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Third-Party Data vs First-Party Data: Differences & Tips for 2024

Published: February 20th, 2024

Third-party data has been the de facto standard for doing business but privacy regulations are evolving and consumers are fed up with having their personal information bought and sold without their knowledge.

First-party data empowers businesses to build consumer trust and get more profitable outcomes from their customers. Let’s dive in.

What is third-party data?

So, third-party data? It’s basically info collected about you by someone who’s not the company you’re dealing with. It can be anything from your age group to what you do online. Sounds handy, right? Well, not always.

See, since this data’s coming from some other source (aka a third party), there’s no guarantee it was gathered the right way, following all the privacy rules. Plus, it might not even be accurate or up-to-date.

And here’s the kicker: getting hit with super-personalized ads from a company you’ve never even heard of? Kinda weird, right? It can totally put you off and make you feel like your privacy’s been invaded.

Where do third-party cookies fit in?

When we dive into customer data, especially for marketing and ads, we’re tackling privacy, compliance, and making things personalized all at once. But it’s important to understand the difference between third-party data and third-party cookies.

Third-party data, as previously discussed, is info collected by a company that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the customers the data is about.

Now, a third-party cookie? That’s a tiny piece of data that some other website sticks in your browser when you’re browsing elsewhere. They’ve been super handy for retargeting and online ads, but browsers like Safari, Google, and Firefox are phasing them out due to privacy concerns.

First-party data vs third-party data

Now, we get to the part we care about: first-party data (fpd). First-party data is basically the opposite of third-party data. It’s the stuff a company gathers directly from its customers, like what they look at on the website, what brought them to you, or their buying history.

So, what sets first-party data apart? Two big things: privacy and personalization.

Privacy is King

With first-party data, the company is the one collecting and taking care of it. You have total control over it, and you can tweak it as needed to respect your customers’ wishes, like honoring requests to stop contacting them or delete their info (something that Bread & Butter provides out-of-the-box 😉).

But with third-party data, who knows where it came from? Only the first collector does, and once it’s sold and passed around, who knows what’s been done to it? And with new compliance standards it’s becoming less reliable all the time.

Let’s get personal

First-party data is the absolute most effective tool here. It gives you the nitty-gritty details about how your customers interact with your brand. So instead of just guessing what they might like based on general internet trends, you know exactly what they’re into. And guess what? Most folks love that kind of personalized experience. In fact, it has been shown that customers are willing to pay for it.

Where Bread & Butter fits in

At Bread & Butter, we value ethical collection of data and are the absolute best tool for businesses to equip themselves with.

Get more opt-ins

Bread & Butter uses high trust tools that get visitor consent but also guarantee real verified profiles so you’re only chasing real prospects. Check out some of our tools here.

Automated first-party data capture

60% of marketers’ time and efforts are taken with repetitive, time consuming manual work, such as building customer journeys or customer segments. With Bread & Butter, you stop wasting time on these activities and can skip directly to analyzing the data that’s being captured.