How Marketers Are Using First-Party Data and Call Tracking

min read
How Marketers Are Using First-Party Data and Call Tracking

As regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and device-level changes like IDFA reduce the availability of third-party consumer data and as consumer demand for both privacy and personalization escalate, marketers must rely more than ever on their own first-party data. To better understand how this shift is impacting marketing data trends, we created The State of First-Party Data report

Research Background

To create The State of First-Party Data report, Invoca surveyed 500 business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers. These practitioners each oversee budgets of over $1 million across a range of companies and industries, and have at least three years of marketing experience. The marketers we surveyed understand the value that first-party data holds, and most see the opportunity to bridge the gap between online and offline data sources to create a unified strategy and better optimize ad performance. 

The Types of Data Marketers Use Today

  • First-Party Data: First-party data is data that your organization has collected directly from your audience. This could include data from CRMs, website visitors, social media followers, email subscribers, transaction records, and phone calls.
  • Second-Party Data: Second-party data is another company’s first-party data put up for sale. The seller collects this data directly from their audience and sells it to your organization, without a middleman. 
  • Third-Party Data: Third-party data is purchased from an outside broker that did not play a role in collecting the data.
  • Zero-Party Data: Zero-party data is information that a consumer willingly provides to a company. This could be from a survey, form fill, social media poll, quiz, or another similar format. 

Want to learn more about marketing data sources? Check out our blog,What Marketers Need to Know About 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-Party Data.

Why First-Party Data is Important

  • Unlike third-party data, first-party data complies with the latest privacy regulations.
  • Since first-party data is your own raw data, you can ensure its accuracy and integrity.
  • First-party data gives you a competitive advantage since your company maintains exclusive ownership of it. 
  • First-party data is more relevant than third-party data, since it’s data that your existing prospects and customers have willingly given directly to you. 

The Disconnect in Confidence and Strategy for First-Party Data in Marketing

Our research found that marketers today find value and are confident in the first-party data they gather from both online and offline channels. Ninety percent of respondents said they are very confident or confident in purchase history data and 86% stand behind data from their company website. However, only 28% of respondents said they have a fully unified marketing strategy, likely because there are still gaps in the primary channels marketers rely on. In fact, over one-fourth of respondents said they don’t have data on customer interactions from their company website.

Marketers Are Underutilizing First-Party Offline Data

While marketers are also confident in offline data, such as human-to-human conversations, it is an under-utilized source. Eighty-one percent of marketers are very confident or confident in data from in-store interactions, followed by 73% with data from phone calls. While 56% have access to phone call data today, only 8% say it is the top source of data they use to inform personalization. However, our research shows marketers plan to invest more time, resources or monetary budget on offline data sources, with 58% planning to invest more in in-store interactions and 47% planning to spend more toward campaigns that drive phone calls.

Making the Case for Using First-Party Data in Marketing 

"Marketers see better results — and ultimately pay less — by focusing on owning rather than renting data,” said Ian Dailey, senior director of product marketing at Invoca. “However, not all first-party data is created equal, and many marketers miss out on extremely rich sources of data, like conversational data, because they lack the necessary technologies to extract this info or they face organizational silos that prevent access."

To take advantage of the goldmine of first-party data from conversations, Invoca customers can utilize Signal Discovery, an extension of the award-winning Signal AI conversation analytics suite. Signal Discovery is a first-of-its-kind tool that uses unsupervised machine learning to analyze businesses’ calls to automatically uncover conversational insights about their high-intent buyers. Marketers can use these insights to inform customer acquisition strategy, drive revenue growth and improve the buying experience.

The Top Data Challenges Marketers Face

The report also found that marketers today do not face issues when it comes to general access to data; in fact, 31% said a top challenge is that there is too much data to analyze. The other top hurdles marketers encounter when using data to optimize ad performance are data quality and accuracy (46%), followed by privacy and security concerns (42%), and then data that is siloed and difficult to integrate (28%).

When using data to optimize ad performance, marketers cite data quality, privacy, too much data, and siloed data as the main hurdles.

Marketers also understand they need to learn new techniques as technology continues to rapidly develop. While 73% of marketers say they’re confident in their ability to apply data when personalizing campaigns, only 67% say they’re confident actually analyzing data. One in four would like to have more skills to analyze data (26%), and 42% said they will take data analysis training within the next year.  

Call Tracking Use is On The Rise

The Call Tracking Benchmark Report shows that marketers are benefitting from call tracking and analytics by getting insight into the channels and campaigns driving calls, analyzing actual conversations and outcomes, personalizing the caller experience, driving more ROI from calls and more:

What marketers say the biggest benefits of using call tracking are from the call tracking benchmark report

The lion’s share of respondents (93%) who are already using call tracking see phone transactions having a big to medium impact on the company’s bottom line. These marketers are also more confident in their data skills: 74% say they are confident in their skills to apply data when using it to personalize marketing campaigns, compared to 61% of those who don’t use call tracking. And nearly half are able to use call tracking data to link online and offline customer actions. The value they see in call tracking also warrants additional investment, as 78% of those who already use call tracking expect to increase their investment in it in the next year. 

78% of those who already use call tracking expect to increase their investment in it in the next year.

Our Takeaways from The Research

As marketers face new barriers to collecting third-party data, first-party data has become more important than ever. In this new landscape, marketers are filling their data gaps with conversation intelligence from phone calls. Phone calls represent one-to-one interactions between consumers and brands in which people are reaching out for the express purpose of speaking with a brand representative. In these conversations, consumers are explicitly telling businesses why they’re calling, what they want, and what questions they have. In other words, it’s a gold mine of actionable first-party data.

Get the complete State of First-Party Marketing Data with the Call Tracking Bench Report.

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