B2E Data Blog

Zero Party Data, the Next Big Thing?

Dec 9, 2022 1:07:34 PM / by Keith Snow

Two years ago, a new data term was coined and it’s being called the new secret weapon for businesses. 


Have you heard of “zero-party data?” 


The data landscape for marketers is changing significantly. If you’re not yet familiar with zero-party data (let alone have a plan for where and how to get it) don’t despair. Read on to learn more about where zero party data fits into the evolving world of Big Data.


Third, Second, First, and Now, Zero

Data about the people who matter most to your business comes in all forms and from many different places. When aggregated, it forms a rich and detailed customer picture that allows your brand to interact in very personalized and effective ways. 

There are various sources for obtaining data, and each comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. Here is the growing list and differences among each. 


Third-party data is information you acquire about your customers from an outside source that doesn’t have a direct relationship with them. The information is culled and aggregated from a variety of sources such as public demographic data, government or nonprofit sources, or consumer databases. It can be purchased from companies like Nielson, Experian, Acxiom, and B2E. At B2E, we have an in-house national consumer database powered by top-tier data sources and updated monthly. 

Third-party data is readily available and often offers far more insights than any one business can amass on its own. B2E’s consumer database contains detailed information on 232 million individuals belonging to 127 million households, which covers 95% of the U.S. population. 


Second-party data is information collected from a partner that has a direct relationship with the audience. For example, a hotel booking site might obtain information from an airline partner in order to target travelers based on past or upcoming destinations. 

Obtaining data from a partner can mean the information is high quality and relevant to your audience – but be sure it’s coming from a trusted organization. You won’t have any control over how the data is collected or how accurate it is. Also, it may be difficult to integrate into your own data if the partner has different standards. 


First-party data is information you obtain directly from your customers. It often comes from the footprint customers create by visiting your website, subscribing or ordering products, using your app, or social data.

First-party data is prized because it comes directly from the people your business wants to target, is highly accurate, and is based on real-world behaviors. Because you collected and own the data, you can feel confident in its veracity and face less potential restrictions on its use.


Portrait of a happy female student using laptop computer in university


Zero-party data, the new kid on the block, is defined as the information customers voluntarily and intentionally share. It’s a lot like first-party data, and because it’s still a relatively new term, many still use first-party data to describe what’s now more often being defined as zero-party.

Most customers understand that brands monitor and track their behavior to gather first-party data, but these are observations. With zero-party data, customers are more explicitly telling an organization about themselves, leaving less need to draw conclusions. One of the biggest challenges of zero-party data is that it’s the most difficult to collect. 


Ways to Obtain Zero Party Data

Though it’s the most difficult kind of data to come by, zero-party data is worth the effort. Here are a few ways you can start building your repository.


Website forms. Identify opportunities to include forms on your website that enable you to gather more details about customer interests and preferences, such as which types of products, services, or content a prospect is interested in. 


Email marketing. If collecting customer emails hasn’t been part of your process, start now. Over time, you’ll gain a greater understanding of which topics interest your customers and be able to segment and tailor your content. You’ll also open the door to periodically send quizzes, surveys, and polls to deepen your knowledge base.  


Online quizzes. Embedding a quiz into your website or email marketing can be a great way to learn about customers and enhance their experience with personalized recommendations and content. 


Surveys. Send out surveys post-purchase by email or text to gather input from consumers about product/experience satisfaction and improvement. 


Social media. Your brand’s social media channels provide the opportunity to quickly deploy polls that gather opinions, sentiments, and facts about your followers.


Zero-party data is sure to set your brand apart as it deepens your understanding of what your customers truly want. Reach out to the data marketing specialists at B2E for help putting your data work in personalized marketing campaigns designed for results!


Keith Snow

Written by Keith Snow

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