Here’s how zero-party data can take your marketing from zero to hero, so to speak.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What zero-party data is
  • How it compares to other data types
  • Ways to encourage your audience to share information
  • How to leverage intentionally-shared data

Since the death of third-party cookies seems imminent, many marketers are revamping their campaigns to minimize reliance on third-party data. 

While Google is working to offer tools that replace third-party cookies (e.g. Google Privacy Sandbox), there’s no certain timeline for its launch. That means we’ve got to get creative.

One option still at digital marketers’ disposal is zero-party data. Below, we’ll dig into what this type of data is all about and how you can leverage it for your marketing campaign.

crosswalk sign with a zero and a hand lit up

Unlike zero-party data, first-party data isn’t proactive, it’s passive. (Image: Unsplash)

What is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is the information your audience willingly and proactively shares with your company. 

It includes:

  • Purchase intention
  • Preferences
  • Demands
  • Reviews
  • Other feedback

The good news: According to experts, consumers aren’t just ready to share information — they’re potentially willing to pay extra for a personalized approach. 

The main issue with third-party data is the privacy concern factor. Internet users were concerned about companies collecting information and using or selling it without their permission. 

When it comes to zero-party data, this problem doesn’t exist. Customers willingly share information in exchange for a better, more tailored experience.

Zero-party data vs. first-party data

First-party data is the information you collect from the audience on the platforms you own, such as a website, mobile app, or online store.

When they visit you in one of these formats, consumers first give permission to track their behavior, study purchase history, analyze navigation history, and more.

Similar to zero-party data, you gain access to first-party data after getting the visitor’s permission. However, unlike zero-party data, first-party data isn’t proactive, it’s passive.

The importance of zero-party data

Zero-party data may be harder to collect than other data types. On the plus side, it comes with a variety of benefits that can streamline your marketing campaign.

Maintaining consumer privacy

The main benefit of zero-party data is that it doesn’t violate any data privacy laws, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

You don’t need to worry about breaching your audience’s privacy or being hit with unexpected penalties when new laws appear. 

As a bonus, if you learn to leverage zero-party data, the transition to cookie-less marketing (aka no third-party data) will likely be smoother.

Improving data accuracy

For marketers, zero-party data can be more beneficial than other data types.

This is due to the accuracy of the information you’re gathering. It’s especially helpful since, when it comes to marketing, a big chunk of time goes into data analytics.

Marketers collect data to get a clearer picture of their ideal client personas — what they care about, what their pain points are, and more. When the data is supplied directly by the audience, you can feel more confident that the picture you have is accurate.

people analyzing data

65% of consumers are willing to share data in exchange for a better experience. (Image: Unsplash)

How to collect zero-party data

Collecting this data requires a special approach to the consumers’ pain points — and a bit of outside-the-box thinking.


When visitors sign up for a newsletter or register on your website, you can ask them a few questions about preferences and expectations along with gathering their name and address.

Another excellent opportunity to ask questions is during registration for loyalty programs. At this point, consumers are often willing to share data in exchange for bonuses or perks.

Personalized recommendations

As mentioned above, 65% of consumers are willing to share data in exchange for a better experience. While a visitor is browsing your website, they could encounter a pop-up that asks questions in exchange for personal information.

For example, the pop-up of an e-commerce site can ask about sizing or style preferences to create a personalized shopping list. You can also send an email that offers personalized options in exchange for a few pieces of info.


One of the most effective ways to collect this type of data is to offer something in exchange. Similar to lead magnets that you create to get contact details, you can use freebies to get answers to your questions.

You can offer valuable content, discounts, early access to new products, and other bonuses in exchange for zero-party data.

Quizzes and surveys

Quizzes and surveys can get you high-quality zero-party data. After all, people love to talk about themselves and what they like!

As long as your survey isn’t too lengthy, simply offering the chance to score a $100 gift card can be enough to get sizable data in return.

How to use zero-party data

Once you’ve sourced your zero-party data, you can leverage it in a variety of useful ways.

  • Customized ads – Once you know what your consumers want, you can design effective content for your paid ads.
  • Personalized offers – You can create personalized offers and share them over email or through social media.
  • Retention tactics – Collect data from your existing customers to create offers that keep them loyal to your brand.

When customers willingly and proactively share their data, they expect a better experience in return. That’s why it’s imperative to act upon what you collect. 

If they don’t see any improvement from giving out insights, they may stop sharing information or start shopping around.

The takeaway  

Zero-party data is a highly useful marketing tool that can help your brand survive in the cookie-less world. While it may take a bit more strategy to collect than third-party data, the benefits can be impressive.

By leveraging this data, you can work on building closer relationships with your clients, improving retention, and streamlining personalization.

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