Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

89% of companies believe that first-party data improves customer experiences

Research from customer engagement platform Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), has found that first-party data is fundamental to driving marketing success and, by extension, business success.

Twilio’s fourth annual State of Customer Engagement Report reveals that nine in ten (89%) companies agree that using first-party data in marketing improves customer experiences.

However, two years on from Apple’s IDFA changes, over half (53%) of UK organisations still rely on third-party data. Three in ten (29%) report using an even mix of third-party and first-party data, 14% use mostly first-party data, and just 5% use only first-party customer data.

This is the second set of UK data to be released from Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement Report, based on a survey of more than 4,700 B2C leaders in key sectors across the world, plus a parallel survey of over 6,000 global consumers. The study also incorporated data from Twilio’s own customer engagement platform, including Twilio Segment, the leading customer data platform (CDP) for 2021 market share according to IDC.

While Google has postponed its deadline for the phaseout of third-party cookies in Chrome until 2024, the research suggests that the end of cookies is as much about customer demand as it is about their use stopping. 

As previously reported, consumers are running out of patience with cookies. Nearly one third (32%) of UK consumers always or often reject cookies on websites, and half (50%) of UK consumers have left a site in the past 12 months rather than accepting cookies.

The data shows that seven in ten (71%) consumers trust that the brands they do business with will only use first-party data in personalisation – revealing a major gap between what consumers expect and current marketing practices.

Organisations have a long way to go to catch up, yet only a third of UK brands (33%) report that shifting to first-party data is a critical priority, and just four in ten (38%) UK companies are prioritising first-party data as part of their personalisation strategy.

Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio, commented: “Brands shouldn’t see the transition to first-party data as something that is being forced upon them. First-party data comes directly from consumers, so it is more accurate and better reflects present demand. This means there’s a massive opportunity here for companies to deliver safe, secure, and highly personalised customer experiences and can have a positive impact on their bottom line. With huge potential gains for customer engagement and long-term loyalty, first-party data must be at the core of any successful marketing strategy.”

Twilio’s State of Consumer Engagement Report 2023 can be found here.