Technology and innovation
min read

What is zero-party data and why should your brand care?

Published on
January 9, 2024
Last updated
January 22, 2024

What this article covers

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Well, it’s officially 2024 – and there’s no topic more exciting to kick off the new year than that of…data. 

Ok, you might’ve sensed some sarcasm there...

However, whilst data isn’t the most exhilarating of topics, it’s one of huge importance for brands as we settle into 2024.

If you’re a brand looking to resonate and capture the spend of Gen Z consumers, understanding zero-party data is key – so it's lucky that we've done some of the heavy lifting for you!

Read on to find out exactly what zero-party data is, why it’s relevant for your brand and how we can help.

Defining Zero-Party Data

Let's start with the basics. 

Zero party data is information that consumers willingly and proactively share with brands.

It's a conscious exchange, where individuals provide insights into their preferences, interests, and behaviours.

Unlike first-party data (collected by brands through their interactions with customers) or third-party data (purchased from external sources), zero-party data is a direct and intentional disclosure from consumers themselves.

Examples of Zero-Party Data that a company might collect

  • Customer demographics: information about a customer’s age, gender, location, and other demographics through a survey or registration form.
  • Preferences and interests: information such as the types of products or services customers are interested in, their preferred communication channels, or their preferred content formats.
  • Customer feedback: feedback on products and services such as a customer’s satisfaction level, any issues they have encountered, and their suggestions for improvement.

Why Zero-Party Data Matters

Now, let's delve into why this type of data is particularly crucial when it comes to engaging with your consumers.

Zero party data eliminates the so-called “creepy factor” of first-party data: it’s been shared willingly by users, and as a result, brings in an element of trust.

This is key to building authentic connections. We know by now that Gen Z values authenticity. By willingly sharing information, they give brands the ability to understand their preferences, wants and needs in an authentic way. It’s data straight from the source.

Zero-party data enables personalization. There’s nothing worse than being told a story that you have no interest in. The same principle applies to selling: if you don’t know your consumer, you’re unlikely to get very far. However, zero-party data allows brands to tailor their content and personalize right down to the individual. From product recommendations, to marketing messages and more, zero-party data helps brands create tailor-made content: and Gen Z will appreciate this!

Case study: the power of opt-ins and opt-outs

Zero-party data might sound like a daunting term, but it’s actually less scary (and more empathetic) than you might think.

Every year, flower delivery company Bloom & Wild emails their database to ask whether they’d like to opt out of receiving Mother’s Day emails.

This is a thoughtful example of how brands can leverage this kind of data and demonstrate their empathy.

Zero-party data is beneficial for the brand as well: a happier customer won’t unsubscribe, or flag you as spam. Zero-party data will also save you money, too: you won’t waste time targeting consumers who have no interest in your campaign.

Plus, in Bloom & Wild’s case, it can help you generate some great PR!

In the era of hyper-personalization, zero-party data is a beacon for brands seeking to connect with Gen Z

By understanding, respecting, and ethically leveraging consumer information, brands can not only gain valuable insights but also cultivate lasting relationships.

Want to hear more about how we can help you?

At Pion, we collect verified zero-party data on the purchasing behaviour of millions of students and consumer groups around the world. We use these insights to help brands build bespoke full-funnel campaigns that target consumers on an individual basis.

Ready to get your brand in front of a highly engaged and passionate audience (who, by the way, have a combined purchasing power of $360 billion...)?!

Discover how our Pion verification can give you access to your very own zero-party data today.

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Ready to see how Pion can supercharge your sales targets?