How to Capture Zero-Party Data (and Use It)

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By Published On: January 25, 20230 Comments

Third-party cookies are gradually being phased out from many advertising technologies, putting every retailer with a digital presence at a crossroad. Retailers have to look for less intrusive methods of capturing data, while figuring out how to build more personalised customer relationships. As a result, they are turning to Customer Data and Experience Platforms (CDXPs), to help capture and activate consensual zero-party data.

Google is phasing out third-party cookies in 2024 to encourage marketers to use less intrusive advertising approaches. While the announcement initially triggered concern among digital marketers, many brands are already starting to reap the benefits of transitioning to zero- and first-party data collection strategies. They are finding new ways to understand customer preferences and retarget them with personalised messaging.

What is Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is information that a customer has intentionally and proactively shared with a brand. It’s data that a customer shares in order to help a brand recognise and understand them. For example, a customer will have provided zero party data if they share their purchase intentions or personal context via a customer preference data centre or survey.
Since zero-party data is shared voluntarily, it overcomes many privacy concerns. Plus, the techniques used to capture it involve brands simply asking customers about what they want. This means an effective zero-party data strategy can drive positive customer engagement.

Why is Zero-Party Data Important?

Zero-party data capture now plays a crucial role in creating personalised marketing and enhancing the customer experience. Customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that remembers their preferences and provides them with relevant offers and personalised experiences. A zero-party data strategy also enables retailers to reach and retarget their customers in the cookieless future.
Instead of buying or assuming information about customers, today’s customer-centric brands are asking customers about their needs, interests, and intent through consensual and proactive engagements.

How Can Retailers Capture Zero-Party Data?

Given the growing number of cybersecurity breaches and privacy concerns, it’s harder for retailers to encourage customers to share personal information with them. While retailers have to instill trust in their data management strategy, they also have to offer a compelling value exchange to capture zero-party data.
Some brands run new customer questionnaires, post purchase surverys, and Net Promoter Score surveys. Brands can also launch competitions, giveaways, and sweepstakes encouraging new and existing customers to engage. Gaining access to the latest offer or relevant content, gamified incentives, polls, quizzes, and loyalty programs, encourages customers to exchange more information for a better experience.
Retailers have started building online preference centers that give customers the opportunity to manage their own privacy settings, communication cadences, and opt-ins at any time.

How Can Retailers Activate Their Zero-Party Data?

An enormous amount of data flows through businesses that needs to be unified, and if it’s not pulled out of silos, it can’t be used to deliver value to customers.
Using a CDXP, retailers are able to:
  1. Create a single view of every customer using data from every touchpoint.
  2. Identify high-value customers, understand what makes them tick, and forecast trends.
  3. Create tailored messaging and personalised content that appeals to their values.
Connecting zero-party data with every other form of customer data creates huge operating efficiencies. It becomes easier to improve customer acquisition, priortise the marketing budget, and make smart product investments.
It’s important for retailers to be able to identify and deeply understand their most loyal customers, because for most brands the top 20% of customers garner 60-80% of their total revenue. Spreading the marketing budget evenly results in potentially targeting low value customers and missing opportunities to build relationships with the highest valued customer base. Likewise, delivering the same message to all customers won’t generate the best engagement.
Brands should use zero-party data to create personalised visual experiences based on customer preferences. Using pre-built marketing workflows, a CDXP empowers the every day marketer to use their zero-party data to create customised brand and product messages in a scalable and automated way. Rather than investing in expensive data science resources to unify their data, retailers quickly aggregate and activate customer data in a meaningful way.
It’s easy to evolve personalised campaigns, creating a constant cycle of brand communications that revolve around the customer.

The key to creating remarkable customer experiences.

Retailers need to use zero-party data to engage with their customers and stay competitive. Third-party cookies are already disappearing from marketing technology platforms and consumers are becoming more aware of their rights to online privacy. Not only will a zero-party data strategy help retailers adapt to the changes, it also gives them the opportunity to engage with customers in a personalised manner, while delivering meaningful value.



About the Author: Power Retail

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