What Is Zero-Party Data and How Can Marketers Use It?

min read
What Is Zero-Party Data and How Can Marketers Use It?

The death of third-party marketing data is nigh, the walls of the walled gardens of data are getting higher, and ad budgets are getting tighter than a 2008 hipster’s skinny jeans. This is leaving marketers scrambling to remake their data-driven marketing strategies while shouldering demands to find untapped pockets of data that can drive revenue and reduce acquisition costs. It’s a bit like trying to dig a quarter out of those sweet skin-tight Levi’s—the data’s in there somewhere, but you can’t get your fingers on it. 

For many marketers, the answer lies in zero-party data. But what is it, how do you get it, and what can marketers do with zero-party data? Let’s dig into the bottom of that tight pocket and find out. 

What is Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is data that is willingly and proactively shared by the customer with a company. It’s information that the customer provides directly to your company, without any intermediaries or third parties involved. 

The great thing about zero-party data is that it gets to the heart of your customers’ desires, including their preferences, interests, and purchase intentions. Best of all, it’s not inferential—it’s pretty much your customer willingly and directly telling you “This is what I want,” so it’s much more accurate than any third-party data source ever could dream to be. 

What Are the Benefits of Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data allows marketers to create more relevant campaigns that are tailored to their target audiences and can help increase engagement and sales. 

“Now we see marketers really doubling down on zero-party data and first-party data because not only can it inform experiences, but it can help better understand how advertising and performance media is driving to a website or to a call center,” said Tina Moffett, principal analyst at Forrester in this webinar. “Being able to collect that information directly from the customer means that you’re developing a deeper knowledge of customer preferences that can inform your campaigns as well.”

The frosting on the cake is that zero-party data is also generally more secure since there are no intermediaries or other third parties to get involved or access the data. And it’s more respectful of the privacy-conscious consumer’s personal data since they willingly handed it over with the knowledge that you’ll use it to serve them better and personalize their experiences. 

How is Zero-Party Data Different from First-Party Data?

Okay, I know you’re like, wait, this sounds a lot like first-party data. But there is a distinction. First-party data is data that is collected by the marketer based on the customer's interactions with their website, social media channels, or other owned properties. This can include things like website visits, purchases, and social media interactions. First-party data is typically collected through cookies, pixels, or other tracking mechanisms.

The key difference between zero-party data and first-party data is the source of the data. Zero-party data comes directly from the customer, whereas first-party data is collected by the marketer based on the customer's interactions with their owned properties. This makes zero-party data more valuable because it’s more accurate and reliable.

How Can Marketers Gather Zero-Party Data?

The best way to gather zero-party data is to ask for it directly from the customer. This can be done through surveys, quizzes, polls, or other interactive content that encourages the customer to share their preferences and interests. It's important to make the process easy and convenient for the customer, and offer them something in return for their participation, such as a discount or exclusive content.

Another way to gather zero-party data is through loyalty programs or other incentivized programs that reward customers for sharing their information. This can include things like personalized recommendations, exclusive access to products or services, or other perks that make the customer feel valued and appreciated.

Conversation intelligence software can also be used to gather zero-party data by listening to customer conversations and analyzing customer sentiment. This allows marketers to understand customer sentiments, preferences, interests, and purchase intentions in an automated way. By using conversation intelligence, marketers can gain insight into customer behavior, allowing them to create more personalized and effective marketing experiences.

Is Data Gathered From Conversation Intelligence Zero-Party or First-Party Data?

When it comes to collecting data from customer phone calls using conversation intelligence software like Invoca, you get both zero-party and first-party data

Conversation intelligence and call tracking platforms like Invoca can collect digital journey data that led a customer to call your business. This includes ads they clicked on, web pages or social media they interacted with, items they placed in their online shopping cart, and so forth. This is first-party data because it is based on customer interactions and it is collected without the involvement of a third-party data source, but the customer did not intentionally hand it over. 

Once the customer is on the line with an agent in your contact center or a rep at a business location, the zero-party data party begins. Your customer is deliberately asking or answering questions, and willingly providing that information with the knowledge that you will use it to assist them. With a conversation intelligence platform, you can access, analyze, and take action on zero-party data from customer conversations at a massive scale, and it can be used to accurately optimize and personalize the customer experience because the data literally came straight from their mouth.

What Can Marketers Do With Zero-Party Data?

Once you have gathered zero-party data, the possibilities are endless. You can use this data to create more personalized marketing experiences for your customers and optimize advertising, which can lead to higher engagement, conversions, and loyalty. Here are some examples of how you can use zero-party data:

1. Personalize your messaging: Use the information you gather to create more personalized messaging that speaks directly to your customer's interests and preferences.

2. Create targeted campaigns: Use the data to create targeted campaigns that are tailored to specific segments of your audience.

3. Improve your product offerings: Use the data to gain insights into your customer's needs and preferences, and use this information to improve your product offerings.

4. Optimize your website and other owned properties: Use the data to optimize your website and other owned properties to provide a better user experience for your customers.

Zero-party data is a valuable resource for marketers who are looking to create more personalized marketing experiences for their customers. In today’s economy, you need to capitalize on any available advantage, and taking action on data directly from your customers can help you create more accurate and reliable insights that can be used to improve your marketing efforts.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Conversation Intelligence for Marketers to learn more about how you can take action on zero-party and first-party data from customer conversations. 

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