Why zero and first-party data collection should be a priority in 2022
Now more than ever, businesses need to focus on first-party, zero-data collection. Not only does this data help organizations deliver more personalized customer experiences, it also protects them from major shifts in the data privacy landscape.
Apple’s decision to allow users to opt out of data tracking and Google’s removal of third-party cookies from Chrome over the next year means companies will have less data to use to track and target customers. “When third-party data from Facebook or Google becomes less reliable, the solution is to collect your own first-party data, so that you are much less dependent on advertising platforms and third parties,” explained the president and co-founder of Octane. AI, Ben Parr. “There is a big shift towards collecting and leveraging your own data so that you are not vulnerable to these data privacy changes.”
Parr said it’s essential to have different tools and experiences that ask your customers questions: zero-party data is simply data provided directly by customers. “The best types of tools to do this are quizzes and surveys. You ask customers questions and you can use that data to personalize the marketing you send to them,” Parr said.
He added that zero-party data strategies should help customers accomplish something and deliver real value. “Make sure the questions you ask are questions that will actually help them solve their problem,” Parr said. “Asking them questions like a real life person would in the store – things like sizes, styles, colors – it’s really helpful to the customer to help them make a decision.”
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The Value of UX Design When Collecting Zero-Party Data
Part of any successful zero-party data collection strategy is testing various UX designs, which can range from the use of GIFs to survey placement throughout the customer journey. “Really test the designs and see what the conversion rates are,” Parr said. “Test different questions, A/B test your quiz and zero-party data experiments.”
Matt Marcotte, general manager of retail and consumer goods at Salesforce, emphasized that data collection efforts must also help customers understand how and why that data is collected and used. “There’s transparency about how you’re going to use this information, which is critically important because customers want to know what they’re getting for passing on this information,” he said. “The data you request and the actions you take are multi-step relationships that are about building trust.”
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A zero-party collection strategy must align with your customers’ expectations
Marcotte said companies need to decide what they can offer their customers and what results they want to achieve after collecting this data, and match those priorities with what they ask of their customers. “Aligning company offerings with customer information requests is really important,” he said. “We’ve seen that customers are very willing to give information if it benefits them.”
Parr said brands can generate between 20% and 50% more revenue when they implement a true zero-party data strategy. This includes collecting that data, then leveraging the responses to that data in their emails and text messages, and then marketing campaigns, to make the experience more personalized.
But for the zero-party data strategy to work, companies need to get their marketing team working on integrating this data into their emails and text messages. “You may need your design team to make sure the quiz is enjoyable, but there’s enough new technology out there to make it easier to implement,” he said. “It’s less about a huge amount of work and more about executive buying and the idea that if you’re not collecting the data, your competitors probably are.”
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Gamification and frictionless experiences are key to data collection
Gamification has also become much more important, Marcotte noted, which means thinking about how to make data collection more fun for the customer and create opportunities for instant gratification. “Make it as seamless, frictionless and intuitive as possible,” he said. “Consumers expect it more than ever. This instant gratification is not only more in demand, but also more provided.
He pointed out that as we emerge from the pandemic and customers begin to venture into physical retail stores again, the ability to connect their online activities and behaviors with physical behaviors means that data collection must also continue. “Companies need to ensure that they have the capacity to collect data at all touchpoints and that there are platforms to collect and synthesize this information and disseminate it across the organization,” a- he declared. “That data can’t be silos, it needs to be a connected ecosystem, now more than ever.”
Zero Party data collection should be a priority in 2022
Parr said he firmly believes 2022 will be the year brands embrace their zero-data and first-party marketing, in part because Google’s removable third-party cookies are on the horizon. He added that in a year or 18 months, as third-party cookies disappear, the companies that have collected this data will be far ahead of those that have not.
“Every brand will have to adapt to that, regardless of size,” Parr said.
Marcotte agreed, noting that organizations need to invest in systems, platforms and solutions that create a unified view of a customer. “Now is the time for businesses to think about transforming their investments with data that helps them take better action,” he said. “It also means that internally there needs to be leadership-level alignment around the key goals of this organization – incentives need to be aligned with expectations.”