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What is 3rd-Party Data and What Value Does it Provide?

Published: July 18, 2016

Author: Feliks Malts

Data is the grease that turns the wheels of digital marketing. If you’re not collecting, using, and making decisions with good data, you’re going to run into a whole host of problems. One of the oft-underutilized forms of data (that you should be using) is 3rd-party data.
What exactly is 3rd-party data? It’s data that was not provided to you by your customers or prospects. This data wasn’t something you were able to collect from your end users. Essentially, it’s data that was collected by a 3rd party and was shared with you.
Why should you care? The value it provides is endless!

What can 3rd-party data do?

3rd-party data has the power to give us an understanding into who our prospects and customers are.
It can help you start to understand the basic demographics of your customers: age, location, gender, marital status, type of company they work for, children, etc. There are over 2,000 types of attributes available through 3rd-party data exchanges.
The data can also help you understand the composition of your customers. What are the variants in the attributes between visitors, people who add something to the cart, and people who actually check out? You can then use the data to buy media more precisely: by defining who is most like your next customer, you can more effectively buy advertising.

How do you get access to 3rd-party data?

There are 3 main avenues for getting 3rd-party data:

  1. Look at different data providers like Axiom and buy from them. This is a pretty expensive option because you pay to have the entire pool, so to speak. This used to be the only way to get 3rd-party data.
  2. You can also access 3rd-party data exchanges. This way you don’t have to have a contract with data providers; it’s like paying for a pool per visit.
  3. Least common: joining data co-ops. Effectively agree to share your data with other companies that share a similar space. This is like a neighborhood buying a pool and pitching in to maintain it.

No matter how you get it, 3rd-party data is a crucial element of modern digital marketing. Make sure you leverage the data to make measured progress in all of your campaigns.

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