Collect and leverage zero-party data to personalize marketing and drive growth

Zero-party data has very quickly become the biggest buzzword in marketing and digital advertising. Unlike third-party data, which is collected by aggregators and ad platforms through third-party cookies and unsavory tracking techniques, zero-party data is collected voluntarily and directly from customers.

Think of the kind of things you’d tell a store associate helping you find the right gifts to purchase for your family — size, style, skin concerns, gender, budget, taste profile, eating habits, what type of pet they have, etc. That’s zero-party data.

Zero-party data marketing started when the scrutiny on ad tracking ramped up, but became a necessity with iOS 14.5. With the vast majority of users opting out of data tracking on iOS, marketers need new sources of data to power their campaigns and replace the data they currently borrow from tracking cookies — which will also go away in 2023.

This is especially true as more consumers demand personalized experiences from the places they shop. Implemented correctly, zero-party data marketing allows you to treat every customer as an individual, personalize their experience with your brand and build real relationships.

Help TechCrunch find the best growth marketers for startups.

Provide a recommendation in this quick survey and we’ll share the results with everybody.

While a lot of articles have discussed the importance of zero-party data, very few have gone into how to collect this valuable data and properly leverage it for better conversions, loyalty and customer satisfaction. That’s why I decided to write this piece. Think of it as a miniguide on how to begin your journey as a zero-party data marketer.

Let’s start with some of the most important tools for zero-party data collection.

Quizzes and recommendations are the backbone of zero-party data

An example of a quiz to help customers buy a product

Image Credits: Octane AI

When you hear “quiz,” you might be tempted to think of a BuzzFeed-style personality assessment, but in reality, they are the fundamental way we figure out what products we want to buy and what package to get.

Think about entering a cosmetics store. You know you need some collection of skincare products, but you don’t know which routine to follow or all the possible options for each part of the routine. A store associate does, however, and they usually help you find the right skincare routine and products based on a series of questions they ask about your skin’s condition, concerns, allergies and more.