When Google announced the steady phase-out of third-party cookies in January this year, the world was thrown into a digital frenzy as a sprint to zero-party data collection strategies began. The initiative, which was touted as a means to increasing user privacy, was particularly significant for the media world, who had relied on third party cookies for programmatic advertising.

But what has happened in the past 6 months (Covid-19 included) has provided an interesting insight into digital consumer behaviours, their user ability to pivot and the positive effects on data quality with zero-party data.

The rise of zero-party data and first-party data.

You may have noticed since January that almost every website that you visit now requests specific cookies consent (or perhaps have implemented it yourself).

The most exciting outcome from this is that in spite of higher opt out rates by visitors, your zero and first party data is of far better quality and provides better targeting capabilities.

– Simon Pereira (XPON CCO)

So the death of third-party cookies has given way to the rise of first and zero-party cookies. But what is first and zero-party data?

Let’s start with first-party.

First-party data is information you (the business) collect directly from your customers or audience. You own this data and it’s exclusive to you. It’s the data with the most context, relevance and value to your business. Simply put, it is data that looks at a customer’s behaviour and helps to bolster identity data.

Examples of this data includes:

  • Actions or behaviours (from websites and apps)
  • CRM data
  • Data from in-store and POS systems
  • Loyalty and subscription data
  • Interactions from owned social platforms
  • Customer feedback and reviews

First-party data is a brand’s competitive edge – it’s the data with the most context, relevance and value to your business.

First party data is your business’s biggest asset, and represents an opportunity for your business to build a unique customer experience and defensible competitive advantage. By unlocking this value, the death of the third party cookie means less impact, when you’re leveraging your biggest asset the right way.

– Chris Rozic (Datisan Founder and CEO)

Okay, so what is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is when a customer actively shares data with a business BUT a big point of difference is that you don’t own the data. Users will allow a brand to use this data in an interaction for the express purpose of providing extra value and a better experience. This is the data on the identity of the customer that they allow you to have.

What this new term really boils down to is customer consent. Many marketing and customer experience teams are wanting to future proof their businesses by utilising first party data. It’s imperative that they ensure granular consent mechanisms are implemented using clear language about what that consent means. Customers need to read and understand what it is that they’re opting in to.

– Matt Daniels (XPON CTO)

Some of the types of consent could be:

  • Personal information
  • Preferences
  • Purchase intentions
  • Sensitive, opinion-based data
  • Data on how the customer wants to be recognised by the brand

Zero-party data working in harmony with first party data provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to better target their customers and provide a superior customer experience.

– Bharat Tarachandani (XPON Head of AdTech)

Having both first and zero-party data on your customers means that you have richer more complete information on your customers. It also allows you to create more tailored strategies and personalised customer experiences.

To find out more about how you can better capture data from your customers and in turn create better experiences please feel free to get in contact with our team by contacting us here.