The Importance of 1st Party Data and How To Effectively Use It

Written by Beth Walter, Sr. Product Manager – Digital Marketing

April 7, 2021

Last week, we looked into Our Cookie-Less Future, and how these changes will benefit the Big 3 (Amazon, Google, and Apple) who own the Lion’s share of 1st Party Data. This week we discuss ways for dealers to harness the power of their 1st party data.  First, let’s define 1st Party data: it is the information you collect directly from your audience or customers.

Dealers, many of whom have been around for quite some time, have amassed 1st party data in their DMS and CRM systems. They have information on customers like the types of vehicles they have purchased, how often they purchase them, and how often they service them. This is a goldmine of valuable data that can be used for various marketing activities.

Let’s categorize those marketing activities into a few broad categories, that will make it easier to discuss how to effectively use each categories data for marketing outreach efforts.

  • Category #1 – One-off Campaigns (Upsells/Cross-Sells, Seasonal)
    • These are campaigns that you run having sorted your data using certain filters.  There’s a great incentive on the new 2021 model, filter for everyone who has that same model  3+ or older.  Need to fill the service bays, look for people who have not been into service for 12 months.
  • Category #2 – Constantly-On Drip Campaigns
    • These campaigns are typically part of a pre-set customer communication campaign that lets a customer know when they are due (or overdue) for service and reached out at key points in their ownership cycle.
  • Category #3 – Look-Alike Audiences
    • Look-Alike audiences have come a long way.  You can filter your data for a particular data set (for example, pickup truck) and find people with similar characteristics and market to them.

This is not really new. What has changed, however, is the channels that you can use your data to run campaigns. Historically, dealers have used their 1st party data to run email and direct mail campaigns.  These remain effective marketing channels for the usage of 1st party data.

Let’s look into the new channels that you may not even have considered for using your 1st Party data.

  • CTV/OTT – Rather than run a TV to everyone on Broadcast or Cable TV, sort your audience, create a specific audience and reach out to those people specifically on CTV (Sling, Hulu, etc.)
  • Facebook – Same as above, just use Facebook’s Custom Audience Builder and upload your CSV file. 
  • Google Custom Audiences for Search, Display, and YouTube – Same as above, choose Google Paid Search, Paid Search + Display on the Google Display Network (GDN) or all three, Google Paid Search, GDN, and YouTube.
  • Bing Custom Audiences – same as above.
  • Ringless Voicemail Campaigns – A recorded message gets delivered to a specific list of phone numbers, the customer’s phone does not ring, however, it shows a missed call from a particular number, and a voicemail appears in the customer’s voicemail inbox.
  • Video Campaigns – video display ads can be delivered to a specific customer list through a Demand Side Platform (DSP).

There are a few caveats, a few of the above efforts will require you to have access to a Data Management Platform (DMP), some of the most popular DMP’s include Adobe Audience Manager, LiveRamp and Oracle’s Blue Kai while some will require you to have access to a DSP.

There are size limits to the audience lists, they cannot be too small or the platform (Google, Facebook, Sling, etc.)  will not be able to deliver the message to the customer list.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will dive deeper into each of these tactics, as well as further discuss Data Management Platforms and Demand Side Platforms in greater detail.

Contact your AutoPoint Account Manager today to learn more about AutoPoint Digital Marketing or connect with us today!


AutoPoint dealership and service center software transforms the vehicle ownership experience, bringing together every service necessary for providing unmatched automotive customer service. Our industry-leading tools empower dealerships and OEMs with a robust technology platform that demystifies sales and customer retention.

Our powerful software suite contains every tool dealerships and OEMs need to promote sales, launch effective digital and email marketing campaigns, provide maintenance support, supply proper documentation, and increase customer retention. Our comprehensive software solution supports you every step of the way so that you can ensure top-notch customer satisfaction.