Is first-party data the new marketing currency in customer targeting?

The next few years present a mix of challenges and opportunities for marketers.

A combination of technological change, legislation, and an inflexion point in societal behaviour means the traditional ways of targeting customers has changed.

The most progressive marketers stand to make gains on the brands not able to respond.

At Herdify, we exist to support brands, businesses and agencies. We are a data business designed to provide a competitive advantage through targeted customer insight. Let’s examine some of the landscape changes:

Customer lifestyle and behaviour change

We all know the impact that lockdown has had on our work habits and routines. The same shift is being seen with future customer behaviour. Traditional patterns, predictable clusters and referral networks have changed. How can brands adapt to these new changes?

The arrival of artificial intelligence – AI – and machine learning in customer targeting

The march of AI in sales and marketing has been well documented but remains in its relative infancy. AI is often used where speed is the priority, or a simple engagement could be supported by things such as chat-bots. Not always to great use.

But Herdify is a new kind of AI and data specialist. We ingest your own 1st-party sales data and use an algorithm – and an emerging branch of network theory – to analyse your sales data, such as date, location, price of a sale.

The output is a report detailing geographical areas where your next customers are likely to be and where your brand or product is gaining the most word of mouth – WOM – referral.

Brand owners and Marketers under increasing commercial pressure to minimise customer acquisition costs – CAC

Full attribution remains an evergreen landscape for most in marketing, with brands chasing complete visibility of customer behaviour throughout the whole customer journey.

The adage that only 50% of advertising is effective or seen is probably a lament from the 1980s. Still, ad-spend wastage remains an issue, especially when it relates to less digital activity and brand building.

The end of the age of third-party cookies

Digital advertisers have two years to adjust to a future without third-party cookies, although Apple has already started to block location and email tracking. This marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deepen customer relationships and drive growth, for those that do it right.

Research by Deloitte Digital concluded that: “Emotion-driven engagement shows that consumers generally welcome contextually sensitive, coherent brand experiences. Brands should focus on three initiatives: mastering the first-party customer data that they already own, leaning into “walled-garden” media ecosystems and bringing key data-driven functions in-house.” ¹

How can first-party data and AI modernise power marketing?

As marketers adapt to all these changing paradigms, we see the emergence of AI and the power of physical customer location growing in significance.

With a small data set of around 100 transactions, we can predict where the WOM effect is most significant right now and where to spend your marketing to best reach your customers and prospects.

We are offering a small number of simulations to UK brands interested to find out how our platform could work for them.


1  What the end of third-party cookies means for advertisers  /   deloittedigital.com

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~ Ed Barter, Lead data scientist at Herdify

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