Party of Zero

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One of the hottest topics in the digital marketing world is the use of customer data. Users today value privacy and are less willing to share information with online brands.

Pair this concern with the increasing number of updates for customer privacy and data protection regulations and you can see why marketers are struggling to find ways to collect and use customer data.

Right now, marketers are contending with the removal of third-party cookies, and the likes of GDPR in the UK and CCPA in the United States.

It’s developments like these that further highlight the fact that customers want to know how their data is being stored and used by brands all over the world.

For the past year, marketers have been giving first-party data all their attention. But there’s one form of data that we should no longer ignore; that is zero-party data.

But what exactly is zero-party data, how is it different from first-party data, and what are the benefits of using it?

What Is Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is information provided by your customers. This information has been voluntarily shared with you by the customer. Zero-party data will include information on your customers’ contact information, likes and dislikes, and certain demographics such as age or location.

This form of data will be shared with companies via many routes, including questionnaires, social media polls, website pop-ups, and feedback forms.

How Is It Different from First-Party Data?

At first zero- and first-party data may appear incredibly similar, but there is a distinct difference between the two.

Marketers collect first-party data through web analytics, social, CRM, and email marketing. Now, unlike zero-party data, this form of data will give you implied customer preferences.

So, with first-party data, you will still have to hypothesize what their customers want by analyzing your customers’ past interactions with you.

With zero-party data, you eliminate the guesswork, as your customers have opted to share this data.

Why Is Zero-Party Data So Important?

Zero-party data could be the solution you need to end your reliance on third-party data, as you can use the accuracy of zero-party data to build personalized online experiences with your customers.

Personalization is a real buzzword in the world of customer experience.

According to Octane AI’s consumer behavior report, just over 70% of customers are more willing to share personal information with you if this means they will receive tailored experiences that reflect their needs.

This personalization will improve your overall brand trust and integrity, which can help you not only gain customers but keep customers too.

What Are the Benefits of Zero-Party Data?

Aside from personalization, using zero-party data has many business benefits. Here are four benefits of using zero-party data.

1. Compliance

When using other forms of data, like third-party data, you will not be able to confidently say you have gained this data in compliance with security regulations and data protection laws like CCPA.

Data privacy has never been more important than it is today. And businesses that fail to adhere to these regulations and expectations from customers will face severe consequences.

However, by leveraging both zero- and first-party data, you should be able to avoid breaching data security laws and/or regulations. This is because this form of data has been shared with you voluntarily by your customers.

2. Accuracy

With zero-party data, you won’t have to second guess the quality of information you possess. You can be confident this data is of high quality and accuracy, as this data has been willingly shared with you.

If you rely on other forms of data to create customer profiles, then you may not be painting the most accurate picture of your customers. With the likes of first-party data, you will be relying on hypotheses you’ve created based on customer interactions.

So, by using this accurate information, you will be able to create customized user profiles that match their needs and pain points. Those who start using zero-party data to create personalized customer journeys will likely edge ahead of their competitors.

3. Unique Data Sets

Now, this is a very important benefit. When using other data, like third-party data, other businesses are likely using this very data to create similar campaigns or user journeys. By using zero-party data you eliminate this duplication.

Zero-party data has been collected by you, and this means that no other company will have access to this data apart from you. This means that you can create unique marketing campaigns that your competitors won’t be able to replicate.

4. Low Cost

Zero-party data costs much less to collect than other forms due to its high accuracy.

This is because your customers actively choose what information they would like to share with you. So, you will have a detailed picture of your customers at your disposal.

This data set can be used to implement tailored marketing campaigns at multiple customer journey touchpoints. Personalization of this quality may even increase customer trust and retention for a much lower price.

In Conclusion

Personalization and privacy have never been more important for the online customer. So, we need to drastically alter how we collect and use this data in our marketing. Ignoring the potential of zero-party data could be detrimental to your digital marketing success. As this data type has the power to help you create tailored customer experiences online users know and love.

About the author


Nick Livermore

Senior marketing manager, Nick Livermore, has spent his career working within digital marketing agencies to define how they shout about themselves, and amplify their voice where it matters most. As the marketing lead at Adapt, a Welocalize company, Nick has played a central role in the consistent growth of the agency since 2017.,