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Applying Zero Party Data to Omnichannel Marketing

Zero party data is marketing gold dust. It’s the stated behaviours and intent as communicated by the audience themselves. As opposed to other data types, like first party data that are observed or retrospective.

The ability to capture and put zero party data to work will prove to be a key determinant in the next evolution of many industries including eCommerce and sports betting and gaming.

Applying zero party data to omnichannel marketing opens up whole new marketing opportunities. Because the data is supplied by the customers themselves, these campaigns should, theoretically, perform much better.

Providing the data and customer engagement strategies are aligned.

If the data, even zero party data, is held in disparate systems then it doesn’t matter how accurate it is. It will be next to impossible to form a cohesive customer profile and therefore a personalised customer experience.

Gathering Zero Party Data

Before you can put your zero party data to good use, you need a robust means to gather it. Remember, this is data that your audience has willingly shared with you.

Generally speaking, that isn’t something that just happens. Years of data abuse has made the average consumer incredibly wary about handing over so much as an email address. 

Let alone enough personal data for businesses to tailor their marketing campaigns. However, the vast majority of consumers do, in fact, want personalised communications.

Therefore, if businesses are able to establish a baseline of trust then gathering zero party data is obtainable.

Sports Betting and Gaming

The challenge is reaching that level of trust first. For sports betting and gaming providers this is an easier proposition.

Players get a better experience by sharing who they support and what kinds of games they like to play. Even stating a preference or not for movie franchises can mean they get better gaming recommendations.

That’s not to say that players blindly trust operators. They still have to work hard to build a rapport with their players through relevant communications and recommendations.

First party data plays a major role here. By capturing player behaviour operators can start to tailor the player experience. From here they can start to coax zero party data from their players. As trust builds those questions can be more overt. Providing the value exchange exists, players will be happy to respond.

The important thing is to act on that zero party data as quickly as possible. The longer it sits in your database unused, the less relevant it becomes. As a result you can make recommendations to players that are irrelevant and drive them to find an alternative operator.

eCommerce

Things are a little trickier for eCommerce and other online businesses. Although players may not stay with operators for long, the rate of data exchange is much higher. That means operators can learn more and add value faster than other industries.

eCommerce businesses have to work far harder, for longer, to get to a point where they can ask for zero party data.

Again, first party data can help pave the way for a dialogue. However, the problem retailers have is a fickle customer base.

There’s just a 17% chance a customer will come back to a site after their first purchase. That increases to 57% after six purchases. So even after several positive experiences, customers are still unlikely to respond positively to questions. 

Again, the reliability of first party data can help eCommerce companies to add value and build relationships.

Using a customer engagement tool and CDP allows eCommerce businesses to create customer journeys that can trigger different communications.

If order frequency exceeds X and order value is greater than Y that customer qualifies for a loyalty programme invitation. Loyalty programmes are not only a great way to retain customers, but to learn from them. Providing it’s more than a points system. Customers, broadly, hate them.

First party data gives businesses the means to make educated guesses and map out touchpoints that allows for the collection of zero party data. Providing the journey offers customers plenty of added value along the way, they will likely respond favourably.

Applying Zero Party Data to Omnichannel Marketing

Working on the assumption that you have a robust data gathering mechanism that can capture, analyse and segment zero party data, you need to put it to work.

The good news is zero party data and omnichannel marketing are near symbiotic. Omnichannel marketing puts the customer and what matters to them at the centre of the campaign. 

As opposed to whatever product or service the business wants to push that week.

There are a few things you need to do to your data before it can be utilised in any meaningful way.

Segmentation

To effectively apply zero party data to an omnichannel marketing campaign it first needs to be properly segmented. 

Well, first all your customer data needs to be consolidated into a single space. While zero party data is considered the holy grail of data capture, first party data serves as a useful validator.

While zero party data states intent, first party is past action. One feeds into the other.

Consolidating all your customer data into one place gives you the most accurate view of your customers and their likely behaviours.

With all the customer data in one place, it can be segmented. The more data, the deeper the segmentation.

Order history, product searches, frequency of order, order value and more are all available in the average eCommerce database. Those segments can be used to refine and personalise communications.

Objectives

Defining  the objectives of your omnichannel marketing campaign is important. Because omnichannel marketing is focused on delivering relevance, it doesn’t have to be about sales.

There can also be multiple campaigns running focusing on delivering value in different ways.

Each segment in your database is a different datapoint you can engage your audience on.

Personalised product recommendations are an obvious place to start. Content based on purchase history is another.

Beauty brands can capitalise in this area by providing content around how to apply the products customers have purchased.

Even electronics brands can generate upsell through content that educates customers on how to make the most of their new TV.

Recognising success can take many forms (and still lead to sales) will enable businesses to apply omnichannel marketing in a more effective way.

Zero party is invaluable at this stage by virtue of the fact that customers have stated what channels they prefer, what content they are interested in and, potentially, the products they like to buy.

Again, SBG operators will possess a deeper understanding than most businesses in a lot of cases.

Planning

Defining your objectives early on makes it much easier to plan out your campaigns.

If your customer engagement platform has a built in journey planner then you can map out your campaigns in real-time. This makes things a lot faster.

If not, tools like LucidChart allow you to create campaign plans but they’ll need to be ported across.

Thanks to the zero party data you have, you will already know preferred channels of communication. This is significant as communication with customers via the channel of their choice increases the likelihood of them opening and engaging with you.

However, it’s important to recognise that just because you’ve captured zero party data, doesn’t mean your customers will automatically be interested in what you have to say.

Factors beyond your control can also impact on campaign performance. Therefore, creating several stages to your campaign will maximise performance.

Each stage of the campaign should be slightly different to the previous communication but follow a recurring theme. This keeps things consistent and serves as a useful reminder if your audience opened a communication but took no action.

Best of all, because you’re in a position of trust (because your customers or players are feeding you data), you can have a lot more fun with your campaigns. Talking to an engaged audience who is broadly happy to hear from you allows you to let your personality show through.

This makes some marketing directors nervous. Remember, informal doesn’t mean unprofessional. And don’t lose sight of the fact that your audience wants a more personal relationship with the businesses they spend money with.

Execute and Iterate

Once you’ve got your data in one place, you’ve determined your objectives and planned the campaigns, it’s time to pull the trigger.

Again, your customer engagement platform should have built in analysis tools so you can monitor campaign performance in real-time. This is important because if your campaign isn’t performing the way you want, you need to know about it.

Finding out 24-48 hours after things have gone wrong is too late to put it right. Omnichannel campaigns are not fire and forget. They are living, breathing things that need to be nurtured to generate the best results.

Afterall, just because you’re using zero party data doesn’t mean your communications are fool proof. 

Although zero party data is provided by the customer, it’s a preference and they change. Which is why it’s so important to use first party data to corroborate it. 

Equally, sometimes the campaigns you create don’t hit the mark. Although a multistage campaign should eventually win over customers or players they may not.

Monitoring your campaigns in real-time will allow you to iterate and improve performance as the campaign progresses. Rather than waiting for the campaign to conclude.

Re-engaging with customers who have just been sent an email sequence of irrelevant content will be next to impossible. Mainly because you’ve effectively demonstrated that you don’t know them at all.

Master your Zero Party Data

To understand how a customer data platform with built in CDP can help you to ingest, analyse and segment your customers’ zero party data in real-time, get in touch to request a demo.

Click to download our guide to increasing eCommerce conversions and retention.

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