3 Steps To Futureproof Demand Generation And Achieve First-Party Data Maturity

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When Google introduced its Privacy Sandbox, it sent shockwaves through the B2B marketing and advertising community. This move marked the impending demise of third-party cookies on Google Chrome, which commands a significant 65% of the browser market share.

However, the Privacy Sandbox was just one aspect of a larger trend towards enhanced privacy regulations worldwide, notably including the GDPR in the European Union and the CCPA in the U.S. (along with several other state-level regulations).

Despite Google’s repeated delays in eliminating third-party cookies (the most recent in April 2024, following three previous announcements in June of the same year), proactively constructing your first-party database remains crucial for readiness when these cookies are finally phased out.

Investing in this endeavor now offers a notable competitive edge, as many enterprises have sidelined their efforts to adapt to the impending phase-out. This neglect is likely to result in significant disruptions once the Privacy Sandbox is fully implemented.

Indeed, as of 2023, a staggering 75% of marketing and client experience users heavily relied on third-party cookies, with 45% of industry leaders allocating over half of their marketing budgets towards cookie-based activations.

In this guide, I outline a straightforward, three-step approach to fortify your data strategy for the future.

The strategy begins with initiating a demand generation program to gather your initial pool of first-party data, which can then be progressively refined in subsequent iterations while gradually reducing reliance on third-party sources.

1. Survey Clients To Build Up Your First-Party Data

The initial step in constructing your first-party database involves surveying your clients, as they can provide valuable feedback on their buyer experience and the quality of service they receive.

The primary objective of this survey is to gather detailed first-party data, which will inform revisions to your buyer personas and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs), aligning them with the preferences of your loyal clientele. This information will serve as a foundation for guiding your demand generation strategy.

Hence, crafting precise questions that yield actionable insights is paramount for the success of this survey.

Here are four examples of questions designed to elicit valuable first-party data from clients:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [Organization X] to your colleagues?
  • Pain Points: What specific challenges prompted you to consider purchasing a solution from [Organization X]?
  • Unique Value Proposition (UVP): Can you identify three unique features of [Organization X] that you find most appealing?
  • Market Positioning: How would you rate your preference for [Organization X] over [Competitor Y], on a scale of 0 to 10?

Here are some of the inquiries we pose to our dedicated clientele at INFUSE. As buyer personas and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) are imaginative depictions, it’s crucial to consistently enrich them with detailed first-hand data to uphold their precision and significance.


  • Compile a quick reference guide outlining buyer pain points for all customer-facing departments.
  • Review your lead scoring and segmentation methodologies in light of the survey findings.
  • Develop resources such as whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, and other materials incorporating survey insights to distribute to both respondents and your wider audience.

2. Conduct A Demand Program To Gain Audience First-Party Data

After gathering first-party data from surveys, the next step is to create and implement a trial demand generation initiative to fine-tune your data. The aim is to glean insights from significant buyers, enhancing your buyer personas and strengthening your overall go-to-market (GTM) and demand strategies.

Outlined below is a step-by-step process to kickstart your inaugural trial demand generation program and enhance your first-party database:

Start With Owned Media And Social Selling

Initiating your trial demand program by activating your owned media in collaboration with your sales teams is an excellent initial move. It allows for complete control over how you engage your audience and gather first-party data.

Implementing a content marketing strategy proves highly effective in acquiring first-party data. Start modestly, yet aim for a high-value gated asset for this trial period, which will stimulate demand and prompt contact form submissions (lead generation). This asset could be a whitepaper, report, or educational course.

Subsequently, construct a demand strategy centered around this valuable asset to establish connections with your audience and foster ongoing engagement.

For instance, if you choose a whitepaper, complement it with initiatives across various channels. This could involve sharing curated insights on social media platforms and providing sales teams with slides to distribute to potential leads.

The concept revolves around constructing a comprehensive content marketing suite to bolster your demand program across the channels where your audience is active. This approach aims to establish a more robust foundation for brand-to-demand interactions, thereby yielding richer data insights.


  • Cultivate prospects through tailored email sequences to maintain brand visibility and gather additional first-party data (e.g., tracking engagement with specific topics).
  • Produce resources empowering your sales team to distribute high-value assets and generate interest.
  • Generate easily consumable content, like brief social media videos lasting around 30 seconds, spotlighting the value of your content and prompting conversions.

Find A Content Distribution Partner

Finding the perfect content distribution ally can significantly amplify the reach of your demand program and captivate audiences across diverse channels beyond your owned platforms.

Yet, the cornerstone of this quest lies in data quality. The aim is to secure first-party data and collaborate with partners distinguished by their capacity to furnish this data, ensuring its excellence. It should seamlessly integrate with your current dataset, enriching it rather than duplicating insights.

Prioritize content distribution partners housing an opt-in audience within meticulously managed ecosystems. These platforms validate that potential leads have interacted with pertinent content.

This approach enables the identification and alignment of prospects with your buyer personas, seamlessly funneling them towards your organization for deeper engagement.

Content distribution partners typically maintain databases containing prospects and their market segmentation criteria. This guarantees that high-value assets reach potential buyers who align well with your organization and its offerings.


  • Conduct an audit of the content distribution partner, inquiring about their audience segmentation methods and ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations.
  • Establish a structured follow-up system within your organization for receiving prospects from the partner, such as an email sequence providing additional context for the high-value asset.
  • Enhance your outreach strategy by leveraging market segmentation insights gathered by the partner.

By amalgamating first-party data from your owned media and content distribution partner, you’re equipped to execute the demand program until its fruition. Ideally, this process should span at least a quarter to extract substantial insights and gain a comprehensive understanding of prospect interactions. The duration might need to be extended based on your sales cycle.

3. Analyze And Optimize First-Party Data Acquired From Your Demand Program

Once the demand program is set, it’s time to delve into analyzing and enhancing your first-party database. This marks the beginning of an ongoing process aimed at improving data quality and enrichment through strategic optimizations of your owned media and partner content distribution.

Here are four key questions to help steer your analysis when evaluating program outcomes and assessing the effectiveness of your first-party database:

Are The Datasets Relevant And Actionable?

Given that the main aim of first-party data is to shape future strategies and pinpoint prospects accurately, its precision and contribution to this objective should be the primary yardstick for evaluation.


  • Conduct A/B testing on various contact form fields to extract pertinent details (e.g., technographic data).
  • Equip sales teams with the skills to assess prospects effectively by leveraging your premium content resources.
  • Employ lead nurturing sequences to elucidate specific details like key buyer pain points, budget availability, and the composition of the prospect’s purchasing team.
  • Employ interactive touchpoints like quizzes to obtain this information in a user-friendly format.

Are Your Buyer Personas And ICPs Still Relevant?

It’s not uncommon for trial programs to reveal discrepancies between the audience engaging with your assets and your buyer personas and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).

Trials can also uncover shifts in the key pain points of your personas, signaling the need for updates to keep your messaging relevant across all channels.

Regardless of the findings, regularly reviewing and updating these profiles is advantageous.


  • Approach the analysis of trial prospects with an open mind, ensuring that your new profiles authentically reflect their pain points and aspirations rather than trying to force them into an existing model.
  • Share your insights with client-facing teams, especially sales, to assess their relevance and enhance them with additional personal insights.

Is Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) Still Relevant?

Just as with your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and personas, your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) may need periodic updates to maintain its relevance.

Given its strategic significance, ensuring that your UVP remains pertinent influences all organizational processes and communications, as well as shaping your brand perception among your audience.

The pivotal role of your UVP underscores the importance of trialing new versions to gauge their effectiveness before solidifying them in the market.


  • Conduct A/B testing on your updated UVP and complement this approach with other methods like focus groups, email nurturing, and surveys, if available.
  • Identify common keywords and expressions used by prospects when discussing their pain points to inform your UVP revisions.
  • Analyze the alignment of your product benefits with the objectives of the prospects identified during your demand program.

Are Your Client-Facing Teams Following Outdated Playbooks?

Teams interfacing with clients often rely on style guides, go-to-market (GTM) playbooks, cheat sheets, and various resources to guide their daily tasks. However, these resources can quickly become outdated without regular audits.

Hence, it’s crucial to periodically review these materials, drawing insights from your internal database to ensure they remain pertinent. This involves considering shifts in your buyer personas, ideal customer profiles (ICPs), and unique value propositions (UVPs).


  • Give priority to strategic resources that are frequently utilized by teams, such as procedural documents and style guides.
  • Evaluate marketing and sales outreach efforts to determine if their strategies addressing customer pain points are still effective.
  • Schedule a session to share insights and best practices gleaned from the updated first-party database, informing optimizations for playbooks.

While the suggestions provided are just a glimpse into the myriad optimizations possible through analyzing first-party data from your demand program.

When deciding where to begin your optimization efforts, focus on projects that require minimal effort yet yield significant rewards, particularly those involving client interactions. The crucial aspect is to prioritize initiatives that offer the greatest value to your organization, leveraging your first-party database to drive towards your objectives.

The demand program highlighted in this article can serve as a cornerstone for ongoing enhancements, allowing you to continually augment your first-party database.

Key Takeaways

As you embark on launching your demand programs and constructing your first-party database, keep these key considerations in mind to ensure the sustainability of your strategies:

  • Start with owned media: Begin by enhancing and maximizing your owned media channels to initiate the collection of first-party data. Pilot a demand program with a single gated asset to glean valuable insights.
  • Seek a content distribution partner: Extend your reach and engage with qualified prospects through a reputable partner who can enhance your first-party database with insights from new or expanded audiences.
  • Analyze and optimize: Delve into the results, distill the findings, and identify priority enhancements to strategic elements and assets, such as your Unique Value Proposition (UVP), buyer personas, and playbooks.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal