How Zero-Party Data will Drive Personalisation this Year and Beyond


Consumers are becoming savvier about how brands use their personal data. From how their data is being collected, to how it’s being used many consumers feel they are losing control. Couple this with the tightening of GDPR regulations by the ICO, it’s time for brands to give some control back to the consumer. 

However, consumers are demanding more personalisation from brands. They want brands to prove that they know them and communicate via email marketing and the web accordingly.

Zero-party data is a perfect solution for those looking to deliver personalised experiences in a world focused on privacy, explicit consent, and the safety of sensitive data.

What is Zero-Party Data?

It is the talk of the town. And it’s one to stay.

Zero-party data is that which the customer proactively gives to you. It is more than demographic data. Forrester’s description of the term is “Data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context and how the individual wants the brand to recognise her”

Zero-party data is often confused with first-party data, which is data based on implied preferences such as behavioural or purchase activity.

What are the different types of data you can collect?


1. First-Party Data

First-party data is collected from your customers based on how they’ve interacted with you. This can include behavioural and purchase data, subscription data, and social data. 

This data is still crucial to your marketing success.

2. Second-Party Data

Second-party data is another company’s first-party data, which you purchase directly.. This usually is where two companies work together. For instance, if a brand works with an agency partner to re-sell their products, the brand may share  its first-party data with the agency to use as second-party data to target and attract new customers.

3. Third-Party Data 

Third-party data covers a much broader scope than other data types. It is information purchased in bulk. Most often, you will buy from a data aggregator or provider. The provider doesn’t have a direct relationship with the customer to collect personal information. Third-party data providers are common worldwide. You can use third-party data to reach new, updated target audiences and to better understand your customers, their interests, the channels they frequent, etc.

Third-party data can help you:

  • Fill in gaps of your first-party data
  • Get personal with your audience
  • Help you discover new audiences

Why do we love zero-party data?

Zero-party data proves itself to be more accurate and trustworthy than any other data as it comes directly from the consumer. We’ve even heard of zero-party data being termed as ‘conversational data’, as it is the information that you might learn about the person if you were chatting with them.

Building a relationship with a customer isn’t just about taking their demographic data; it is learning more about what they like, their needs and their challenges.

Using this data to drive highly personalised experiences is key.

How to collect zero-party data.

Zero-party data is often collected through quizzes, games, welcome emails, website options and even instore. The creative ways to collect this kind of data is endless. 

There are so many great examples of brands collecting zero-party data in ways that are engaging, inspiring, and actually articulate the value exchange. Here are a few examples.

Goodreads - Identify key areas of interest in sign-up


Trendhunter - Discover style preferences through engaging quizzes

Image Source –

Cult Beauty – Update Preferences

Zero-Party Data Personalisation Campaigns

Zero-party data-fuelled personalisation has been tipped to be the go-to for brands as we find our way through a privacy-first world. To succeed in 2022 and beyond, brands must start using a zero-party data approach to build trust and create   truly relevant personalisation and build lasting customer retention. 

A personalised welcome campaign

Simply by asking a few questions during the sign-up process about needs and wants, you’re able to immediately able to send a tailored welcome campaign.

Triggered birthday messages 

Although they are the most basic of all email triggers, they are often forgotten. But imagine a personalised birthday campaign tailored to what the customer has told you about what they like, or even have added to a wish-list. That campaign will stand head and shoulders about the other mass mailing sent on this date.

Website personalisation

As we know personalisation is more than just first name. With zero-party data you’re able to serve dynamic personalised images and content to the customer when they come to your website. 

Dynamic content is a great way to grab attention and ensure the customer will engage with the rest of your site. Customers expect high quality website design, but above all they can be wowed with personalised pages tailored to their needs. 

Product Recommendations

Product recommendations deliver more impact when they are personalised to the individual. As we know a one size fits all doesn’t cut it when it comes to product personalisation. 

Consumers expect to be marketed items based on their own wants and needs. If you have already asked them about their wants and needs then you must ensure you use this data to deliver more relevant recommendations. 


If you sell consumable goods, then one of the questions you could ask is how often the customer purchases a specific product. If they make a purchase you could then send them a reminder email in the given timeframe to purchase again. This kind of customer led campaign is not only a great revenue driver for your business but also extremely useful for the customer.

Communication preferences

By asking the customer what and how often they want to hear from you is a great use of zero-party data. It allows the customer to take control of how often and what emails they get from you. This is crucial in a privacy first world. 

Zero-Party Data is here to stay. So what’s your strategy?

Zero-party data is here to stay. So it’s up to you to carve out what that means for your business. It is essential that you take a step back and assess your objectives. What are you looking to achieve? What data are currently driving your current personalisation strategy that are being inferred from behavioural data? 

Once we’ve answered the questions, it’s then time to think about how you can get this data direct from the customer. And don’t forget to think about what different points in the customer lifecycle you could be collecting this data. 

And finally ensure the customer knows the value exchange.

It’s a strategy not to be missed. What are you doing to start your journey to Zero Party Data driven personalisation?


Meet the Author


Komal Helyer

Komal is an award winning Fractional CMO and has over 20 years experience in email and digital marketing. Previously VP Marketing at Pure360, Komal now spearheads the Go-to-Market, Retention and Brand strategies for many B2B, ecommerce and Travel businesses. A passionate email marketer, Komal is also Chair of the DMA Email Council. As a key industry thought leader and events speaker, Komal is  a sub Editor @ The Modern Retail and writes for many other publications including Forbes. Komal's passion to support greater diversity in the workplace is the driving force behind her commitment to mentoring individuals in the industry, she is also the co-founder of Email Mentors and a Mentor @The Girls Network. She has been nominated for many awards and was proud to win Corporate Woman of the Year '19 at the Business Woman's Excellence Awards and to be awarded a Top 50 CX Star accolade in 2022.


Verify, Protect and Grow Your Database