Avoid pitfalls of second-party data
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How to avoid the pitfalls of second-party data

  • 3 min read

There’s no question about the value of customer data. But when brands only gather data about their customers’ interactions with them, they’re only gathering a snapshot. Every customer has a rich life outside their relationship with a brand. The key to surprising and delighting those customers is to get an understanding of that other life. And the key to getting that insight is second-party data.

Second-party data is a new and exciting field. It’s full of pitfalls for the unwary. It’s also packed with possibilities.

You can understand the possibilities by downloading our latest ebook – Second-Party Data IdeaBook: Creative ways to unleash the power of your data. It introduces the five main second-party data use cases and explains the opportunity, method, and potential results with second-party data tactics. It then explores how a range of industries can take advantage of the unique, creative opportunities these five main use cases enable.

But first, let’s take a look at some of those pitfalls so you can start your second-party data journey with confidence. What are the five key issues facing second-party data use:

  1. It’s not about selling consumer data
  2. It’s an emerging area…but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules
  3. It isn’t a case of pick a partner, any partner
  4. It’s more than just adding insight to campaigns
  5. The old ways are not always the best

Let’s explore them a bit further.

1. It’s not about selling consumer data

Second-party data partners may choose to share data with one another under different commercial models. In some cases, one data owner may charge a fee for a partner to access some of their data, or services powered by their data. In other cases partners may choose to exchange data for mutual strategic benefit.

Regardless of commercial model, it is still vital to be transparent about how you’re using your customers’ data – and give them a chance to control the use of their own data.

Businesses with an open and transparent approach are in a position to create stronger customer relationships that are based on trust.


2. It’s an emerging area… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules

Second-party data might be an emerging area, but ethical handling of data isn’t. The same rules apply in second-party data as they do in first-party and third-party data. It means it makes good sense to partner with an expert in the field such as LiveRamp. A good partner will be best placed to listen to your business challenges and describe the solutions they can provide, as well as giving suggestions on the right legal and ethical questions to ask.


3. It isn’t a case of ‘pick a partner, any partner’

There are many brands you could partner with to share data. But it is important to make the decisions strategically. Are your brands a good fit? Do you share the same ethos? Do you share common goals?

LiveRamp can provide simple “overlap” reporting between partners as a first step towards understanding mutual customer affinity.

When brands are aligned, better results follow, as this case study between Snapchat, Nectar and LiveRamp shows.


4. It’s more than just adding insight to existing campaigns

A new source of data is an opportunity to look at everything in a new light. You could use second-party data to give additional insights to existing creative campaigns or assets. Or you could use it to inspire a new generation of interactions across all touchpoints. Retail is a perfect example of an industry where second-party data can unleash a new level of creativity.


5. The old ways are not always the best

The playing field has changed. Brands relying on first- and third-party data don’t have a full picture of how their customers are interacting at a detailed level with specific related brands. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage compared to brands that are leveraging data from trusted partners – not least with the additional insights that are delivered when combining this with first-and third-party data. Don’t get left behind.


Here’s how to harness the power of second-party data

When used correctly, second-party data is an effective tool that improves the customer experience and helps companies unlock incremental value and new revenue streams.

To start to understand the value it could deliver your brand, download Second-Party Data IdeaBook: Creative ways to unleash the power of your data.