Data strategyJune 10, 2021

First-party data vs. zero-party data: Use both to drive growth

First- and zero-party data collection is becoming increasingly important as brands shift away from relying on third-party data. Learn how you can use mParticle and Iterable to collect high-quality data and use it to deliver personalized customer experiences.

Earlier this year, Google announced that third-party cookies will no longer be supported by the Chrome browser. Let’s break down what this actually means. 

First, what is third-party data? Third-party data is data that is collected without the consent or knowledge of the user to which the data belongs. There is no relationship between the collector and the party the data is collected from. 

Why is Google deprecating this kind of data collection? To benefit the consumer. According to Marketing Dive, “[Without third-party data] brand marketers can learn who their customers and prospects are rather than rely on anonymized data passed through ad-tech vendors.” A one-on-one relationship between brands and consumers is becoming more important as unique, personalized messaging becomes the norm. 

Lastly, what does this mean for marketers? Simply put, marketers are going to have to get creative. Instead of looking elsewhere for data about their customers, marketers need to learn how to understand each consumer as an individual, directly. To build one-on-one relationships with their customers, marketers will have to invest in collecting data directly from their customers. This data is referred to as first-party and zero-party data

A closer look at first- and zero-party data

Thank you for shopping (and for your first-party data)

First-party data is data you passively collect from your customers through your own properties, such as a website or app. Examples of first-party data collection include:

  • HTML tracking codes on individual websites
  • Behavior information via mobile apps
  • Shopping history and product preferences
  • Social media accounts

Customers implicitly provide consent to this type of first-party data collection as they visit and engage with your website.

Please, sir, may I have some zero-party data?

On the flipside, zero-party data, first coined by Forrester, is data the customer provides proactively. Examples of zero-party data collection include: 

  • Gated content form fills
  • A newsletter signup 
  • Account creation
  • Quizzes and surveys
  • Customer feedback

This data is highly valuable because it comes directly from the consumer. When the data comes right from the source, there’s no need to comb through piles of unspecified data to match information to an anonymous customer ID. Not only is it easier to understand the consumer, but collecting this kind of data builds trust and, as a result, can increase LTV.

How these data types can increase LTV

Customer LTV is defined as how much value the customer provides to the brand for the duration of their entire relationship with the brand. One word to focus on in this definition, as it relates to first-party and zero-party data, is “relationship.” 

Trust is the foundation of any good relationship. Mismanagement of third-party data immediately diminishes customer trust and provides a negative customer experience. On top of that, third-party data is often shared without the knowledge or consent of the customer. With first- and zero-party data, however, customers know what data they are providing and how that data will impact their experience. 

First- and zero-party data also helps to flesh out customer profiles. The mParticle platform, for example, can store cross-channel customer data on persistent customer profiles. Then, marketers can use these profiles to understand engagement, build audience segments, and power personalized campaigns. With the Iterable and mParticle integration, growth teams can forward any customer data from mParticle to Iterable, where it can be leveraged to send personalized messages. 

Iterable + mParticle make customer data actionable

Collecting first- and zero-party data is just the beginning. It’s what you do with the data that matters. Selecting the right marketing technology to collect, consolidate, and use customer data is crucial for building strong customer relationships. 

As your data is collected, it needs to be centralized in a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and organized in a way that allows your team to take actionable next steps. With the Iterable and mParticle integration, you can access high-quality, cross-channel customer data and forward it downstream to Iterable in just a few clicks. With Iterable’s multichannel marketing capabilities and workflow tools, you can use that data to power personalized, automated marketing messages, cross-channel messaging, and more.

To learn how your martech stack can benefit from the addition of Iterable and mParticle, you can request a demo. 

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