The Complete Guide to Zero Party Data

October 13, 2022

Rented relationship marketing – that’s what you’ve been using to date. 

For the most part, marketing campaigns piggyback on data received from third-party platforms for lead generation and conversion. But with privacy concerns, data protection laws and the strategic move to a cookieless world, renting is out. 

Enter zero party data.

A gif in which a person is confused

Okay, we get it. There’s already third-party data, and first-party data recently stepped up its game. Distinguishing between these, particularly first and zero, may seem complicated. But there’s a clear difference – while first-party data is implicit, zero is explicit. 

The best part? It’s not just for large companies; small businesses can easily leverage it.

Don’t get what is zero party data yet? Let’s dive deeper.

What is zero party data?

Picture this. 

A customer walks into a retail gadget store, and a salesperson greets them with a bunch of questions:

  • What gadget are they looking for?
  • Why are they purchasing it?
  • What’s their daily usage? 
  • How much can they spend?
  • Do they have any colour or size preferences?

The customer answers in great detail. A little browsing through several options, and voila. They’ve found just the right gadget, with an added discount!

Notice how the customer gives information to the salesperson (i.e., the brand) – including preferences, purchase intentions and personal context – willingly and explicitly?

That’s ‘zero party data’ for you. 

The Zero Party Data Formula which is a Venn diagram with trust, willingness and explicitness.
The Zero Party Data Formula

Trust is an important factor in this data exchange. The customer trusts the brand enough to share relevant details first-hand in return for highly personalised recommendations and offers.

Then there’s first-party data that the company collects through its channels. The customer often feels compelled to swap this information for completing a sale or getting useful brand resources. Email opt-in, newsletter subscription, shipping information and time spent on a page are first-party data examples.

So, what’s the hubbub about zero party data?

There are several benefits of using zero party data for your brand. 

It’s reliable

As Shivani Khokhani (Growth Marketer, Driftrock) puts it, “Zero party data takes the guesswork out of planning, empowering you to make better-informed decisions for marketing, and more importantly, business.”

Here, you’re getting data directly from customers. Not all of them will share accurate information. But opt-in data is more reliable than other types, making it a valid data source for richer customer experiences.

The cookie’s dying out

Maybe that’s a tad bit dramatic. But the end of the cookie is close. 

A gif showing death of the cookie

Google Chrome, the browser with the largest market share, is ditching third-party cookies by 2023, joining others like Firefox and Safari. Apple has taken data privacy one step further with changes in its IDFA policy from iOS14 onwards. Now, users must consent to data sharing for individual apps via opt-ins.

The cookie revolution is underway. AI-ML marketing models are fueled by large-scale customer data currently available as third-party data or cookies. Without cookies, there’ll be no data to track and target customers for marketing campaigns. 

Brands need to start collecting customer data of their own to power effective marketing campaigns, target the right audience and measure performance even after the cookie dies out. Those incorporating zero party data are already gaining a competitive advantage.

Privacy concerns are piling up

Technology has swooped ahead, but so have data breaches. In the first half of 2021 alone, over 18 billion records were exposed. Regulations like GDPR and CCPA were formed to mitigate these privacy risks.

With compliance in place, users need to compulsorily consent to their data being stored on a website or browser. Those concerns are nearly non-existent with opt-in data because customers willingly share information.

Superior engagement is on the horizon

Customers share their data voluntarily because they expect brands to create relevant value. Brands can give back through accurate segmentation and audience profiling, increasing engagement, retention and lifetime value.

“Brands can personalise digital marketing campaigns with high-quality, relevant targeting, rather than a spray-and-pray approach. The insights shape their communication and product strategy more effectively,” says Matt Wheeler (Founder & CEO, Driftrock).

You can also increase conversion rates, grow your customer list faster, protect your campaigns from external changes and assume full control over marketing.

How to collect zero party data

For starters, have your store representatives hand out forms to each customer, and don’t let them leave your store until the forms are filled in!

Of course, we’re kidding. Technology has made things quite simple.

There are multiple tools for collecting opt-in data and syncing it to your backend database. Have your pick from various formats like quizzes, polls, calculators, chatbots, assessments and web forms.

Let’s check out two use cases. 

Product quiz

Product Quiz to collect zero party data example
Zero Party Data - Product Quiz (Source)

You can ask a series of questions and recommend products based on the customer’s answers. The zero party data you collect can be synced with your CRM for future campaigns. Product quizzes work well for D2C and retail brands with various products or services. 

Survey Form

A survey form to collect zero party data example
Zero Party Data - Survey Form (Source)

Survey forms have a list of targeted and concise questions with options for answers. Questions may revolve around business goals, organisation size and pain points. Depending on the response, brands could direct customers to relevant services. Survey forms are perfect for B2B and finance brands, given their short length.

Automate zero party data capture for your brand

The simplest way to start is by reviewing your marketing touchpoints and discovering opportunities for opt-in data capture. With end-to-end lead generation and management, businesses can use the above data to nurture prospects through personalised campaigns.

Driftrock automates lead management for you, from data capture, validation, syncing, nurturing, and tracking to segmentation. This means you don’t need to make any significant changes in the marketing setup.

Using Driftrock, you can capture zero party data in two ways.

1. Native lead gen forms

Driftrock offers 20+ lead gen sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube and TikTok. You can set up native lead gen forms on these platforms and integrate data capture with backend systems (CRM, Analytics, and more).

Google lead gen form example
Native Lead Generation Form setup for Google (Source)

The platform also automates lead validation, so you can track leads as they move through the sales funnel. With tracking and reports, brands can stay ahead of the pack through campaign, keyword and placement optimisation. And amidst it all, Driftrock stays GDPR-compliant so you can capture data safely. 

2. Web forms

Smart Website Lead Forms are designed to increase website conversion rates. You can use them as a landing page linked to paid campaigns. Besides that, brands can also set them up as banner forms, inline forms and modal triggers.

The Car Expert's website banner form example
Website Lead Generation form (Banner) for The Car Expert (Source)

These forms track every lead, right until purchase, by automatically capturing UTM tracking and syncing to CRM, analytics or notifications. The result? Nearly 30% reduction in CPL and boost in lead volume.

Zero party data strategy for high impact

Expert Quote related to Zero Party Data and Personalised Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategy

To ensure your zero party data strategy captures high impact, you can:

Nurture zero-party data

Zero party data provides you with an audience who opted- in to hear from your brand. You can deliver targeted content relevant to their needs with this data and insight. At least 71% of consumers, who expect personalised interactions with brands, will be delighted with your marketing campaigns.

With Driftrock, you can sync this database with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn custom audience campaigns and segments for hyper-personalised, relevant marketing. Consider mapping out each segment’s journey stages. Then, craft a message encouraging the customer to take their next best action.

Gradually, these efforts will build loyalty, driving top-of-the-funnel awareness and nurturing prospects towards conversion.

Reporting and tracking zero party data

Just like any marketing campaign, you can only optimise what you measure. It’s critical to track how effective marketing is for your zero party data segments. This helps answer two key questions:

  1. Which zero party data segments are truly engaged with your brand and go on to purchase or take another action? There’s no value in capturing data from people who aren’t interested in your products.
  2. What are the most effective communication methods to convert your zero party audiences?

As Shivani points out, “By analysing zero party data in the customer journey, you can identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities with improved clarity.”

UTM tracking with keyword and campaign breakdown
UTM tracking throughout the customer journey (Source)

Driftrock lets you capture the marketing tracking information with each lead by source, medium, campaign, content and term – all the way until purchase. Tracking all touchpoints will also help you build relevant KPIs and determine the average lifetime value of each zero party record you capture. 

Zero party data examples in the real world

There’s no better time to start incorporating opt-in data in your marketing strategy. Here are some real-world zero party data examples of brands already working with it. 

1. Yelp

Zero Party Data example - Yelp

Yelp is closer to cracking the personalisation code. It lets customers choose their preferences, including dietary, lifestyle, accessibility and even hobbies. Then, it pushes restaurant recommendations that meet each customer’s preferences.

2. My Jewellery


My Jewellery helped shoppers identify their unique personal style with a quiz, collecting zero party data in the process. The brand could then use this information to attract prospects and encourage repeat customers, while avoiding risks in data collection. 

3. Heineken

Zero Party Data example - Heineken

Heineken captured zero party data via Driftrock’s Facebook and Instagram Lead Ads. It used coupon offers to entice customers to share relevant information. With this campaign, Heineken reached 1.78 million unique users and saw a 7.8% redemption rate.

The future of zero party data

In a marketing world that’s moving towards more consumer-centric preferences, giving data privacy utmost importance, opt-in data is more critical than ever. Unlocking richer marketing and personalisation abilities, courtesy of data that customers willingly share, will take your brand to the next level.

To ensure success of marketing campaigns in the future, the move to zero party data is inevitable.

Driftrock can help you capture and convert Zero Party Data from your website and 20+ other sources. To learn more, Sign Up or Book a Demo.