Digital Compliance | GDPR | Sustainability

Data Protection as an Opportunity to Build Trust with First- and Zero-Party Data

Users are increasingly concerned about how their personal data is collected for marketing purposes. Responding to this concern, national governments and digital platforms reformed their data protection policies. Online marketers are presented with the challenge of collecting enough data but also have an opportunity to get to know their customers better and gain their trust back. 

Three Factors Why Third-Party Data Collection Has Been Cut

  • Governments have reacted to the increasing value of personal data and  to the growing concern of citizens about how their personal information is being used. Laws and regulations for data protection have been issued to give back control to users over the use of personal data. This has been enforced with, for example, the ePrivacy Directive (Cookie Directive) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.
  • Big tech companies like Apple and Google have made changes to protect their users’ data due to growing international criticism of their Analytics platforms. This has resulted in restrictions on third-party data collection via cookie tracking.
  • Users have begun to demand control over their data and transparency about where the data is stored, or what it is used for.

These three factors are forcing companies to rethink their marketing strategies. However, they can also be seen as an opportunity to refocus, build trust, and create a loyal customer base where consumers feel comfortable sharing private data.

First-Party Data and Zero-Party Data: What is the difference?

Both first-party and zero-party data is owned by the brand, it does not pass through another server (like third-party cookies do). Therefore, it is safe and compliant to use both in marketing. There are still some subtle distinctions to be made:

First-party data is retrieved during the user’s interaction with the brand, e.g. on the company’s website, mobile applications or social media channels. Categories of first-party data include contact information generated by a lead form, purchase history, as well as demographic information, interests, behaviors, and website engagement. Ideally, data collection is then consolidated and standardized for use across multiple platforms.

Zero-party data is similar to first-party data except that the user is giving information explicitly. The user will share data by creating an account and customizing their preferences, for example through wish-lists or selecting newsletter topics. Another way to collect this data is through questionnaires, polls and feedback forms. This information allows the brand to ensure an even more personalized experience.

Promoting Trust With Data Protection-Compliant Data Collection

Giving the user control over their personal data and guaranteeing that the data is collected in a safe environment during direct interactions establishes trust. This can be implemented by writing the policy and privacy statement for the dynamic cookie banner in a simple, transparent way that makes sense to the user. These factors put a user at ease and make it more likely for a user to share personal information with a brand. This data is individual and highly accurate and will help the brand establish authentic audiences and customize their communication. First- and zero-party data collection is essentially more transparent, not only for the user but also for the brand.

Let us look on the brighter side and consider that new data compliance laws can also benefit brands and user experience in the long term. Collecting first- and zero party data promotes transparency, can optimize communication and will allow even more personalized marketing in the future.

Is your brand properly set up to comply with data protection policies and to collect and store first- and zero-party data? Our team at Advance Metrics is ready to help you with data strategy and digital privacy. Stay tuned for further articles building customer trust using responsible methods to collect data.

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