With consumers, big tech, as well as supranational legislation all converging in opposition to third-party data, the day of the cookie is numbered. While one may read this situation as zero-party data appearing as an alternative forced on marketers, a more nuanced, balanced view would be that the demise of cookies and the advent of zero-party has delivered the holy grail of marketing to marketers and brand-builders everywhere.

Zero-party data and the means by which it is gathered are composed of the perfect synergy between technology, public relations, creative design, and good old-fashioned respect for user privacy.

It in effect has handed marketers:

  • Accurate, unique data applicable to their own customer base.
  • A means to provide personalised service to consumers.
  • A leaner, more efficient data management ecosystem, no longer reliant on third parties.

It’s a true zero-to-hero story, and your brand can only benefit from it.

The information age continues to live up to its billing, with new innovations, technologies, and ideas constantly changing the way we conduct business, expand our horizons, and live our lives. It is fitting, then – that information itself undergoes its own evolution and innovation in the form of zero-party data collection.

With the increasingly negative reputation of cookies and other forms of data collection, leading brands and marketers are moving on to less egregious methods to enhance their businesses. Zero-party data provides the perfect balance between the consumer’s need for privacy and a business’ need for accurate, insightful customer data.

With heavyweight corporations such as Google and Apple providing the impetus in eradicating third-party cookies as the primary method of data collection, the emergence of zero-party data to supplant it is an inevitability. Technological advancements have led to more consumer demand for relevance and customisability.

Now more than ever, brands that prioritise data collection will be the ones that will get ahead – and stay ahead – of the curve. This new method of data gathering is redefining and will continue to redefine the way brands consider customer identity for years to come.

Being able to attract customers and keep them engaged is central to a marketer’s profession, and with zero-party data, they have the ultimate tool to achieve those objectives, and with a world without cookies rapidly approaching, it is adapt or die.

So, what is zero-party data?

Marketers the world over have begun to hear more and more about how important zero-party data is for their brand, but what is it? Here, we’ll try to explain exactly what zero-party data is, and what are the common methods used to gather and collect them.

Zero-party data collection involves customers freely giving you their data from which you can create personalised customer experiences based on the needs of the consumer. Information derived from polls, surveys, and product preference indicators are all considered zero-party data.

Quizzes are often the first port of call when it comes to zero-party data gathering. It’s informal, gamified nature allows it to engage first-time visitors to guide them through the products that they need or would most likely want, while also providing invaluable information and data on the customer.

Speaking of invaluable information, product reviews is a great source of zero-party data, as it provides feedback on their user experience as well as other personalised traits about themselves. These can be used in tandem with other information that you have to achieve deeper user understanding.

This is what makes zero-party data so formidable, as it paints a picture of customers for the marketers. If a customer is able to read a review of shoes from a person of comparative age, feet size, and location, that will not only greatly enhance their user experience, but also provide important information on what products a certain demographic may gravitate to.

Why is it important for brands?

One word – Trust.
Zero-party data gathering is an approach that garners trust from customers, providing a level of personalisation that can only lead to one end-result: customer loyalty. The very nature of how the data is gathered – casual, almost conversational, feels inherently personal, like talking to a friend.

In a digital landscape where other forms of data gathering are getting an increasingly bad reputation as intrusive, anti-privacy, unscrupulous, and unethical, brands that continue to persist with such methods will definitely receive significant pushback from customers and suffer the negative blowback associated with using such user-hostile means of information gathering.

Trust leads to profitable consequences in almost every area.

When a shopper sees that their data is being put to use in creating a personalised, beneficial experience for them, they will always come back, and that translates to increased revenue.

Conversely, persisting with the use of cookies in a rapidly cookie-less world will only harm your brand’s bottom line. With public opinion of first, second, and third-party data reaching an all-time low (and getting lower by the day!), brands caught still employing such intrusive and opaque means of data gathering will most likely result in customers looking elsewhere.

And believe us – in the Information Age, there is an infinity of elsewhere. The market has never been more fiercely competitive, and only through savvy adaptation, innovation and the flexible ability to provide unique, accurate and thoughtful personalisation to the customer experience will brand stay on top.

More accurate data also means that you can use the information you have more effectively, ensuring that nothing is wasted during marketing campaigns and customer outreach. Zero-party data gathering makes full use of the bountiful data that your site already possesses, instead of relying on vague third-party data providers which lack the context relevant to your product.

Concentrating on using the data that you have instead of having more from elsewhere will result in an overall reduction of information wastage, and in addition to providing accurate, insightful data, the data you have will also be unique.

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