We live in paradoxical times. The modern consumer demands increased privacy, tightened data controls, and the right to be forgotten. That's easily deliverable until you contrast those demands with their expectations for tailor-made content, bespoke product recommendations, and uber-personalization.
For marketers committed to delivering better personalized experiences, this is a unique opportunity to improve relationships with consumers.
Traditionally, personalization strategies have been derived from looking at behavioral trends such as click-stream paths, search terms, purchase history, and other indicators to try and decipher the intentions and desires of the buyer. The problem with this implicit personalization is that it’s guesswork—and often wrong.
While the results of personalization strategies are routinely scrutinized, the quality of the data that shaped them seldom is. This has heavily contributed to enactment of the new era of privacy we now live in. And it needs to change.
In a recent Wayin webinar featuring Forrester senior analyst Mark Grannan as guest speaker, one of the takeaways was that buying data from a third party is a risky element. There could be serious ramifications that could get you in trouble, not just with the client for being creepy, but potentially with regulators.
Agile marketers see this as a time of digital opportunity. They are connecting directly with consumers and gathering the data, insights, and permissions they need to power personalized marketing across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Rather than inferring, they’re asking. And consumers are willingly and intentionally sharing. This is called zero-party data.
Indeed, my primary takeaway from Forrester's Predictions 2019: B2C Marketing Report is that marketers will make the switch to collecting and activating zero-party data in 2019. According to research from Segment, on average 71% of consumers express some level of frustration when their experience is impersonal. The same report found that 49% of consumers have purchased a product that they did not initially intend to buy after receiving a personalized product recommendation from a brand.
By taking the zero-party data path, marketers become empowered to build direct relationships with consumers and, in turn, better personalize their marketing efforts, services, offers, and product recommendations.
This isn’t pie-in-the-sky utopia for marketers. Digital disruptors like Netflix have been successfully doing so for several years. Tell Netflix you like rom-coms, true-crime documentaries, and anything with Ryan Gosling, and you’ll be served up endless hours of binge-able content.
Collecting And Activating Zero-Party Data
Yet there’s more to it. Digitally savvy consumers also need to be entertained, engaged, and receive something in return for their attention and personal data.
Marketers can deliver this by leveraging interactive digital experiences that conduct market research, accrue opt-ins, and deliver an altogether better experience with a tangible value exchange for the consumer.
Whether via a quirky questionnaire, playful poll, social story, or fully customizable interactive ad unit, campaign marketing experiences that incorporate data-capture capabilities and incentive mechanics, such as unlocking content, instant wins, giveaways, or coupons, to name a few, can help marketers quickly and easily collect zero-party data at speed and scale.
The bottom line: By using the right mechanics and offering a value exchange, your customers will tell you what products they desire, what they look for in a service, and what offers motivate them to purchase.
For more about zero-party data, download Forrester’s report: “Q&A: What Marketers Need To Know About Zero-Party Data,” by Fatemeh Khatibloo.