Supporting the Rise of Zero-Party Data, Why It’s So Important

Zero-party data (ZPD) is going to be the future. But unfortunately, many marketers around the world, who have become accustomed to a life of ease with third-party data, may be unaware that their dream tactic has just hit an iceberg, and there’s another on the horizon.

Firstly, Apple released the Transparency Tracking App, which empowered iOS users to choose whether they wanted their apps tracked by others (mainly Facebook, now Meta). Secondly, this change to transparency will be supported by Google Chrome at the end of 2023, removing cookies. Two industry-shifting icebergs will challenge companies that have relied on these systems for their customer prospecting, retargeting and conversion.

The reliance on third-party data will be seen for what it is, laziness by marketers.

No longer will they have the ease of access to their perfect audiences after showing an interest in another internet setting, ready to be preyed upon by re-targeting or ads similar to their previous searches.

Creating Great Experiences

Understanding that all good things come to an end, what will marketers need to do? They’ll need to create great web experiences and convince people to give their data away directly to a company. Zero-party data is just a tango between the customer and the company, with no third-party feeding them the right moves to sweep you off your feet. The experience will once again be a personal touch.

The right message will be required, and it’ll need to resonate with people. As a result, copywriters will be in higher demand, and marketers who focus on branding, messaging and long-term strategy will be once again the centerpiece of a marketing team.

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The ZPD Marketer

The hard-working marketer is back in vogue. The marketer that companies will look for will be willing to investigate data for insights. The marketer that lives and breathes experimentation and iteration will inject new life into growth teams.

They won’t set up a campaign that plonks their product or service in front of lookalike audiences. Instead, the visionary and valued marketer will create a meaningful strategy that will serve the right messages and impactful messages to those in their target market.

Web experiences will need personalization, and they will need to be engaging. If the messaging isn’t right, if the copy and imagery are boring, these customers will let you know about it. They’ll offer that feedback through metrics like high bounce rates, rage clicks and a worrying lack of conversions. Unfortunately, these declining metrics won’t satisfy the CMOs and CEOs.

With the change to a zero-party data landscape, websites and landing pages won’t flood with primed and interested customers. Instead, traffic will be lower, and you’ll have to work for leads and eventual conversions.

Community As the Next Frontier 

The landscape change is refreshing news for the gig economy and freelancers, who can redesign landing pages, sharpen your copy and give you access to quality communities. Trust is the core point when it comes to digital communities. The communities on Slack, Facebook, Discord, Circle and more are rife with professionals eager to try new products to make their lives easier. Having a dedicated team member active in these communities builds relationships, builds a customer base and is an untapped resource for feedback.

Community management and hiring people to be advocates within high traffic communities will become pivotal for businesses. A never-ending digital networking event where insight is shared, content is amplified, and wins are cause for celebration.

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Pivoting From the Iceberg

What can you do while the first iceberg lays waste to your boat’s hull?

Clear areas that need addressing as your company embraces zero-party data include:

  • Reach
  • Website engagement
  • Concise messaging
  • Community presence

So, what’s next?

  • Brainstorm three strategies that will replace your current reliance on third-party data, and start to dedicate more time to them. Diversify your marketing approach, whether a blog, a weekly newsletter or account-based marketing.
  • Revisit your website and landing pages and ask yourself and your marketing team, would you give your own company your data? If not, what do you need to change?
  • Tell your parents and older friends to visit your site, and get them to tell you what your company does. Listen to the feedback, listen to the perceptions and assumptions.
  • Hire a community manager. The hire doesn’t need to be someone with tons of experience. Look for someone hungry for work, maybe in their final year of study, who is ready to learn how a company runs and how they can best utilize their digital experience. You won’t believe how quickly someone with the right memes and gifs can gain people’s trust.

The rise of ZPD does not need to be scary, and the iceberg may drive you to calmer and more abundant waters. A flexible and growth-oriented marketing team thrive under conditions like these. Nevertheless, the change is coming, so start making the course adjustments.

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