Third-Party Data Provides Volume. First-Party Data Gives You Accuracy.

There’s a ton of marketing data, and terms, out there. And when the two are combined we get more terminology – and confusion!

Here’s a look at first-party, second-party and third-party data.

First-Party Data:

First-party data is information your company owns and collects directly from your customers or audience. That data is collected via a direct relationship with that consumer and comes from website visitors, social media followers and other sources.

It’s referred to as “first party” because the data is collected firsthand, by your company or a first-party consumer data compiler.

First-Party data includes:

  • Customers’ transactional data and credit card type
  • Email addresses
  • Zip codes
  • Actions taken on your app, website, product and emails
  • Social media profile data and activity
  • Data from email and newsletter subscribers
  • Survey and customer feedback
  • CRM info
  • Registration info from loyalty and rewards programs
  • Customer service data

First-party data is by far the best marketing information you can have. It comes directly from your customers, making it highly relevant and accurate. You own it, letting you use it as often as you want to.

Since first-party data is so reliable, it’s great for forecasting future customer trends and making behavioral predictions. You also know exactly where the data came from, reducing privacy issues.

If you don’t have the resources to collect such information you can lease it from first-party consumer data compilers like Take 5 Media Group.

Take 5 gathers data from over 24,000 external data feeds and has a robust, responsive database of 340MM opted-in consumers, 167MM+ email addresses, access to 200MM+ mobile device IDs and more.

See more about the benefits of first-party data in First-Party Data Increases Sales and ROI.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the differences between first-, second- and third-party data:


Second-Party Data:

The marketing mavens at HubSpot note that “second-party data is first-party data that you didn’t collect yourself – in other words, you’re using it secondhand.” You can buy second-party data directly from the source or come to some agreement with a company to obtain their first-party data.

If, for example, two companies are in similar industries, like golf resorts and golf equipment makers, they could create a data-sharing agreement. It could also be advantageous from an intelligence standpoint.

The data experts at Econsultancy point out how “new insights can be uncovered when two companies within complimentary verticals partner up (e.g., hotels and airlines).”

Second-party data includes:

  • Social media info
  • Activity on websites
  • Customer surveys
  • Mobile app usage

If you go the purchase route, you could use it to expand your existing first-party data. Just make sure the second-party data comes from a reputable source and isn’t redundant.

Third-Party Data:

Third-party data is purchased from an outside source (sometimes called an “aggregator”) that did not originally collect the information. The third-party data aggregator compiles and anonymizes the info and does not have a direct relationship with the consumer.

These aggregators also pay data owners and publishers for their first-party data, compile it into one huge data set and then package it as third-party data. This type of data is often used to boost first-party data but is more opaque and not as accurate as first-party data.

Here’s one way third-party data aggregators create a segment: someone might not provide their household income online or in a warranty registration but the third-party aggregator would put that person in a specific income bracket based on other information the aggregator has.

Third-Party Data includes:

  • Birth dates
  • Home addresses
  • Credit scores
  • Voter registrations

In many instances the above information is combined with cookie data – searches, click trails and online browsing habits.

While you get volume with third-party data you don’t know the original source of the information. And keep in mind, third-party data is available to the public so your competitors have access to the same consumer information.

The digital marketing and data experts at Jebbit note that “when we use data that our competitors have access to however, we lose any advantage we may have gained through the massive reach of third-party data-based audiences.”

Third-party data aggregators pull together info from different data sets but provide little transparency into how their segments are created. There’s also a high risk that some third-party data could be inaccurate or outdated.

Quick Links – Here’s What We’re Also Covering:

First-Party Data Increases Sales and ROI

Facebook Custom Audience Gets Highly-Targeted

Take 5 Media Group – Digital Marketing and Audience-Building Experts

Take 5 Media Group is one of the nation’s leading compilers of first-party, consumer information. We’re experts at building highly-targeted audiences based on purchase intent, demographics, lifestyle changes and more.

We then use our cutting-edge, digital marketing channels – email, display ad and social media retargeting, geo-fencing and others – to get your message to those audiences.

To find out more, call Take 5 Media Group, Boca Raton, Florida, 561-819-5555, New York at 917-201-7451, or visit our website at