First party data is the information you collect directly from your audience or customers and is going to be the biggest ally for tourism marketers in the rapidly approaching cookie-less future.
Why? Google is phasing out third party cookies. What are third party cookies? Basically they are cookies served to websites by scripts or tags from a separate domain (a “third party”), they track history of online behaviors across various websites, and are often set up by ad tech vendors. They have traditionally been the backbone of online advertising up to recently when the need to increase online privacy is required and demanded by consumers.
With the phasing out of third party cookies it is becoming increasingly important that tourism businesses collect and re-focus their marketing and advertising strategies around first party data.
These days, people are hesitant to just give out their personal details, but, not all first party data relies on people filling out a form. Here are 5 examples of first party data you can gather from your audience and customers:
Give valuable/useful content in exchange for contact details
One way you can collect details from your website visitors is by using gated content — offering them something of value such as a guidebook or blog article, and requiring them to provide their email address in order to get the content. Some businesses promote their newsletter, where they advertise deals and promotions, which encourages people to sign up.
Another form of collecting guest details, used often in e-commerce sites and is underused in the tourism industry, is website quizzes. These are a fun interactive way for people to explore your products and get personalized recommendations immediately. The first party data you gather from quizzes is very valuable as it gives you a lot more information about the guest than just a name and email address.
Promoting a competition on your social media channels, newsletter and on your website is another way to gather first party data. To enter, people have to leave their name and email address. Remember you can also take this opportunity to gather a little more about this person, such as are they a family, couple, solo traveler etc.
Customer Feedback Surveys/ Reviews
Customer feedback and reviews are an essential part of understanding your guest experience and what is working and not working for your target audience. Customer surveys are a great way to gather direct feedback from a large sample of your target market, utilising software like Yonder can achieve over 30-50% of guests giving feedback after their experience. It is also essential to link customer feedback with a booking so you can have a clear picture of what is happening for individual guests.
External review sites also give you a snapshot of what your customers are thinking and feeling, although note that this is much smaller than direct feedback as approximately 1-3% of your guests will review you with no prompting. Using review software like Yonder helps to manage all your reviews in one place and start analysing them based on product, review site, staff mentions and more.
Your tourism booking system is full of first party data. Often it sits in the booking system and is not pulled out and used to its full potential. You’ve not only got your audience's contact details but you also have a history of what they have done with you previously, if they are a family or couple, food preferences and so much more. The best way that we have seen businesses use this data is to pull it out and put it into a CRM system. Popular CRM systems used in the tourism industry include Active Campaign and Mailerlite.
Google can provide you with comprehensive data about your website visitors — Their behaviour while on your site, the type of device they use, the location and the search terms they’re using to find you online. To capture and view this data, make sure you have Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics up and running in the background of your website.
Important: Please note that before you start collecting first party data please ensure that your data collection methods for first-party data are GDPR and country specific compliant.