Publisher first-party data: Use cases you should know

Publisher first-party data: Use cases you should know
Thursday, March 14, 2019

From logged-in experiences, to subscription plans, to digital advertising, to offline audiences; publishers hold a vast quantity of first-party data on their customers. This post discusses the ways publishers can leverage their first-party data to provide customers with a better experience and advertisers with a more competitive proposition.

Single customer view

Publishers, like most organizations, hold a variety of disparate first-party data. From multiple CRMs, to offline subscriptions, to online behavioral data; they often face numerous challenges around bringing this data together. For publishers wanting to leverage their first-party data assets, the first step is to connect all this internal data to create a single customer view, and then connect into environments that provide extra value, such as in publisher co-operatives.

There are two key components to successfully connecting data sources: data standardization and identity resolution. Data standardization deals with the problem of the disparate datasets having different schemas, and identity resolution matches identities across data sources to connect different information on the same customer, for example by mapping an email address to a full name and an address.

Compare readership across channels

Once a publisher has connected all their first-party data sources, they’re then able to run analysis on the relationships between the different sources. This could be to discover which customers appear in two CRMs, for example, or connect the dots between customers who use multiple channels and devices. Similarly, a publishing group could compare the readership overlap between different newspapers or magazines, to then avoid advertising to an existing customer.

Bringing this first-party data together can also help to unearth new insights, by bringing more dimensions of data into the mix. Do customers visit different news sites at different times during the day? Does a certain demographic of reader engage with a specific medium of content? Being able to answer these questions helps publishers understand their audiences better, so they can deliver more effective and relevant campaigns.

Drive ad revenue and monetize data

From this unified view of first-party data, publishers can create off-the-shelf custom audiences to sell directly to advertisers. The can also create high-value customer segments, such as customers that are known influencers or are more interactive with content. Nurturing these direct relationships with advertisers is mutually beneficial - as publishers can charge a higher CPM for precise audience targeting and advertisers can run more effective campaigns.

Second-party data partnerships are currently all the rage, as the disillusionment around third-party data grows and companies seek more reliable, accurate and privacy-safe data enrichment. Publishers can also use this unified first-party data as a new revenue stream through data monetization. This could be through collaborating with advertisers to enrich their knowledge and create a Bring Your Own Data network of first and second-party data sources.


Next time, we’ll continue our series by taking a deep-dive into building publisher alliances for a competitive advantage.

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