COMMENTARY: Leverage first-party data to power highly personalized customer experiences



Automotive marketers, dealers and lenders today are focusing their customer engagement strategies on data more than ever. However, how — and what — data can be leveraged requires close attention.

Google has announced plans to stop tracking cookies in its Chrome browser by 2022. And, Apple has announced that, as part of the iOS 14 update, it will give users the choice to block the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) at the app level — requiring apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data. 

These changes, coupled with evolving regulations, require marketers, publishers and media buyers for auto and across all industries to have a clear position on first, second and third-party data.

Putting first-party data, first

Like cash, first-party customer-owned data is king. It’s content shared directly by the consumer with a company or brand that they trust. It can often be extremely comprehensive and include very specific data points, such as real purchase intentions or insights into consumer preferences relevant to the brand.

In a recent poll as part of Merkle’s 2021 Customer Engagement Report, 52% of respondents revealed that their organizations have prioritized digital experiences and/or strategies with the goal of collecting more first-party data. Furthermore, capturing and storing first-party data over the next 6 to 12 months is a high (58%) or even the highest priority (30%) among marketers.

First-party data can help automotive marketers create the personalized brand experience throughout the buying journey that consumers desire. At the same time, it gives consumers more control around their personal data to address their privacy concerns. What’s more, this approach allows companies to build direct relationships with customers that will optimize their marketing efforts and cultivate loyalty.

When it comes to data, 1 + 1 = 3

Even with the clear benefits of first-party data alone, its value increases exponentially when combined with second-party data, data that an organization collects straight from its audience and then sells directly to another company, and third-party data, data that’s collected by an entity that doesn’t have a direct relationship with consumers.

How to access this information? OEMs and automotive marketers need to leverage partners where it makes sense to round out their view of their customers, and to accomplish two things:

1. Segment for personalization and targeting value to create additional marketing opportunities and drive loyalty

2. Strengthen private graphs to resolve identities across the multitude of touch points created by consumers across all channels to have confidence that you are making relevant offers to the right customer.

Jornaya, a Verisk Business that operates as the leading provider of behavioral data intelligence in highly considered purchase verticals like automotive, financial services, and insurance, works with marketers to improve the timing and relevancy of their current customer and prospect engagements.

“Our customers start with a focus on enriching their 1st party data with our unique behavioral data attributes that can help them identify in-market shoppers,” said Eli Schwarz, vice president of data strategy and partnerships for Jornaya. “Once it’s clear that a consumer is in-market, the focus shifts to delivering a relevant message that will engage the consumer. The combination of multiple Equifax data elements like wealth and economic insights allows them to develop a comprehensive view of the consumer for a personalized communication that will resonate. This makes it possible to not only learn that a consumer is in-market, but also know that they have the financial capacity to buy and determine what product to offer.”

This is important because simply having access to a growing pool of first-party data will not help auto marketers truly understand and identify preferences and consumer capacity on a one-to-one basis. Online behavioral data helps marketers make the best decisions based on individual consumer actions. Having the intelligence and agility to time and tailor interactions based on actual in-market behaviors ensures engagement at the right time with a relevant message. Simply put, automotive professionals are leveraging expertise from their partners to stitch together the data they’re now collecting from their customers to better identify when to engage — and how.

With access to this more holistic view of consumers, automotive marketers can go beyond simply seeing that an individual is on a website looking at a vehicle. Instead, they can begin to get an accurate picture of who that customer is, see that they are in-market, where they are in the funnel and what they can afford to take the next right step.

Angelica Jeffreys is a visionary sales leader-automotive financial services executive at Equifax. For more information, visit

Source : AutoFinanceNews