As marketers, we need to know exactly what our customers are thinking. What if we just asked them? That’s zero-party data. It’s data that’s freely given by your customers. And while it seems too good to be true, it’s not. Zero-party data has clear benefits for your business and your customers.
What’s zero-party data
At its most simple, zero-party data is explicit and not inferred. This data is freely shared by your customers to ultimately enhance their experience with your business. It’s demographic and psychographic and can share intentions, preferences and personal contexts.
Here’s what zero-party data is not. It’s not first-party data, clicks, page views, etc., that can be gleaned from your business’s digital presence. It’s not consumer information received from third-party sources. Zero-party data is an entirely separate piece to your marketing mix. So, what’s tangibly zero-party data?
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Registration information that asks about your demographics
- Short quizzes to determine your product recommendations
- Short questionnaires to share your personal preferences for a better brand experience
Zero-party data is so meaningful because it answers one of your company’s most burning questions. What will your customer need or want next? And these insights do ultimately benefit your customers.
Ways this data positively impacts your customers include:
- Personalized recommendations to meet their most pressing needs
- A personalized user experience or microexperience with your business
- Individualized solutions to the challenge they are trying to solve via your business
But collecting zero-party data doesn’t just benefit your customers. It has several clear benefits for your business. Done correctly, zero-party data collection builds customer trust, protects customer privacy and increases your business’s ROI.
Zero-party data collection builds trust between your customer and your brand. 81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand in order to make a purchase. Marketers have known this; we’ve known that building a relationship is key. And engaging customers through zero-party data collection can be one piece to build that trust. But… your business must also bring value to your customers for the data that they’ve shared. For example, your business might have customers who generally come to your website with one of three problems to solve. You can ask your customers a few questions about their needs. That data will illuminate which exact problem they’re trying to solve in the moment. And then you reward your customer with a more personalized user experience that’s focused on just that one problem. They don’t need information about the other two problems your business can solve because they’re here for the third one. This value saves your customers time, keeps their patience intact, and shows them that your business is focused on them and their needs.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about their data privacy online. 70% of American consumers believe their personal data is less secure today than just five years ago. And 84% of them want more control over their data and how it’s being used. With new legislation about consumer data security, such as the GDPR and CCPA, businesses need to prioritize security today. Public sentiment agrees. 92% of American consumers believe companies should be proactive about data protection. Zero-party data eliminates these challenges as it’s been freely given by customers themselves. By investing in zero-party strategies now, your business can stay ahead of not only your competition, but also changing regulations.
Utilizing zero-party data increases opportunities for personalization. Personalization grows your lifetime customer value and your marketing ROI. 44% of consumers become repeat customers after a personalized experience with a brand. And a mere 5% increase in retention is responsible for a 25% increase in profit. So, investing in zero-party data strategies just makes sense (and cents) for your business. If your business doesn’t have any zero-party collection strategies in place yet, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But we recommend referring to your plan for the year ahead. What goals need to be accomplished in 2021-2022? What zero-party data can help achieve those goals? By listening to your most loyal customers, you can grow your marketing ROI and your business.
Getting into the minds of your customers doesn’t have to be rocket science. Instead of inferring or assuming what they’re thinking, don’t be afraid to just ask. If equitable (information for value), this exchange can build trust, maintain data security, and increase ROI. That’s a win, win, win. And just the kind of solution we find for our clients.
If your team would like more information or needs some help developing a zero-party data collection plan, we have strategies to share. Let’s talk.
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