By Jonny Bentwood, Global Head of Analytics
Democratizing Access and Application of Data
It’s no secret brands have been stockpiling first-party data in recent years, and while it’s already widely in use by the marketing department for advertising, direct/personalized digital marketing, and even customizing experiences online and in-store, it hasn’t been used by social and PR/earned media to its fullest potential. That’s about to change.
What to Expect
This year, we expect PR and social teams to work more closely with owners of first-party data inside their organizations to gain access to richer audience insights and put it to work in new ways supporting earned media and social activations. Pitches will be stronger when infused with unique, owned data, and media targets will be better prioritized when viewed through the lens of actual customers. Social content and distribution choices will improve with a richer understanding of audiences, leading to a bigger return on investment.
How Brands Can Win
The first step is understanding what’s available. PR and marketing pros can get started with first-party data by finding answers to a few key questions:
- What first-party data is already being collected across the organization?
- How is that first-party data already being used in marketing, customer experience optimization and other departments?
- Who owns data inside and is in the best position to share it with social and PR teams?
- How is the data organized and what’s the best way to sync it across platforms and teams who wish to use it?
Second, consider how social and PR activities can help enrich a company’s first-party data. Content such as newsletters, webinars, downloadable forms, surveys, reviews, and contests often created or managed by social and PR teams are great ways to capture first-party data and show communications and organic social can not only leverage – but contribute to – a company’s data-led future.
Why it Matters
As the digital landscape continues to shift away from third-party data and privacy laws continue to tighten, first-party data will be crucial in reaching the right audiences. Social media and PR teams can enhance their current targeting lists with first-party data and create their own tactics to collect user information. Tactics that allow the user to opt-in will be more important than ever.
There are many reasons why PR and communications teams have previously struggled to unlock the data potential held inside their companies. However, the expectation to prove ROI (return on investment) continues to be a pressure point for teams activating across the mix, especially in times of economic uncertainty and budget tightening. Teams that take advantage of data already held inside will see stronger results this year.