Personalization Marketing

The Future Of Personalization As Tech Giants Block Third-Party Cookie Targeting

Richard Jones Zero-Party Data

Web browser behemoths Google and Mozilla have pledged to follow Apple in curtailing third-party cookie targeting, meaning marketers are going to have to find new ways to reach ever-elusive consumers.

The proposals announced by the triumvirate mean that sites will have identify what the cookie is being tracked for, coupled with tools that empower consumers to automatically delete cookie data.

This protracted privacy pivot will shift the personalization landscape as it will not only arm consumers with the ability to see the third-party cookies tracking them across the internet, but also give them the tools to stop them.

A clear win for privacy-conscious consumers, and a headache for brands using cookies and third-party data to power their personalization initiatives. There is another way of course…

The Zero-Party Data Path

For proactive marketers who want to build lasting and more meaningful connections with consumers, rather than this announcement ringing the death knell to targeting, it signals a new era of true personalization.

The solution is zero-party data. Business analysts Forrester define it as a form of data intentionally and proactively shared with you by the consumer and never collected through snooping, cookie tracking or inferred through variables like device matching.

Markerter’s collect this by connecting directly with consumers and gathering the data, insights, and permissions they need to power personalized marketing across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Rather than inferring, they’re asking, and consumers are willingly and intentionally sharing.

It is quite simply data your customer has willingly shared with you, like purchase intentions and preferences to improve personalization and help build up a picture of who they are.

Zero-party data allows brands to build direct relationships with consumers, and in turn, better personalize their marketing efforts, services, offers and product recommendations. As it comes directly and willingly from the consumer there are no intermediaries, no guesswork.

“Zero-party data is that 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.” – Fatemeh Khatibloo, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Offer A Value Exchange Instead Of Cookie Tracking

Modern digital consumers are not naive of course, and merely because you ask for data, it doesn’t mean your customer will share it with you.

Consumers need to be entertained, engaged and receive something in return for their precious preference data. And by leveraging the right mechanics, and offering a value exchange, your customers will tell you what products they desire, what they look for in a service, and what motivates them to purchase.

“We need to use the data we collect efficiently, effectively and well, making sure we are trading something of value for the customer.” – Fatemah Khatibloo, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Whether an instant win promo, or product recommending quiz in a social story to name but a few, these experience types that can live on the largest screen, or the smallest ad placement incorporate incentive mechanics such as coupons, content, or prizes that quickly and easily collect zero-party data. Arming you with the information you need to make the right connections with your customers.

Putting The Theory Into Practice: Kiwibank

Kiwibank launched a ‘Meet Your Money Self’ interactive quiz that profiled consumers spending habits in return for personalized financial advice.

Over the course of 10 questions, wannabe savers learned whether they were ‘sociable sharers’ or ‘power spenders’ and upon completion received a detailed report in return for their PII data and insights.

The purchase motivations and preference insights that were collected could then be used by Kiwibank to fuel future marketing campaigns and drive uber-relevant financial product recommendations.


145k – unique entries from New Zealand residents – over 3% of the entire population

75% – conversion rate

the zero-party data maturity model