How to Maximize the Value of First- and Zero-Party Data

Why You Don’t Need Third-Party Data for Your Personalized Marketing

CDP Institute recently teamed up with Simon Data to release a white paper that examines the future of data in our increasingly privacy-centric world. Over the last few years, a few things have happened to make gathering customer data more difficult- GDPR, CCPA, Apple’s blocking third party cookies, and app tracking transparency have all culminated in the most recent announcement by Google regarding third party cookies. 




The prospect of a cookieless future has been worrisome for many companies, but just because you’re losing access to third-party data doesn’t mean you have to be dataless. Conversely, it just means you have to rely on the other types of data to do the heavy lifting. Simply put, the future of customer data is first-party and zero-party data. 


What is the Difference Between Zero- and First-Party Data?

Let’s start with the basics:


What is First-Party Data? 


First-party data is information your business collects about its customers. While some is provided directly, for the most part,  first-party data is captured from observed customer behavior. Common examples of this may include products viewed, videos streamed, or purchase history.


And although consumers consent to this data being collected, they often don’t realize it is being stored for future company use. This paradox is one of the critical differences between first-party and zero-party data.


What is Zero-Party Data?


In contrast, zero-party data is information a customer intentionally provides. Ways we typically see this data collected is by responding to a survey, making a request, or answering a quiz.


Because this customers give this information voluntarily, you can get more accurate information that customers want you to improve their experience. An additional benefit is because your company is the one that dictated the question, the answers can directly relate to information you want to know. For example, which products a customer is interested in buying or feel about a recent experience. 


How to Leverage First- and Zero-Party Data in a Post-Cookies World

The benefit of using first and zero-party data over third-party data is the accuracy of information. Because this information comes directly from the customer, the data is more reliable and adds more value to the customer experience. First-party data allows you to anticipate customer needs. One such example is making recommendations based on past purchases or likes. 


Zero-party data can make recommendations, but goes a step further than first-party data. Because zero-party data comes from questioning your customer base, it can account for switching tastes and lifestyle changes.


How to Optimize Your Personalized Marketing with Simon Data’s Customer Data Platform 

Although losing access to third-party cookies may seem like a massive shift, most companies are already collecting some of first-party and zero-party data. What a CDP helps make cookieless futures not have to be dataless futures.


Optimization is possible by identifying critical data points as a starting block and then adding, subtracting, and iterating via advanced experimentation. In this process, prioritize first-party and zero-party data. However, this data can live in several different places. It is crucial to make sure you can easily access and activate all data in one place using the right tools. Make sure you have one tool that can get you the data you need, turn it into the data you want, and use it where it matters. 


Why a CDP?


A CDP allows you to see all of your data in one place. This accessibility means you can test, learn, and iterate customer experiences based on past data. Noting points such as where dropoff is occurring in the collection process can be vital to optimizing your customer journey. 


Some ways of optimizing include:

  • Segment: identity and purposefully target the right customer
  • Content: tailor your communications in a way that delivers the value promised
  • Results: Test and iterate on segments and content to deliver the promised impact


The first step is collecting data you own, such as first-party and zero-party data. The second step is syncing relevant data in one location to create unique and tailored experiences. This tailoring is made possible through advanced experimentation and continual iteration on the experiences for continued optimization and impact.


For more information on how a CDP helps optimize your use of customer data, watch our video on The 5 Secret Powers of a CDP


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