Zero-Party Data vs. First-Party Data

In the digital age, consumers are more likely to do business with companies that provide personalized experiences. Many retailers and brands use different forms of data to understand and reach their customers to ultimately deliver customized buyer journeys.

Amid evolving data privacy regulations and a heightened awareness of consumer privacy, brands have taken a closer look at the types of data they use. Many that long relied on third-party data in the form of cookies have instead started to invest in first-party or zero-party data. As advertisers work to build strategies built on these informative and more customer-centric forms of data, they might face challenges. However, understanding and properly utilizing these two forms of data is critical for success in the long run.

Most advertisers are familiar with first-party data, but you might be asking yourself: “What is zero-party data? How can I use it to drive more engaging digital experiences?” Forrester defines zero-party data as any information that a customer willingly shares with a brand. In other words, this is data that a customer explicitly provides by submitting a contact form or setting up their account.

On the other hand, first-party data is collected by a brand’s digital channels through digital cookies, website navigation patterns, and application user analytics like heat maps.

Executing on the right zero-party data vs. first-party data balance can be daunting for brands. To help mitigate the strain, we’ve gathered some answers to common questions our customers ask when we advise using zero- and first-party data-based campaigns.

How Does Zero-Party Data Impact Personalized Customer Experiences?

Zero-party data is information that consumers voluntarily and deliberately share with brands. This kind of data is acquired from channels including:

  • Social media polls.
  • Website activity (such as downloads and online chats).
  • Calculators and configurators.
  • Customer account profiles.
  • Messages or lead generation forms.
  • Emails, newsletters, or SMS subscriptions.

Consider this type of data collection as a conversation with consumers to gather important qualitative and quantitative feedback. In these formats, consumers are providing the following relevant information to guide their future buying experiences:

  • What kinds of products do they like?
  • What is their opinion on your latest product?
  • How frequently do they want to hear from brands within a given timeframe?
  • What brand updates are they interested in hearing about?

Even personal, non-intrusive information collection is standard with zero-party data, such as:

  • Likes and dislikes.
  • Ordering and delivery preferences.
  • Lifestyle demographics.

These interactions create brand experiences that mirror interactive dialogue rather than delivering the “big brother” targeted ad style that some consumers are turned off by. These non-invasive methods encourage consumers to voice their opinions, further enabling personalized shopping and browsing experiences. If brands demonstrate they hear and value consumer opinions, it makes an advertiser’s job easier when creating effective digital marketing strategies.

Consumers can also voice interest in the ads you present, providing invaluable information enabling your marketing team to deliver personalized experiences.

Zero-Party Data: A Win-Win for Consumers and Brands

Overall, companies and consumers both benefit from zero-party data. It helps many advertisers create personalized experiences while respecting consumer privacy and complying with consumer privacy laws like GDPR and the CPRA.

Zero-party data also helps retailers and brands:

  • Create tailored consumer experiences.
  • Build and nurture consumer trust.
  • Encourage consumers down the sales funnel faster by presenting products they have expressed interest in.
  • Retarget campaigns.
  • Create personalized, engaging website experiences.
  • Effectively segment audiences for email and social campaigns.
  • Conduct A/B tests to verify preferences.
  • Analyze customer behavior insights such as churn rate.

Two further selling points for using zero-party data in brands and agencies include:

  • Creating personalized consumer experiences is every marketer’s goal. Explicitly provided zero-party data clearly outlines a consumer’s preferences, which can contribute to customized experiences and accelerated buyer’s journeys. You can use this data to publish personalized landing pages, promotional pages, product recommendations, and news about new products based on consumers’ enhanced profiles.
  • Empowering consumers.Consumers want personalized experiences, yet they still wish to control how brands use their data. Zero-party data empowers consumers to dictate how their information is used. Because this information is obtained with consent, it shouldn’t surprise consumers when they encounter an ad for a product they have expressed interest in.

Zero-party data addresses the sensitive personalization vs. privacy dilemma many marketers struggle with in today’s environment.

Zero-Party Data vs. First-Party Data

While zero-party data is voluntarily given to the brand by the consumer, first-party data is information you passively collect from a consumer’s activity on your website, such as:

  • Buying history.
  • Demographic info.
  • Content subscriptions.
  • Campaign responses.
  • Browsing data, including time on page, scrolling, and click-through path history.
  • Loyalty program membership.

Both forms of data help brands effectively and ethically create personalized experiences. Privacy is an ever-present concern, and many leading brands incorporate how they use each kind of data into their privacy policies.

How Do First-Party Data and Zero-Party Data Differ?

Many confuse zero-party data as a subset of first-party data. The easiest way to differentiate between the two is that zero-party data refers to voluntarily obtained consumer data outside of e-commerce transactions. Consumers provide input by answering direct questions and adding context to social analytics data.

These data types differ in how they are obtained and the insights they contribute to campaigns.

The three biggest differences are:


Consumers voluntarily provide zero-party data, whereas first-party data is collected on a brand’s digital application or website. For example, a consumer might tell an auto parts brandwhich year, make, and model their vehicle is, which can enrich their profile from when they bought windshield wipers six months ago.

  1. Zero-party data consists of accurate, explicit consumer-provided contributions, while first-party data relies on implicit analysis and user behavior.
  2. You can build trusted dialogues with consumers by voluntarily exchanging personal data for a tailored buying experience.

Benefits of Using First-Party Data and Zero-Party Data Together

Consumers are increasingly willing to share personal information with brands as long as it is used responsibly to create a better buying experience.

Both zero- and first-party data can be analyzed in tandem to determine what types of ads will appeal to consumers and create hyperpersonalized shopping experiences. Enriched customer profiles enable brands to market effectively to consumers and create better outcomes.

Why Choose Digilant as Your Data-Driven Advertising Partner?

Digilant has a proven record of helping agencies and brands deliver engaging advertising content to their target audience.

Shifting from the much-beloved third-party cookies to campaigns built on first- and zero-party data might seem intimidating or difficult. However, with Digilant, we can help make the process easy and accessible for both you and your customers.

If you’re ready to learn more about how zero-party data can benefit your business, contact us. We will help set up a personalized business strategy that will help you meet your specific advertising needs.

The New Media Playbook for Advertisers: The Skeptic

Digital marketing best practices have evolved a lot over the past decade. Today’s consumers expect a seamless brand experience across all channels, including both traditional and legacy. And a HubSpot study found that consumers love a positive brand experience — 90% will purchase more from a brand if the overall experience is enjoyable, and 93% will be repeat customers.

While it might seem daunting to keep up with consumer habits and new platforms, it’s also an exciting time filled with opportunity. People spend lots of time listening to podcasts, scrolling social feeds, and streaming live events — all of which offer unique and high-impact advertising opportunities for brands to get their message in front of captive consumers. Simply put, today, platforms like Hulu, TikTok, and Spotify are where consumers are spending more and more of their time. Insider Intelligence estimates that we spend an average of 8 hours and 14 minutes daily interacting with digital media.

Still Skeptical?

Advertisers should be where their audience is, and for most brands, that includes these newer mediums. So brands must start investing their media budgets into emerging channels, like DOOH, digital audio, gaming, and CTV.

Some advertisers still haven’t made the jump for various reasons, including an uncertain budget, time, resources, questions, knowledge, etc. However, a specific group of individuals are interested in testing and trying these new emerging channels. These forward-thinking marketing trailblazers have concerns about being able to measure the impact or the success of these channels in comparison to historically used tactics and solutions that currently produce solid results. We’ve coined these “the skeptics.”

Skeptics are aware of emerging channels but are wary of whether they can meet their current advertising benchmarks through these channels.

Moving Beyond the Skepticism: Key Recommendations for Updating your Advertising Playbook

Advertisers and marketers have to answer to certain digital marketing KPI benchmarks to warrant the marketing investment they’ve received. This creates undue pressure for advertising to continue to succeed — many times creating an environment where it’s too risky to try new things when traditional platforms have been successful.

However, as consumer habits continue to diversify across platforms, solely leaning on traditional methods will start to hurt your brand. So where can skeptics go from here

We’ve outlined four key recommendations that ride the fine line for skeptics. You won’t be tasked with making major investments or drastically shifting your strategy, but you’ll still be able to reach audiences on new platforms that you weren’t previously engaging with.

  1. Analyze your existing model.

There are more options than ever for advertisers to place their budgets. Social media, blogging, content marketing, influencer marketing, audio, and video all have unique benefits. Meanwhile, new metrics within some of these platforms, like favorites, shares, likes, and comments, that never existed before social media need to be considered when analyzing how you’re faring against digital marketing KPIs.

When you look closely at your current playbook, you might identify gaps in your existing and prospective customers as to who they are, how they spend their time, and what they enjoy. Audience modeling will provide an in-depth analysis that will help you understand where you need to place your brand to ensure you’re always where your audience is.

This is a necessary first step for skeptics, as it will likely uncover holes in your strategy. While your traditional channels and methods might be doing the trick, if you’re completely missing opportunities to connect with audiences, you aren’t working as efficiently as possible with your budget. This alone should be justification for making a change.

  1. Establish benchmarks for success.

Before making any significant business decisions, meet with your team and partners to get alignment on what success looks like. Change management is a complex process. As just mentioned, the new marketing playbook might require a new set of benchmarks to understand success. Have you considered how top-funnel tactics like DOOH and digital audio affect conversions down the line? How does your organic social strategy support paid efforts?

Research programmatic advertising standards to set realistic programmatic advertising KPIs that can quantify your efforts. It’s essential that your entire team buys into omnichannel marketing best practices to ensure a streamlined workflow for internal stakeholders and a seamless experience for external customers. Getting every skeptic on board initially might be a slower process, but the long-term ROI will be more than worth it.

  1. Start small by repurposing existing ad units.

Although advertising on emerging platforms is essential, it’s also important to be realistic. After a deep dive into your current strategy, you might be excited to jump into these new platforms. Remember that there’s a lot to be learned, as each platform has unique benefits, opportunities, and challenges.

So to not get ahead of yourself, make a mistake, and risk losing the buy-in of key stakeholders, start small and build as you get comfortable and find success.

You can apply the test-and-try approach on new platforms, using assets from your existing programs without increasing your budget for creative processes. For example, you can repurpose an existing video to use as advertisements on connected TV or radio spots to use within digital audio and podcasts.

With solid analytical practices, you’ll be able to directly compare and track how each channel is working to reach specific digital marketing KPIs. Reporting tools allow you to track what is and isn’t working and learn how to find your target audience on social media while driving an effective ROI for the business.

  1. Think and act holistically.

survey from Morning Consult found that consumers are turned off by seeing the same ad repeatedly. A full 69% of U.S. adults think streaming service ads are repetitive, and 79% are bothered by the disruptive nature of these advertisements. An omnichannel approach provides visibility into the customer journey, ensuring potential customers don’t associate your brand with a negative experience.

Consumers think about the overall customer experience versus a channel-by-channel experience. For example, when looking into the benefits of CTV advertising, consider your comprehensive video and brand-building strategies instead of a channel-centric strategy.

Although each channel does have differences, what’s more important is how each new investment impacts your overall media investments and, therefore, your overall digital advertising strategy.

The Bottom Line

A holistic brand experience goes beyond advertising — it requires all touchpoints to serve the consumer. To accomplish this, brands need to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behaviors, preferences, and attitudes. They also must not be afraid to create more opportunities for engagement with customers on new channels.

Ignoring the transforming media landscape has far-reaching risks. For example, CTV isn’t completely replacing linear. However, as more consumers turn to streaming platforms, you will miss important demographics of the modern consumer by only focusing on a small sliver of your potential channels. If your customers are spending their time consuming digital audio or streaming TV, you should have touchpoints there to continue their journey.

Ready to Dive Into New Media Channels?

The more gaps you leave, the more opportunities you miss. As consumer behavior, preferences, and attitudes change, brands must remain agile in how they approach media planning, buying, and execution. Digilant partners with brands and their agencies to provide innovative teams, technology, data, and omnichannel inventory to stay in lockstep with today’s consumers.

We work across a full suite of industry-leading vendors atop our analytic expertise and top-tier service to ensure our clients are equipped with the best media strategies and plans to reach their target audiences and goals. By downloading “The New Media Playbook for Advertisers,” you, too, will see just how much new media channels can boost your business’s advertising efforts.

Are you interested in learning more about future-proof advertising solutions and getting the most out of omnichannel marketing? Contact us to find out how digital marketing solutions can boost your business’s growth.

The New Media Playbook for Advertisers: The Novice

In the digital age, consumers are spending more and more of their time interacting with social and audio streaming platforms like Netflix, TikTok, and Spotify. In 2022, Netflix had 222 million subscribers worldwide, and trends suggest that number will increase well into 2023. As marketers, we know the importance of meeting customers where they are, which is why an omnichannel marketing approach is more essential than ever for business growth and customer satisfaction.

Customers expect seamless brand experiences across all channels, whether they be traditional, legacy, or brand-new. They don’t want to see the same ad over and over. Rather, they want personalized advertisements with solutions to their problems or products they are interested in or have recently searched for.

For example, a consumer is much more likely to click on an ad if it is for a pair of shoes they had previously viewed. Taking it a step further, they are more willing to then make a purchase if the advertisement directs them to an in-stock product, an easy-to-navigate webpage, and a seamless check-out process.

The Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

If you’re still relying on the same legacy digital marketing strategy from years past, we understand it can be comfortable to stay in the same arena. Your strategy is probably doing the trick and garnering satisfactory results. With change, you risk hurting the momentum you’ve built. But as consumers grow digitally savvier and the marketplace continues to saturate, “comfortable” and “satisfactory” will no longer cut it. Now is the time to invest in learning and testing new emerging channels or risk being left in the dust.

As the digital age continues to advance and consumers’ expectations of brands heighten, omnichannel marketing offers customers a seamless shopping experience from start to finish. You can create a more comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will ultimately generate revenue and elevate audience engagement by advertising on multiple platforms at once, such as DOOH, digital audio, and CTV.

Building an omnichannel marketing strategy allows for a cohesive user experience across multiple touchpoints, including mobile apps, brick-and-mortar stores, and online. Because growing your audience is a crucial step in growing your business, you must ensure clients are constantly engaged with your offers and promotions through advertising.

Tips and Tricks for the Omnichannel Marketing Novice

Have you ever found yourself asking these questions?

  • Why are my ads not generating the expected sales?
  • How do I advertise on streaming TV?
  • How can I find my target audience on social media?

If so, you might fall into our bucket of “novice” advertisers.

You are aware of emerging channels but are wary of whether you can meet your current advertising benchmarks through these channels.

As a digital marketing novice, taking the first step is the hardest part. We’ve outlined three simple tactics to help you take the first step toward embracing a more current media plan and an omnichannel marketing approach:

  1. Understand your audience and preferred channels.

As a novice, you don’t need to jump into every emerging channel available today. Rather, it’s important to garner a base understanding of which channels your audience is on and pick one or two to dive into.

Identifying your target audience and learning about their needs can help you better understand which channels work best for their needs and yours. You can additionally group individuals based on shared traits to send more personalized messages for stronger relationships or create a shared vision once you have identified their preferred channels.

An IDC study found that omnichannel shoppers are worth 30% more to a business than those who stick to one shopping method. As such, it’s important to have a strong understanding of your audience’s preferences and provide omnichannel marketing efforts on the channels that will most effectively speak to them.

  1. Test and try (and try again).

With any digital marketing strategy, the best option is to try several strategies before deciding what works best for your brand. With advertisement testing, this could look like designing various ads for your target audience to see which ones they engage with the most.

This “test and try” method lets you identify and fix errors fast. It can help prevent bigger problems down the road and allow you the room to take quick action if something isn’t working. You can also change your marketing strategy without harming your most successful campaigns and strategies. It might take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually find your business’s most accurate and effective advertising strategy.

  1. Do more with less.

If you’re worried about moving budgets away from legacy channels that have historically performed well, you’re not alone. As an advertiser, you want to get the same or even better results if you take the dive into newer channels. That’s why when you are at a jumping point in your digital strategy, it’s imperative to get the basics down first, especially when it comes to analytics.

When starting to incorporate new channels and tactics, you must have a firm understanding of what is working well and why. Analyzing relevant marketing metrics gives a full picture of digital marketing spend alongside results. It can also provide substantial evidence that the investment away from traditional channels and toward emerging channels is well worth it.

Need a Little Help Getting Started?

As an advertiser, you know how important it is to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, new emerging media channels can help you do just that. If you’re unsure how to take the first step, “The New Media Playbook for Advertisers” might be just what you need to create impactful advertising that truly meets your audience where they are.

Contact Digilant today to learn more about omnichannel marketing, breaking out of channel silos, and building a better omnichannel strategy.

The New Media Playbook: Incorporating Emerging Digital Channels Into Your Strategy

For years, marketers have relied on legacy channels like static display ads and paid search to make up the foundation of their digital advertising initiatives. While those legacy channels still exist and can be extremely effective, they’re hardly the only opportunities for brands to connect with audiences. The emergence of new digital channels has opened exciting doors of opportunity — but only for brands willing to walk through them and accept that customer expectations have evolved.


It’s easy to see this evolution all around. Employees no longer listen to the radio on their daily commutes; they tune in to Spotify podcasts while working from home. Families have cut the cord and now consume video content on streaming platforms across an assortment of devices. Fortunately, this isn’t the death of legacy channels; it just means marketers need to shift their media playbooks to include an omnichannel approach that encompasses these newer consumer habits.


Omnichannel marketing is the primary way to ensure consistent, engaging customer experiences across the entire buying journey. Furthermore, eight out of 10 buyers believe a business’s customer experience is as just as important as what it sells. Brands that want to deliver memorable experiences have to be where their target audiences are, which, in all likelihood, is on emerging channels. There, they can find new ways to make a mark, win more customers, and hit profit goals.


Make no mistake: Profitability is a critical reason to dive into digital marketing on emerging digital channels like TikTok and Hulu. Mastering omnichannel marketing by applying best practices backed by accurate digital marketing KPIs enables marketing teams to make the most of their sometimes limited funds.


How to Incorporate Emerging Digital Channels Into Your Media Playbook


Are you interested in revitalizing your media playbook? Below are some of the most reliable integrated marketing best practices to help you succeed in delighting customers through an elevated experience across all touchpoints and channels — both traditional and new.


1. Get to know the emerging channels that are performing well for forward-leaning marketers.

It’s impossible to become confident in omnichannel marketing if you’re not sure which channels deserve a second look. Four of the strongest options now are advanced TV (including TV streaming like OTT and CTV), digital audio (including podcasts), DOOH, and gaming.


Advanced TV

Advanced TV is an umbrella term used to define television streamed through the internet via various devices such as smart TVs and gaming consoles, as well as mobile through connected apps like Peacock or devices like Amazon’s Fire TV stick.


CTV advertising growth has exploded, increasing 39% from 2021 to 2022, meaning investing in CTV can help you home in on audiences that now tune in to their favorite programming via streaming.



DOOH advertising can be found on digital screens outside the home, like a retail kiosk in the mall, a billboard in Times Square, a screen in an office building elevator, or the back of a taxi.


In 2021, the DOOH advertising market size was valued at $18.98 billion. However, this number is expected to increase drastically to $57.93 billion by 2030. DOOH can help you provide brand awareness and amplification of messaging, branding, and campaigns.


Advanced audio

Digital audio platforms like Pandora, SiriusXM, or Spotify get you (literally) in the ear of consumers wherever they are. And the number of people who tune in to these platforms can’t be ignored: Two-thirds of folks in the U.S. listen to digital audio at least one time each week.


Various targeting tactics, from behavioral and geographic to genre-related and contextual, allow you to take the guesswork out of where to spend your advertising dollars.


Advanced gaming

Advanced gaming advertising is an overarching term that includes ads placed within a mobile, PC, or console gaming environment and ads placed within e-sport environments. With the investments being made in video games, gaming apps, and the metaverse, the formats for in-game advertisements are seemingly limitless, but some of the easiest formats to get started with include video, native, rich media, or static banner creatives.


As for gaming, there are more than 3.09 billion active gamers around the world, and the global in-game advertising market expects to generate $17.59 million by 2030.


2. Determine how to sell your omnichannel marketing approaches to higher-ups.

It would be great if you knew you had 100% backing for omnichannel marketing efforts from the executives at your organization. That doesn’t always happen, though. You might have to “sell” your new media playbook ideas up the ladder. In that situation, you might be required to prove your target audiences are engaged with these emerging channels.


Fortunately, research from Google has found that an omnichannel approach to marketing provides an 80% higher rate of store visits. Furthermore, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop on only one channel.


Being on multiple channels is important for long-term business success, but you might not always have the budget to test them all. As such, it’s important to find a digital advertising partner to uncover your audience and find the best possible investments for your specific brand.


3. Look for gaps in your current cross-channel and omnichannel marketing processes.

Maybe you’ve already dabbled in emerging channels. That puts you ahead of the pack but doesn’t mean you’ve delved deep enough into the channels that are transforming the modern landscape. Remember that customers are embarking on multitouchpoint journeys — adding more touchpoints all the time. So take time to map out those journeys to find any potential gaps.


What are possible engagement gaps where new media marketing could come in handy? Perhaps most of your target consumers spend their time on social media, digital audio, and streaming TV. If you’re not advertising in all three places, you’re widening the gaps in your brand experience.


You’ll need to put resources behind the investigation of consumer behaviors, preferences, and decision-making patterns to locate all the holes in your customer journey. Getting a higher ROI on your overall marketing and ad spend is worth the effort.


The New Media Playbook for Advertisers: Getting Started


New content channels and platforms are going to come along at a steady rate. Fortunately, a more agile media planning, buying, and execution mindset will help you make better choices and enjoy heightened performance.


At Digilant, we’re always looking for new and emerging channels that our clients should incorporate into their media plans. You, too, can enjoy these benefits by downloading “The New Media Playbook for Advertisers” and setting your marketing strategy on the path to success.


Need a partner to help you better understand omnichannel technology, data, and inventory? At Digilant, we’re positioned to help you future-proof your digital advertising planning process. Contact our team today to see what we can do for you.

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