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minute read
February 5, 2020

The Complete Guide to Zero-Party Data

Written by
David Scott

In this article, you will:

  • Discover what zero-party data is and why it’s the phrase on everyone’s lips
  • Establish the best methods to collect the data from your customers
  • Learn the advantages it offers above first and third party b2b data provider

Despite significant new legislation on both sides of the Atlantic, 81% of US consumers feel they have no control over how their data is collected and used. With this erosion of consumer trust in companies' data usage, how can you continue to make data work for you?

What is zero-party data  

Zero-party data (ZPD) is information that customers willingly share with your brand in exchange for a value offer such as a whitepaper.  

By 2020, 15% of marketers will be using ZPD to improve their marketing practices. If you start using it now, you have a huge opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and gain valuable insights into your customers' opinions. Brands can use ZPD to improve personalization throughout the customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase.

Learn about preferences and purchase intentions with zero-party data
Zero-party data vs first-party data

So, you may be wondering what the difference between zero-party data and first-party data is. First-party data is that which you collect on your website (or in any other way customers interact with you). There is no value exchange for the data you collect. The key difference between ZPD and first-party data is that the former involves an exchange of value, as the customer expects something in return for their information. Because the data is given willingly rather than inferred from online activity, you can learn more about your customers than you would with simple first-party data.

You can discover your customers' intrinsic motivations and real reasons for being on your website, rather than simply knowing what website pages they viewed, for example.

How to collect zero-party data

When it comes to collecting zero party data you need to go about it a little differently. Unlike first-party data where you can have simple registration forms or analytics tools to log activity, zero-party data requires more qualitative data collection methods. There is a range of ways to collect zero-party data.

These include surveys, gated content with a lead generation form, questionnaires, competitions, or preferences within your website.

One of the benefits of investing in zero-party data collection is that the different methods of data collection can be used to generate engagement with your brand. For example, surveys or questionnaires can be gamified that lead to high engagement but you still collect valuable data.

How can marketers use zero-party data?

1. Improve personalization and messaging

Only 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the amount of personalisation they currently get from brands. There's a huge gap in expectations from customers and delivery from brands, and the companies who will end up on top are those who can provide a highly personalized, and almost completely custom experience to customers.

Zero-party data will help you improve your messaging and personalisation. How?

Your customers will be able to tell you themselves as your data collection methods will involve qualitative answers and engagement mechanisms.

2. Augment your existing first-party data

Due to privacy laws such as the GDPR, some brands are moving away from using third-party data in their marketing due to trust issues with suppliers. Deloitte found that across all categories, marketers believe that 71% of their purchased data is somewhere between 0-50% accurate. If you're not confident in your data, you won't be able to make decisions using it.

While this won't be an issue if you work with a trusted third-party data provider, like Internal Results, in the past there's no doubt that companies selling data that hasn't been sourced in a GDPR compliant way have existed.

Luckily, if you're looking to rely more on first-party data, zero-party data will help you augment and improve your insight into your data. For example, you may know that leads are visiting your site, and viewing certain pages, and signing up for a product demo. If you have an on-site survey set up that asks visitors about their pain points and needs, you'll be able to improve your demo and personalize it to their exact pain points, making it more likely that they convert down the line.

3. Improve customer relationships

Zero-party data gives you a way to improve your customer relationships. If you want to increase CLTV, retention, and customer satisfaction, you should look into using zero-party data.

And, there's no reason to think that your customers don't want you to use data to improve their experience. 57% of consumers are happy to share personal data in exchange for personalized experiences. Most of your leads will see it as a good thing if you're using their data to improve their experience.

Once you start collecting zero-party data and know more about your leads you can improve your communications, improve product features to match their needs, and follow up with them on any issues that they may be having.

64% of marketers admit that bad data stops them from giving their customers a personalized experience. You don't be part of that group with zero-party data at your disposal.

Examples of zero-party data

Most zero-party data is captured through interactive marketing experiences. Here are some examples of ways you can collect zero party data.

  • Customer surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Email opt-ins
  • Competitions
  • In-app preferences
  • Social media stories
Start harvesting zero-party data today

Zero-party data is only going to become more important for marketers. Accurate and up-to-date data is key to successful marketing and zero-party data ensures that you are collecting data in the best way possible: from your customers themselves.

Clearly, zero-party data is on the rise. There's never been a better time to start implementing a way to capture zero-party data from your leads and customers. You'll be able to personalize your communication with leads, and provide a better customer experience than you would solely with first or third-party data.

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