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Effective marketing campaigns closely resemble a conversation between the company and the customer. This marketing style has become increasingly integral to customer expectations, as research shows more than 70% of customers expect personalized experiences and messaging from the brands they interact with.
But how do companies deliver personalized customer experiences? The answer is zero party data.
Zero party data (ZPD) is a type of data that companies collect voluntarily and willingly from customers, according to Forrester Research. When a customer chats fills out a website form to provide personal info, that’s ZPD.
Collecting zero party customer data, like demographic information, behavior, preferences, and interests, allows companies to utilize this information to create hyper-personalized messaging. You can use it for:
- Building trust to foster better customer relationships
- Delivering product updates
- Selling things that customers care about
Overall, collecting zero party data and understanding how brands are using it ethically and effectively will help you offer more personalized product recommendations and boost customer loyalty and retention.
Let’s talk data
When we talk about party data, we go from zero to three. But what do these mean?
What is zero party data?
Zero party data is collected directly by the company and directly from the customer. The company collects data in a conversational manner. By using methods like SMS polls or surveys, the customer provides the company with information like demographics, behavior, and the types of products they seek out.
What is first-party data?
Like ZPD, first-party data (FPD) is collected directly by the company. The difference is that ZPD is collected through a conversational exchange of information between the company and the client. FPD is collected through the recording of information like a shopper’s purchase history or web activity.
What is second-party data?
Second-party data is when one company gathers another company’s (normally a business partner) first-party data.
What is third-party data?
This is consumer data that has been aggregated from various sources and is normally bought from other companies. For decades now, e-commerce companies have relied heavily on third-party data. This type of data is shrouded by concerns of data privacy and has been the subject of strict regulation (think GDPR in the EU). It will also become increasingly difficult for companies to use this data once Google ends the use of third-party cookies.
6 ways to collect zero party data
The foundation of zero party data collection is based on the idea of value exchange. The customer provides the company with valuable personal data. In return, the business provides the highly personalized experiences customers crave. To collect ZPD, you should use the direct channels of communication you have already established with your clients.
SMS polls are an efficient and effective way to collect information about customer preferences. The poll is sent directly to the customer’s inbox and is quick and easy for them to complete.
A big benefit to using SMS to send out polls is just how well text messages perform, especially when compared to other platforms like email or social media platforms. SMS boasts a 95% open rate and a 59% click-through rate.
If you’re a musician looking to book shows for an upcoming tour, you can text your audience, asking them where they’d like to see you perform. You can take the replies with city names to find out where your audience is based and which shows are more likely to sell out.
During a customer’s sign-up and onboarding process, they’re already providing you with data. Don’t stop at names and email addresses. Use this opportunity to collect information that’ll help you understand and communicate with your new customers better.
As they’re populating their profiles, filling out sign-up forms, or going through demos and interviews, gather information about age, location, interests, and communication preferences. All of this information will help you hit the ground running, instantly surfacing relevant and personalized messages to your new customers.
Post-purchase surveys are a great, direct way to gather information about purchase intent, feedback, and brand perception. Links to surveys can be distributed across multiple channels, like email, social media, or SMS.
A great time to distribute surveys is just after a customer has finalized a purchase. You can also wait some time after the purchase to gather data about their experience with the product or service.
Ask different kinds of questions that provide you with different data types. Multiple-choice questions help you build large data sets of quantitative information. Complementing these with open-ended questions helps you understand why you have obtained such replies. If 70% of your customers ranked their overall purchase experience as a 3, open-ended questions will help you uncover the friction points that are keeping your scores low.
You can encourage customers to fill out the surveys by offering incentives like gift cards or giveaways in exchange for their time.
Quizzes sit somewhere between snappy SMS polls and more comprehensive surveys. They’re a fun, quick, and easy way to help you understand things like customer likes, dislikes, pain points, purchase intentions, and purchasing ability.
Say you’re a fast-food restaurant offering a range of burger products. You can create a quiz to help customers find out what burger best suits their tastes and personality. The questions you ask will provide you with insightful ZPD and is also a great opportunity to highlight different products.
You can place quizzes using plug-ins and third-party software across any channels on which you get high levels of engagement. These could include your website, app, social media, or text messages.
A timely pop-up at different moments during the customer journey is a great way for you to check in with your customers and get their thoughts and feedback on the purchasing process. Pop-ups on your website help provide customers with the information they might be looking for while you simultaneously collect useful information.
You later use this information to improve your personalization strategy and remove friction.
If a customer is signing up for a loyalty program, it is safe to assume that they’re a high-value customer with a lot of valuable insight. They are likely to continue engaging with your brand for some time to come.
As they’re signing up for your loyalty program, you could and should collect zero party data from them in order to formalize the value exchange that is happening. As they provide you with the details you need to sign up for the program, you can collect valuable ZPD, similar to how you did during their initial registration. The difference here is that the information you collect can be even more targeted toward customers who are more familiar with your brand.
It is a great opportunity to ask for information such as what they like about your product or brand, how often they purchase from you, and what features they’d like to see going forward. They are signing up for further benefits, and you are collecting ZPD to improve customer experiences across the board.
3 brands with successful zero party data strategies using Community
Companies of all sizes and industries use Community, an SMS software solution, to successfully collect and utilize zero party data. These strategies can inspire your own ZPD plan and help you make the most of your SMS campaigns.
Chris Harder’s Fast Foundations Mastermind course earned $324,000 in sales in 24 hours
In 2020, entrepreneur and podcast creator Chris Harder and his wife launched the Fast Foundations Mastermind education program. The $4,000 course aimed to educate entrepreneurs on how to grow early-stage businesses.
Prior to launching the course, Chris collected zero party data based on his Member’s interests. Via back-and-forth interactions with fans, he identified members who were interested in the course and built up excitement prior to launch.
On launch day, he texted this community an early-access link which converted into an impressive 42.7% click-through rate. He was able to sell $324,000 worth of course registrations in a day.
Johnny 2 Phones used ZPD to identify his superfans
Johnny 2 Phones turned to Community to create a highly personalized marketing campaign to launch his new single. He encouraged his fans on social media to text his Community number to get early access to his new single.
By communicating with his fans via Community, he was able to identify highly engaged superfans using the platform. He then asked this group of fans to share their preferred music streaming service, which enabled him to further segment them based on different streaming platforms.
Once his single was launched, he was able to text his superfans links to the new track that directed them straight to their platform of choice. This resulted in a 13% CTR and his Community grew by over half in just four days.
The Home Edit used SMS content to develop a community of fans
Clea and Joanna have enjoyed tremendous success with their Netflix show “Get Organized with the Home Edit.” They invited their now global audience to participate in a text-based contest. Anyone who sent them a picture of their messy home would be entered with the chance to win a virtual DIY and Zoom call with Clea and Joanna.
Ten lucky winners were able to level up their organizational skills thanks to the competition. Joanna and Clea were able to use the zero party data they collected from all the fans that entered the competition. They created a community of members with whom they could share updates and news on a regular basis.
Ingrain zero party data collection into your marketing strategy with Community
Community makes it easy for brands to collect zero party data through their SMS marketing activities. Reach out directly into your users’ inboxes and gather valuable insight by using interactive conversational SMS features. Use these insights to create accurate customer segments that will be integral to your marketing strategy going forward.
Download the 2022 Martech SMS Playbook and learn how brands use Community to collect zero party data to boost customer engagement and drive revenue.