In this ever-adapting world of eCommerce, marketing leaders need to know more and more about their customers to gain brand loyalty. Previously, gathering meaningful data has allowed shop owners to target the right market with online adverts and cookies.
But that’s about to get a lot more complicated.
Data privacy laws are changing. Consumer demand for greater online privacy has led to a change in laws and an overhaul in the way software companies allow businesses to collect data.
Traditionally, companies relied on third-party data trackers such as cookies to gather consumer data in the background. But these are being phased out. For example, Apple no longer allows data aggregators or social media apps to collect data from mobile phones. What’s more, the use of adblockers is on the rise.
The result? Companies now need new, innovative ways of learning about their consumers—and it’s about time too. Involuntary data collection is dated and doesn’t allow businesses to target their audience effectively. Using new methods of gathering data with a more consumer-centric approach means you collect higher-quality data.
It’s time to explore what zero-party data can do for you.
Why is zero-party data important?
While first-party data is personal information collected directly from your website through sales and analytics, third-party data is purchased from aggregators or social media, making it easier for newer businesses to access marketing data.
However, this is where the clampdown occurs, so businesses need to adapt and find new ways of gathering data.
Enter: zero-party data.
Zero-party data enables you to collect data from people via your website in a fun way. You can build genuine relationships with clients and engage in meaningful communication.
Better yet, this data type is volunteered, useful information such as color preferences, favorite foods, and hobbies. That means it can be used in marketing to make meaningful recommendations to your customers that are more likely to convert.
Moving forward, zero-party data can be used without the risk of you falling victim to a breach. It’s part of an inbound marketing strategy that allows you to nurture and manage leads. Showing an interest in your customers that goes beyond gathering contact information helps to build trust between you and your customers.
Furthermore, zero-party data is necessary to improve each stage of your data-driven customer journey. When customers walk into a physical shop, they have an experience. Bright displays, scents, music, greetings, and offers of help all form part of this journey. Online, the customer’s experience is delivered differently, so knowing your customer helps you to get it right.
8 creative ways to collect zero-party data
Once you have collected zero-party data, you can nurture your clients with email flows and website pop-ups tailored to them. You can match certain products with the right people and align your brand to suit your clientele.
Understanding your clients helps to create a buying (and follow-up) experience that encourages brand loyalty.
So how do you go about collecting zero-party data? Here are just a few new and creative ideas to get you started.
Depending on what products you’re selling, quizzes can be a fun way of collecting data. They also have the added bonus of making customers feel like a relationship is forming.
When products come in a range and can be selected by customers, such as underwear or skincare, quizzes can gather information, including skin type, skin concern, and underwear sizes.
So, next time you have a sale on XL underwear or a new dry skin formula, for example, you have a ready-made target audience. Tailoring email marketing to be meaningful and specific to the recipient increases the chance of it being effective.
Even better if your quizzes can be funny, quirky, or engaging in some unique way. You can also offer an incentive to people who fill in the quiz, such as 10% off their next order or free shipping. But ultimately, the more you get to know your customers, the better you can refine your quiz content.
Using current email subscribers, you can run polls and ask for feedback and opinions. Creating conversations helps customers feel listened to and valued. In turn, this creates a bond that goes beyond traditional email marketing.
Emails can also be used to re-engage past leads. Consider a short poll, survey, or simple text along the lines of “We miss you”, “How can we improve?” and “Was there something you were looking for?” This might help you to bring customers back in.
When a customer lands on your homepage, a conversational website pop up can ask questions to show personalized products. Combined with an incentive, these can be a great way to capture data snippets such as email addresses.
Post-purchase surveys allow you to re-engage with customers and show you care about them after they’ve made a purchase. This allows you to find out what customers like about your brand. Not only is this valuable for remarketing in the future, you can also adapt your website, product, or service with customers’ feedback in mind.
Retaining existing customers is as crucial as acquiring new ones. So improving your repeat purchase rate helps you build a client base that’s loyal, recommends your brand to others, and spends more with your business.
Image sourced from Instagram.com
Gamification is a fun way to engage customers and glean data. You can utilize social media channels for maximum visibility by offering a giveaway in return for data. The benefit of using social media is that you can ask for the post to be liked and shared as part of the entry, increasing your exposure organically.
You can collect data when new members and subscribers sign up as part of your onboarding process. As well as gathering the usual personal data, add in extra questions about preferences so that you can hone future marketing messages to meet their needs.
You can take it one step further, too. For example, members and subscribers can be rewarded with loyalty points for completing surveys, reviews, and quizzes to give you an insight into their preferences.
Accounts and registration
Encouraging customers to create accounts allows you to gather valuable, usable data. Simply being able to email someone and address them by name improves the chances of the email being opened and read.
Email marketing revenue is increasing at 13.3% annually, so finding new ways to stand out and engage clients is essential.
You don’t always have to offer discounts or freebies when incentivizing sign-ups. Exclusive access to sales, new products, or virtual try-on facilities can be just as powerful.
Customer preference center
Giving customers the chance to choose the type of communication they receive helps to build trust. Today, there are multiple channels worth considering, including email, telephone, mail, or SMS and MMS using a business text messaging solution. Providing communications through the customer’s preferred channel ensures they feel in control of communication.
What’s more, implementing local presence dialing can help your sales team if they make many international outbound calls. Providing your business with a regional area code increases the likelihood of potential and existing customers answering your calls.
A preference center can also help gather data on what customers are or aren’t interested in so you can create communication content that’s relevant.
Image sourced from Instagram.com
Implementing zero-party data collection systems
After reviewing the methods of collecting zero-party data, your team must consider a few key questions:
- Which zero-party collection strategies work best for your business?
- How will you implement them?
- How will you use the data?
Gather your team to brainstorm ideas. Look into Otter.ai transcription alternatives that automatically take notes while you focus on generating ideas and developing a plan. This also gives you an accurate transcription that can be kept in one place and referred back to later on.
Of course, privacy is one of the most essential considerations for any business. This includes ethical marketing, data handling, law abidance, and educating your staff to handle data lawfully. Training your staff on privacy is vital, too. Considering that, it’s worth considering the best privacy certification courses to suit your consumer and business needs.
Once you’re on top of legislation, gathering data in a mindful way from customers who want to give you their information will soon be the norm. Getting in there first shows customers you’re interested in them and care about their wants and needs instead of just selling to them.
Despite the fact businesses have to adapt to zero-party data collection, this shift doesn’t only benefit the customer. If you think about it, most past marketing involved a blanket approach. After all, how many cat food adverts were seen by non-cat owners? How many beef burger promotions were pushed to vegans?
Zero-party data collection allows you to be more efficient with your marketing by targeting people more likely to buy your products and services.
What’s more, you’ve probably already implemented some zero-party data strategies. It helps you to act within the confines of regulations, gain new insights into your customers, and improve trust. The benefits are clear—soon, zero-party data collection will be the only method.
Your competitors are already adapting. Are you?