Constricting sources for identity data used in ad targeting like the deprecation of third-party cookies and evolving regulatory environment creates frustration for advertisers.
Microsoft Advertising has turned to something it calls zero-party data to promote trust and relevance in advertising. The company defines it as data that comes from people willingly. They willingly provide information to brands about themselves, from interests to intentions.
John Cosley, senior director of brand marketing at Microsoft Advertising, suggests that brands put mechanisms in place that offer people control of their information. He writes in a post that it’s important to “grant” them the ability “to edit, add, or even revoke aspects of what they provide.”
Keep in mind, he writes, “it's not a race to zero-party data,” and the data plan should become part of a larger strategy. Second-party data and partnerships should continue to play a role in strategies, but understand and follow through with the exchange of value.
Zero-party data is consented beyond the standard information like an email address or phone number brands may need to deliver a service or experience. It could include product interests, personal context, and preferences, and it is exchanged for value. It helps brands better understand an individual.
People voluntarily share it in exchange for some explicit value, such as tailored communications or a more personalized experience for the customer. It is grounded in transparency and control, and how brands improve relevancy offered.
Marketers need to create opportunities to collect zero-data through interactive advertising, social media, messaging apps, websites, email, and more. This is where understanding customer and providing a good experience will come in handy.
Ask for the data. Forrester estimates that by the end of 2021, something it calls Automated Intelligence will enable more than 60% of business-to-business (B2B) brands to collect it.
A Forrester study provides this example from Kellogg’s. The cereal maker asked customers when and where they snacked, their preferred snack types, and with whom they shared in their household. They used the information to segment audiences and make snacking recommendations through tailored marketing messages.