How customer data platforms can leverage zero-party data to improve CX

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Marketers are approaching a crossroads with their most important digital asset: data. As the flow of data multiplies exponentially every year, one of the digital marketing industry’s most widely used tools for analyzing campaigns and building lookalike audience profiles – cookies – is dying a slow death. As the saying goes, “As one chapter ends, another begins.”

To understand how customer data platforms can leverage data to improve CX in a cookie-free future, it’s important to understand the types of audience data marketers can work with. There are three types of audience data:

First party Third Zero comma
Data collected through direct consumer engagement with a brand.

For example, a consumer visits a retail website to view shoes. the retailer collects the data.

Data collected by an entity that has no direct relationship with the consumer.

For example, a consumer visits a retail website to view shoes. the analytics company collects the data.

Data knowingly shared with a brand as part of a value exchange.

For examplea consumer visits a rewards program website and shares information to earn rewards.

Audience Data Definitions

Customer data platforms (CDPs) are built to unify data about both customers and prospects. In this vein, CDPs manage a variety of consumer data. While the loss of third-party cookies will challenge marketers and companies, first-party cookies are also at risk in an increasingly mobile, app- and privacy-driven digital world. As a result, “cookie-free” solutions will deliver the next generation of consumer experiences. The combination of CDP and zero-party data makes a compelling 1-2 punch for improving customer experience (CX) and brand engagement innovation as the consumer-driven Internet, aka Web3.

Null point data First Party Data
Email, interests, occupation and other registration information Behavior that enriches existing profiles and enables similar modeling. conquering
CDP data integration opportunities

Zero Party Data: Shared data is compatible data

Fortunately, the future is here and it’s called zero-part data. If you’re confused or tired of data taxonomies, zero-party data is pretty simple: It’s data that a consumer shares “directly and proactively with a brand,” according to Forrester Research’s taxonomy. Intentional sharing of information addresses consumer data protection legislation (for example, GDPR, CCPA, DCA) while building trust between a consumer and the brand.


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Why does a consumer decide to share information like their name, email and behavioral data with a brand? The answer is simple: because the consumer sees value. A fair exchange of value between consumers and brands is long overdue and a core tenet of Web3.

Zero-party is the data hero for marketers

Marketers love first-party data because it’s owned by the brand. Unfortunately, first-party data tends to be limited in scale, while third-party data provides significant audience expansion. However, for anyone who has worked with third-party audience data, it’s a mixed bag at best. Between data brokers and data privacy concerns, marketers are already navigating a complex, if not opaque, ecosystem of audience data. Meanwhile, if attributes like age and gender are often wrong on a particular third-party profile, wouldn’t marketers be better served allocating money elsewhere?

Zero-party data is well-lit, reliable and compliant — a true hero for the data-driven marketer. A key value proposition of zero-party data is that it represents person-based data, unlike cookies, which represent audience-based data.

Data Orchestration Can Make or Break the Customer Experience (CX)

If you have become the recipient of poorly timed marketing or simply misplaced by brands must I know you by prior engagement — you are not alone. Global businesses typically maintain a technology stack that spans sales, marketing, and customer relationship management (CRM). To further complicate matters, agency partners managing ad campaigns may be working with yet another set of tools. As a result, a consumer profile may exist on one or more platforms. Understanding the stage of a consumer journey is critical to delivering relevant insights through paid or owned media, but data silos can create disjointed marketing messages that can damage relationships between brands and consumers. On the other hand, proper data orchestration paves the way for smart brand messaging and positive CX.

CDPs enhance and extend marketing campaigns

In a world of alone first party data, marketers are limited to consumers who have a direct relationship with their respective brands. This relationship could be in the form of a first-party cookie or ideally, a persistent identifier such as an email address. Although up-selling and/or cross-selling are effective, neither is a sustainable long-term growth strategy.

A CDP connected zero party data it opens the door to a variety of marketing initiatives, including customer acquisition, acquisition, and the lookalike model.

How does a selectable shared dataset work?

In the hypothetical example below, Acme Footwear wants to expand its audience reach beyond its current first-party data. By leveraging a zero-party dataset built into a CDP, Acme Footwear can create customized campaigns to engage with its demographic and psychographic targets.

Customer profile (target audience):

  • Male gender
  • Age: 25-30
  • Children: no
  • Gym membership: yes
  • Favorite hobby: sports

Zero part data available:

  • Retail brand: multi-sport athlete
  • Beverage company: sports drink
  • Car rental company: age 25-30
  • Gym: member
  • Shaving brand: male
  • Theme park: no kids

Just as Acme Footwear can use various zero-party data to inform campaigns, every participant can also leverage data. By sharing data points from their respective datasets, all these brands can use and benefit from permission-based zero-party data to advance their marketing goals. Think of CDP/zero-party data integration as a Web3 data partnership that provides a transparent and compliant means of enabling campaign targeting and personalization in the new Internet.

Similar to Web2, the cookie-free era of Web3 will still be powered by consumer data. CDPs and zero-party data will ensure appropriate consent from consumers while enabling smarter campaign targeting for brands. Business transparency and aligned incentives are the ways to improve CX.

Michelle Wimmer is Head of Advertising Operations at


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