pestered, and it hands more power to the companies that have first party data – namely, the tech giants. Brands should skip the middleman and go directly to the tech giants to investigate the most effective ways to use the first party data they have, and to collect the right new data to help them progress.

For clarity, this means they must gather their own data and stop relying so heavily on the large technology companies.

05.
The Reality About Personalisation

39%
of people would prefer a personalised experience
over a generic one. 
Source : Rehab Agency YouGov Report Summer 2021
People do want personalised experiences, but most people’s reference points are focused on advertising rather than services they’ve sought out themselves.

Their expectations of personalised experiences are low because too few brands have been willing to invest in a human-centred approach to serving their customers. Nike is doing this brilliantly, earning their customers’ loyalty and trust through a membership offer that works well for them. The result is that they’re willing to share their data because they can clearly see what’s in it for them.  

The best personalised experiences in our future will be those built with people at the centre of every decision, and will be enhanced by a network approach to data. Embedding data capture into the experience with absolute clarity and transparency will reassure people that their data is being used for their own benefit – they should be able to see a return on their investment. As more people use a service, the network of data will enable it to use what it learns about them to better serve the next customer.

Delivering value to the customer in this way ultimately creates sustainable value for the business. A great example is Honest Co., which listens constantly to its customers to continuously develop its understanding of how families prioritise and make decisions. This understanding clearly pays off for both sides of the relationship.

06.
Find Out More

Companies that don’t take advantage of their first party data for all it’s worth are missing out on significant opportunities to deliver exceptional customer experience, a greater understanding of their customers and their lifetime value. It’s six times more expensive to win a new customer than to retain an existing one.
With cookies being on their way out of the door, brands will need to provide customers with more value and more reasons to trust in their relationship. Getting it right means pulling technology and marketing together to manage a strategic shift, with absolute transparency on why personal data is collected and how it’s protected. 

As we march towards Web 3, any organization that hasn’t already started preparing for it needs to get on it. And soon. 
Speak to one of our strategists today to explore the benefits for your business.
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