A sustainable customer relationship, a consistently positive customer experience, a perfect customer journey, being able to address users with the right content at the right moment – that’s what marketing teams strive for. Goals that remain unattainable without user data. But the end of third party data is coming, the term zero party data is on everyone’s lips. Find out here how obtaining first-hand data works and what benefits zero party data brings.

In marketing, it was and is elementary to collect information on customer interests and preferences and then use this collected data to provide customers with relevant offers and content. Data collection is all about privacy, cookies and now the end of third-party cookies from 2023. Until now, marketing teams have collected data frequently and a lot via third-party cookies. It is the legislator who is now causing a change of course, some think we are on the verge of a revolution. If marketing teams want to continue to provide their customers with personalised experiences or relevant offers, from now on they should gain zero party data.

What zero party data is all about

Zero party data is (user) data that users provide on their own. The data comes from the users themselves and is not collected in the background by cookies or an analysis tool. Such data can be postal or email address, company address, industry of the company, or even clothing size, favourite brands, hobbies or purchase intentions. The collection or provision of data can take place, for example, as part of a survey or on a profile page. If a sporting goods supplier asks its users in an email about their favourite sports, this is a classic example of the collection of zero party data.

Users therefore explicitly agree that you collect their data. You can do this through different interaction channels: email, chatbot, contact form. Also use raffles, surveys or social networks to collect data by monitoring reactions to your posts.

The good thing about zero party data

Zero party data brings advantages because it is:

  • High-quality: Users who leave data directly with the company are really interested in the brand and want to interact with it.
  • Relevant: The users have indicated their preferences themselves, so you as a company will know how exactly to address the users.
  • Inexpensive: There are no additional costs for the collection of zero party data, as it is directly available in your IT system.
  • Legally compliant: When collecting zero party data, you know the source of the data and you know how the data was collected. This makes zero party data low-risk in terms of legal compliance.

First party data is data that you collect yourself as a company, e.g. data from email tracking or after analysing customer behaviour, e.g. on the website or in the shop. The collection of first party data aims at a better understanding of the users: What are the interests, the intentions of the users? In contrast to first party data, zero party data has the advantage that you do not have to analyse the collected data in order to use it.

Gaining zero party data and using it correctly

The users provide the company with their data – in return, the company’s marketing provides the individual users with individual content and offers with high added value. Interacting with the right customer at the right time with the right content is possible thanks to zero party data.

But why should users leave the data to you and your company? Clearly communicate the added value and benefits that users will have and what appropriate content and offers you will provide them with. In this way, you create an incentive to give them data.

For example, use raffles or surveys to request data or ask your users specifically for it. In principle, you can collect data wherever you come into contact with your users. Here are some examples:

  • Website: On your website, your users can choose how to stay in touch with you.
  • Social media: Use e.g. surveys in the different networks.
  • Registration: When registering for your email marketing, you can give users on your success page, e.g. the opportunity to directly adjust and expand their own profile. The same applies to registration in an app, a portal, your website and other online offers.
  • Offline: In-store or in customer service, you can also target your clientele on their preferences.
  • Preference centre: In such a centre, users clearly indicate their interests and then receive, for example, only emails that match their interests.
  • Emails: Use your email marketing to request customer data, e.g. date of birth, in order to then make your user an extra offer on this special day.

Better product recommendations or personalised experiences can be enough incentive. Some marketing teams even go a step further and offer extra loyalty points, discounts or special offers in exchange for data.

Zero party data and email marketing

Email will have a major role to play in zero party data collection. Not only because email itself is a good tool for zero party data collection, but also because it is often the starting point of a customer journey and plays a recurring role at different touchpoints and across multiple channels. You can read more about this in the article Email will become the center of the current zero and first party data renaissance.

The end of third party data is near and marketing teams will be looking to zero party data collection in the future. Obtaining first-hand data directly from users brings advantages and opens up new perspectives for your marketing. Zero party data makes it possible to deliver the right content to the right customers at the right time.