Even though the sunset of cookies by Google has been pushed out by another year to 2024, marketers are still looking for alternatives to reach their customers online as third-party cookies have helped agencies create targeting for their ad campaigns for over a decade. More and more agencies have begun to look for a replacement, specifically, zero and first-party data.
Another more important trend that has coincided with the sunsetting of cookies is the rise of the multicultural consumer in the U.S. According to the Brookings Institution, “nearly four of ten Americans identify with a race or ethnic group other than white and suggest that the 2010 to 2020 decade will be the first in the nation’s history in which the white population declined in numbers.”
Furthermore, “The unanticipated decline in the country’s white population means that other racial and ethnic groups are responsible for generating overall growth.”
The sunset of cookies and the rise of the multicultural consumer in the U.S. puts digital marketers at a turning point, making zero-party multicultural data an imperative rather than a nice-to-have.
What is zero party data?
The term zero-party data was coined by the market research firm, Forrester. Zero-party data refers to data that is voluntarily shared with companies and organizations via surveys, online forms, online applications, polls, etc. Often times respondents are incentivized to share their data through cash, sweepstakes, or other types of rewards, but sometimes respondents share their data for a chance to just share their opinions.
Zero-party data is arguably one of the most accurate forms of data as it comes directly from customers. By directly asking consumers what their opinions and preferences are, marketers are able to better tailor their marketing messages and create a two-way relationship with customers. This also enables better product recommendations as marketers aren’t making assumptions based on cookie data, but rather asking customers directly the types of products and services they are interested in.
Who are multicultural consumers?
The word multicultural can be confusing as it literally means many cultures. In the context of marketing, multicultural means non-Hispanic White consumers. This term is also most commonly used in the United States as other countries look at race and ethnicity differently. The most common audiences the term multicultural refers to in the U.S. are Hispanic, Black, Asian, and increasingly Indigenous, and Mixed-Race audiences. Multicultural is also starting to encompass audiences beyond race and ethnicity to refer to LGBTQIA audiences and Disabled audiences.
What is zero-party multicultural data? It’s a term coined by market research company, ThinkNow and refers to the intersection of zero-party data and multicultural consumers. As the U.S. becomes a multicultural majority, the need to authentically reach multicultural consumers is a business imperative. Connecting authentically with multicultural consumers is difficult to do with the current digital marketing tools available. But zero-party data can help. By asking multicultural consumers their identity, preferences and cultural touchstones directly, digital marketers can now craft culturally sensitive online campaigns that avoid stereotypes.
The rise of zero-party data comes at the perfect time for marketers as identity is at the forefront of what is important for multicultural consumers.