Carbon DMP | Why first party data is more important than ever

2019 feels like a perfect storm for digital advertising.  Apple’s ITP 2.2 and Firefox are rolling out as are the changes from Google’s Chrome browser; while regulators are turning up the heat on GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and others e.g. Marriot’s £100m fine and British Airways £183m fine. These pressures plus continued research from the likes of the ICO will continue to challenge how marketers collect, leverage and monetise data leading to significant market shifts and increased transparency.

One of the key shifts brought about by these changes & pressures is the move away from a reliance on 3rd Party cookies and demand for more first party data and privacy protected ad models.

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Rising demand for First Party data as Third party cookies crumble

Given that third party data isn’t a brand’s own data, often aggregated & anonymous with no knowledge of where or how it was collected, its increasingly considered ineffective and non-compliant.  Furthermore moves from Google, Apple, Mozilla and others to block third party cookie targeting will force marketers to work harder to reach consumers using data and find new targeting routes.

As a result, marketers are working with more first party data either directly or with supply partners that have or can provide them with easy access to it. Brands want to use privacy compliant data to fuel advertising in brand safe environments; whether that’s using their own first party data, or accessing first party data from publishers to establish audience crossover for targeting or find audience lookalikes to increase their reach.  Publishers want first party driven monetisation tools, whether that’s selling their data directly via marketplaces or offering inventory based on their first-party data.

GDPR was just the beginning of accelerating the demand for risk-free buying options, driving programmatic direct deals and second party data partnerships.  The reduced reliance on third party cookies will speed up this demand.

What is First Party and Second Party data?

First-Party Data is a brands’ own data collected via their own properties.  For instance, Carbon DMP’s parent – Clicksco – has a network of price comparison, review, ecommerce and content sites that provide us with vast amounts of first party data – primarily intent data.  However, we also have a number of 1st party data partnerships with other data providers to enrich ours and clients’ data. Users of Carbon DMP bring with them their own 1st party data as well as accessing Carbon’s first-party data.

When a brand’s first party data is shared with others directly or via a data marketplace/exchange it is often referred to as second party data.

Check out our infographic looking at the drivers for First Party Data

How is first Party data collected & unified?

Tag Deployment

By dropping a first party tag onto your sites – whether through a tag manager or manually added to the site code – you can collect user data.  Depending on the parameters of the tag, you can collect a range of data including demographic, psychographic, interest and intent data from multiple channels, platforms and devices.  This data can then be unified within a central system of records/IDs to provide a complete 360-degree understanding of existing and potential audiences, which subsequently fuels more accurate segmentation and activation to generate revenues. Carbon offers a comprehensive, fully secure and completely compliant first party cookie based tag.


When it comes to structuring and organising data signals, the taxonomy is a key element as it can determine subsequent audience analysis, segmentation and activation.  The taxonomy are the terms that data signals are associated with; so a top level taxonomy may include general terms but the deeper the taxonomy can go the better it is.  Carbon’s multi-layer taxonomy means we can go beyond a general interest/intent and drill down further into an interest e.g. Car > Car brand > Car model.


Policies such as GDPR have become the standard for data collection, management and activation. Carbon is fully GDPR compliant with ISO accreditation (27001 and 9001); as well as membership to both the NAI (Network Advertising Initiative) and IAB Transparency & Consent Framework.

Simple tag deployment & multi-layer taxonomy

Driving quick & easy segmentation

What is first Party data used for?


Whilst there may be varying degrees of value in first party data (e.g. demographic, psychographic, interest, intent and affinity), ultimately the data is only valuable if it is from a known & trusted source, and meets compliance standards.  Using trusted first party data enables advertisers to safely target in-market audiences with personalised ads across web and social, or find lookalike audiences.


First party data enables publishers to maximise the value of their inventory, whilst it can also power site personalisation and be sold separately through data marketplaces.  Enriching their audience data with advertisers’ first party data allows them to provide more accurate targeting options to advertisers to therefore maximise the value of inventory further – through programmatic direct deals for instance – as well as maximising the value of that data on data marketplaces.

Carbon DMP gives advertisers and publishers access to unique first party intent data that they can unify with their own data within the platform to enrich their own audience data, which can then be analysed, segmented and activated across the web and social media.

Why Intent data is the most sought after first Party data type?

Data is only categorised as Intent when a consumer is in-market to purchase a specific product or service.  Scoring Intent creates high value audiences through the ability to profile and predict shopping behaviour that can then be targeted across a publisher’s sites as well as social platforms such as Facebook.

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First Party Data: 2019 & beyond

Marketers who rely on targeted campaigns will need to build up their first party data collection, organisation and activation capabilities.  This will mean working with platforms – like Carbon DMP – so that they can inter-operate at scale in first party cookie environments. One area ripe for growth will be data marketplaces.

With regulatory pressures on one side and profit pressures on the other, marketers are turning to transparent first/second party data marketplaces for higher performing audiences.   Data marketplaces can solve the demand challenge for first party data: ensuring the transparency and brand safety that brands require, whilst enabling publishers to better monetise their first party audience data and inventory.  

Furthermore, the advent of machine learning is challenging data marketplaces to do better.  Carbon is a complete 1st party data marketplace. Working with a network of advertisers, publishers and agencies, we automate the process of finding (using machine learning), negotiating and activating direct deals.

The availability of quality, first party audience data and premium inventory comes at the perfect time.  With the duopoly seemingly asserting its dominance, publishers have a golden opportunity to better monetise their inventory through better audience data management, whilst advertisers can gain access to those audiences and inventory at a more attributable cost.


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