Demystifying customer data

First, second, third party data? What are the differences?

The digital advertising market is rapidly changing and, with it, the terminology used to describe the different types of customer data available. These terms are, however, often used interchangeably by publishers. Effective customer data management first requires an understanding of the subtle, but crucial, differences between them. Here are some common data terms you may come across in any one advertising transaction:

  • Data collection - A process of collecting insights on your customers (current and potential) through web analytics. Used to build profiles on your audience to inform advertising strategies.
  • First-party data - Owned, but not voluntarily or ‘declared’. This type of data is local to that site and used to make assumptions about a browser's behaviour.
  • Second-party data - Another publisher’s first-party data, shared by consent through a contracted partnership.
  • Third-party data - Information collected by companies that don't have a direct relationship with consumers. Not a company’s own, and aggregated from external sources.
  • Zero-party data - Any data that a customer proactively and deliberately shares with a company. Essentially the same as ‘declared data’.
  • Declared Data - Given with consent and acquired only via a logged in subscription model, with demographic data associated with each user. Can be used alongside behavioural and contextual targeting to build accurate profiles.

The FT holds first-party declared data for 1.2M+ readers, all over the world. We have been collecting this since becoming a subscription website 20 years ago, and now hold long-term, direct relationships with these users.

Collecting declared user data helps advertisers both from an engagement and monetisation perspective. Declared data enables publishers to build up a user profile that is comprehensive and reliable, allowing advertisers to be highly targeted with their placements, frequency, and messaging.

Declared data can be used alongside behavioural and contextual targeting, allowing us to personalise user experience on and give our commercial partners access to sophisticated targeting solutions.

Please get in touch to find out more about advertising with declared data.