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What is Zero Party Data? Why Does it Matter?

What’s the deal

Zero party data is a marriage of consumers wanting personalisation and having full control over how a company uses their data. In mainstream media, the 2018 Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted how sensitive everybody’s data is, especially for the everyday person. 

Nevertheless, in 2019 an Econsultancy Survey declared data-driven marketing as the single most exciting opportunity among B2C marketers. Now in 2021, marketers are left biting their nails.  

Recently, it was revealed that 96% of US users opted out of app tracking in the iOS 14.5 update, where it enforced a policy called App Tracking Transparency. That means Apple’s Apps are now required to request users’ permission to use techniques like IDFA (ID for Advertisers) to track users’ activity across multiple apps for data collection and ad targeting purposes.  

This was met with fiery resistance from the likes of Facebook and others but without acceptance, they would be rejected from the Apple App Store. Combine this with Google Chrome waving goodbye to cookie tracking in 2022, what will this mean for marketers? 

Marketers for eCommerce use data and cookies to target ads, retarget marketing messages and personalise the overall user experience. However, the abundance of such techniques means a whole new approach needs to follow.  

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What is zero party data? 

Zero party data is when a customer willingly and proactively shares information with a brand. This can include purchase preferences, personal context and how they want to be recognised by the brand.  

How is it different? 

Commonly, marketers will harness first-party data where they receive ‘implied’ preferences on user behaviour. This derives from how a consumer interacts with a brand across websites and apps.  However, with this, they gather up sensitive data over a long period of time and unfortunately what sometimes follow are data breaches. According to DLA Piper, there have been over 59,000 data breaches reported to data protection authorities in Europe since GDPR was introduced in 2018. 

And while consumers are growing increasingly aware of how their data is handled, businesses are under growing pressure from customers who are demanding in-store experiences, online. Customers are now placing personalisation and relevancy as a number one priority for the ultimate user experience.  

The benefits of zero party data

Transparency

In a world of data breaches and vulnerability, it is more important than ever to solidify your brand as transparent. 79% of consumers are willing to share their data if there is a clear benefit. If you can tell your audience why you are collecting data and what you will do with it, customers are more willing to work alongside you than against you.

Trust

Trust is an overused term that is rarely delivered. And it shows. Only 34% of consumers say they trust most of the brands they use. Follow that with 81% of consumers say trust is a deal-breaker in their buying decision and we have a problem. Utilising zero party data starts to break down those walls put up by customers. Currently, the response is to deploy adblockers on all sites. The business response is to ask them to whitelist them. This vicious circle means no one is getting any benefit. By building trust and being clear with your audience means a meaningful relationship can be developed.

Collect information that matters

As we said, first-party data is very much implied. First-party data can be used to improve user experience and deliver targeted ads. However, it is a hit or miss. For example, as a user, you can be forever tormented by a product you viewed once and even purchased. This annoys the user and drains marketing budgets. Zero party data gives more control over what information businesses want to find out and gives even more control to the customer.

How can you collect zero party data? 

As zero party data removes itself from data tracking and cookies – it prompts the question how can you collect zero party data? Well, marketers are now creating entirely new micro experiences online that deliver friendly experiences to find out more about their relationship with the brand. 

To retrieve more contextual data, marketers can do the following:

Social media polls

A simple yet effective method – despite its broad reach, a brand can get a good sense of their followers’ perceptions. Users are in full control if they want to partake in the poll and to add to the curiosity they can see the results. Marketers can then use this information to build campaigns, adjust experiences or gather a subtle profile of their fan base. 

Registrations

Upon mobile and web registrations, a brand can tailor an individual’s experience online. They can ask their motivations behind using the app, what sections they want to view and the desired outcome. From there a relationship can be moulded based entirely on the customer preferences. 

Questionaries

Often with a fun incentive, questionaries are a great way to engage with your customers and ask relevant questions on their experience with the brand. Unlike first-party or third-party data where information is implied and sold off, the brand and customer has full control over how the information is used. The outcome is the customer experiences an optimised experience in full confidence and the brand is able to deliver a more engaging service.

Live video shopping

With the restrictions coming in place with cookies and data handling, live video shopping can offer the ultimate solution to zero party data. Brands can personalise the journey from the moment the call begins to understanding the customer’s intent. Additionally, a relationship built on trust and transparency can be formed. For example, when purchasing in-store it’s very rare a customer doubts a retailer’s approach. Payments are highly secured and there is no risk of a serious data breach.

Live video shopping enables eCommerce platforms to curate a service, basket or product based on the individual’s expectations. With the likes of adblocker which can present smoke and mirrors to marketers. live video bypasses that. More importantly, customers can receive relevant information that will enhance their purchasing journey with the customer.

Quick explanation on how live video shopping works.

So…why does zero party data matter?

Zero party data is happening now and will redefine how marketers collect information in the future. Why it matters focuses one thing – and that is nurturing the trust between brands and consumers. Never before have people been in control over how there data is used. And while this is the case, consumers are demanding personable and relevant experiences online. Zero party data captures contextual and valuable information based on integrity and trust. In turn, the consumer can confidently engage with a business knowing that their data is being put to good use, and not being sold to third-party sellers.

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