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Cambridge Analytica: One Year On

Danny O'ReillyLast Updated: Zero-Party Data

It may not be Throwback Thursday, but today marks one year since the Cambridge Analytica scandal engulfed Facebook in a tidal wave of privacy-driven angst. Unfortunately for Facebook, rather than be the nadir for bad news, it was merely the genesis for stories and scandals that would be the splash of front pages the. world over.

Over the subsequent 365 days, Zuckerberg et als’ woes only intensified, with a litany of shady data sharing deals, privacy breaches and sensitive content being shown to impressionable eyes rapidly deteriorating trust in the social network.

So one year on, what’s actually changed? Well, the Patriots have yet another Super Bowl, Glenn Close’s mantlepiece remains bare after missing out on an Oscar yet again, and while Facebook has done little to protect user privacy, it has implemented key changes in how marketers power their advertising: no longer permitting third-party data to inform ad targeting solutions.


The End Of The Third-Party Gravy Train

The third-party data industry was valued in excess of $20 billion dollars annually in early 2018. But rather than lead to better personalization, it merely led to more sophisticated targeting and creepy marketing.

Third-party data is information collected by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with the consumer. Aggregated from a host of unrelated sources like cookies, click trails and credit scores. And as these evolve and fluctuate over time, this data is more often than not inaccurate.

“If you buy data from a third-party, that is a risky element that could get you in hot water not just with the client for being creepy, but potentially with regulators.” – Mark Grannan, Senior Analyst, Forrester

Powering Personalization From Preference Data

Rather than be a headache for marketers, those that have embraced a zero-party strategy are reaping huge ROI from their personalization campaigns.

Zero-party data is a class of data that is willingly and actively given to you by the consumer. A window into their motivations, interests, intentions, preferences, and what really makes them tick. Uber-relevant information from potential customers that can fuel your marketing and product development and recommendations.

Forrester describes this as a class of data “which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.” Not first-party data with a millennial rebrand. First-party data is collected during sales, and includes things like purchases, mailing address, date of birth and the like: purchase history, rather than purchase intentions.

The 4 Types of Data


How To Collect Zero-Party Data At Scale

Marketers can collect zero-party data through interactive experiences that offer a value exchange in return for preference data.

Whether a questionnaire, poll, quiz or social story, by leveraging these interactive experiences that incorporate incentive mechanics marketers can quickly and easily collect zero-party data at speed and scale.

Your customers’ interests, preferences, motivations and desires change and evolve over time. And by moving to a zero-party data strategy, your audience building and profiling never stops, it merely evolves. Keeping your data accurate, relevant, and up-to-date, because the data points are coming direct from your audience.

The Rise Of The Zero-Party Data Economy

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