What’s the Difference Between First, Second and Third Party Data and Why Does it Matter?

Workdom Marketing
3 min readOct 5, 2021


Your marketing campaign is only as successful as the data behind it. And depending on the type of marketing you’re doing and the types of campaigns you’re running, some types of data will matter more to you than others.

But before we jump into that, it’s important to understand the different types of data and how they are used, so that you can confidently implement the right type of tracking and performance measurement in your marketing campaigns.

What is 1st Party Data?

First party data is the information you collect directly from your customers. This includes data in your CRM as well as subscription data (if applicable) and social data. Any behavior that the user completes across your websites, such as completing a survey or filling out a form, is also considered first party data.

The problem with this data, as rich as it is, is that it lacks scale. It is the collective habits, actions and interests of every person and their interactions on your site or app. But in order to make concrete observations based on the data, first party data can be truly invaluable. It’s also available for free.

Taking actionable steps using first party data can help drastically improve ROI, improve engagement and build better relationships with your customers.

What is 2nd Party Data?

Second party data, in a nutshell, is someone else’s first party data. You can simply purchase this data from the source that owns it, and feel confident about its accuracy. Second party data can include a user’s activity on a website or how they use a mobile app. It can also include social media and things like completed surveys and forms.

In order to access this data, you’ll need to forge a relationship with the company that has the data. It’s worth noting that second party data is a relatively new idea and is not as commonly used as first and third party data, but with the right data, you may be able to tap into a goldmine of information that can help you tailor your marketing campaigns more accurately.

Second party data is also more accurate than if you pulled the data from an amalgamation of different sources. It also has all the benefits of first-party data, but at a scale that you may not be able to get on your own.

What is 3rd Party Data?

Third party data is data that you can buy from sources that are not the original collectors of that information, rather they are data aggregators that pull the information from websites that
gathered it. The aggregator, in turn, pays the publisher or website owner that generates this data.

Third party data is often bought and sold on a larger scale and is ideal for enhancing your existing third party data as well as expanding your audience across different data points than what you could do entirely on your own.

When buying third party data, it’s important to consider the kind of data that’s actually being offered. For example, there’s declared data, which is information knowingly provided by a user, inferred data, which is gleaned from their activity, and observed data, which is gathered by tracking the pages they visit.

Which Type of Data is The Best?

As you can see, each type of data has its own merits and occasional drawbacks or, at the very least, points to keep in mind so that you can tailor your campaigns with better precision. At the same time, understanding which type of data will work best takes a great deal of marketing experience and a deep understanding of the end goals you want to achieve.

If you have any questions about advertising, in using first and third party data effectively and want to get more out of your existing campaigns, contact our experts at Workdom today. Let us help you develop rich data profiles that you can draw upon with absolute confidence, improving your ROI, your conversion rate and your profits in the process.

Originally published at https://www.workdom.io on October 1, 2021.



Workdom Marketing

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