CPG brands are a key part of our everyday lives: from shampoo to diapers to snacks. However, in an age where third party cookies are disappearing and consumers are increasingly concerned about their data privacy, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands often need help approaching data-driven marketing as they prepare for new CPG trends in 2023.
On top of providing quality products, these brands are expected to deliver personalized, engaging content and create a solid emotional connection with consumers to secure long-term loyalty. This is all being managed alongside challenges with inflation, supply chain issues, changing consumer habits, and an explosion of consumer demand for online goods. It’s a taxing time to be a CPG marketer.
Thankfully, a new data channel is picking up massive steam in the marketing world. It presents a huge opportunity for CPG brands to maintain relevance with modern consumers while fostering the all-important brand love we feel toward CPG brands in particular. It also helps solve the marketing paradox of personalization vs. privacy and fuels consumer engagement, brand loyalty, and ecommerce conversion.
Enter zero party data.
What is Zero Party Data?
Zero party data is information a consumer shares directly and intentionally with a company or brand, and it typically includes personal preferences, emotional leanings, and lifestyle behaviors.
When it comes to the future of marketing in 2023, especially for highly experiential brands like consumer packaged goods, successful consumer interaction will be more empathetic, purposeful, and customer-first. Zero party data helps brand marketers achieve this.
Zero Party Data Quick Facts:
- Personal information is voluntarily given to a brand
- Typically concerns higher-order attributes such as lifestyle, hobbies, values, and behavioral preferences
- Is a strong indicator of trust in a brand
- Highly accurate since it comes from a direct source
Examples of zero party data include lifestyle and habits (hobbies, personal interests, values), life stage details, product affinity, shopping preferences, communication preference, emotional connection to the brand, Net Promoter Score, likelihood to recommend, and purchase intent.
Why Does a CPG Brand Need Zero Party Data?
Most marketers know by now that new privacy legislation is coming – big tech players like Google and Apple are moving away from intrusive advertising tracking like third party cookies. This effort is driven by everyday people demanding more transparency over who has access to their personal data and how it is used.
One of the most significant challenges for brands with the decline of third party cookies is the loss of their ability to track and target consumers effectively. Utilizing third party cookies, you could track browsing behavior from other websites, allowing you to deliver and measure personalized advertising and content to individual consumers.
A primary way to approach this new data era is by building up your own zero party data channels.
Beyond securing data ownership from third party gatekeepers and adapting to meet changing industry regulations, zero party data delivers key benefits to a CPG brand, including:
- Personalization for Emotional Loyalty – Collecting zero party data opens new opportunities for transparent personalization that drives emotional connection. This includes delivering relevant content, offering individualized website experiences, interactive digital experiences, tailored email campaigns, and advertisements.
- Improved Digital Sampling Efforts – Product sampling is a time-honored marketing practice for CPG brands. Zero party data gives marketers the power to more effectively activate audiences for digital product sampling that boosts conversion and remarketing opportunities.
- Higher Engagement – With the right tools, CPG brands can collect and use zero party data to drive increased brand interaction. This includes interaction with brand content and fostering brand-related conversations with like-minded consumers.
- Ratings & Reviews – Many CPG brands struggle to establish a steady stream of fresh, high-quality reviews. Cultivating zero party data enables you to identify brand advocates, promote product reviews, and drive new customer acquisition.
- Retail-Specific Insights – In a study from McKinsey, they found winning CPG companies are twice as likely to develop an “insights factory.” CPG brands will always rely heavily on retailer relationships for distribution. Capturing zero party data arms your team with proprietary information about your audience of shoppers, uncovering retail-specific insights and informing ecommerce strategies and go-to-market plans.
- Product Feedback and Innovation – CPG is one of the most competitive product categories, and collected zero party data is an excellent source for new product ideas or to gut-check packaging ideas, marketing messaging, and brand creative.
- Audience Insights and Optimized Advertising – Collecting zero party data is an excellent way to mine audience feedback. Zero party data also uncovers emotional profiling and psychographic data to optimize audience targeting and ad spending.
How Can a CPG Brand Collect Zero Party Data?
In a study by Forrester, a whopping 90% of marketers are actively responding to data depreciation by capturing zero party data, yet 42% admit they don’t know how to use zero-party data effectively.
Before brands can approach the question of how to use zero party data, they must collect it in the first place. How can a CPG brand collect zero party data, and who is doing it well?
- Whether signing up for an ecommerce account or subscribing to your email list, any registration moment is a great time to collect zero party data.
- If you’re a food brand, this is an excellent opportunity to ask about flavor preferences or allergies.
- If you’re a skincare brand, this is your moment to ask about skin type and desired results. But be careful; asking too much information upfront could push consumers away.
An Online Brand Community
- An online brand community is a dedicated destination for consumers to connect with your CPG brand and other like-minded people.
- With the right technology, online communities are perfect for collecting and acting upon zero party data.
- Collection opportunities include surveys, polls, user-generated content (UGC) & product review campaigns, in-home events, discussion boards, and more.
Additionally, because online communities are about connection and conversation, consumers are more willing to share broader, value-based information like personal interests, hobbies, and lifestyle behaviors. This kind of information can be a goldmine if you use it right.
- SMS polls are an effective way to collect information about a consumer, making it quick and easy for them to participate.
- Eighty-five percent of smartphone users prefer mobile messages to emails or calls, and SMS boasts a 95% open rate and a 59% click-through rate.
Micro-Experiences, Interactive Content, and Giveaways
- Any entertainment is a great way to collect zero party data. This can include product finder quizzes, creative contests, AR/VR engagements, and much more.
- Transparency is always important in these kinds of campaigns, so consumers don’t feel like they’re being tricked by participating.
Loyalty & Rewards Programs
While most loyalty programs are transactional by nature, there are opportunities to collect information beyond purchase history or demographic information, especially regarding rewards they find most appealing.
- Loyalty programs often present a straightforward ask/receive pattern.
- While this makes building emotional connections tough, it can make data collection easier.
- You can offer points, discounts, free shipping, free trial, brand swag, and VIP access in exchange for providing zero party data.
Examples of CPG Brands Using Zero Party Data
Fast-growing cosmetic and skincare brand, Hero Cosmetics, collects zero party data through its online brand community, the Hero Skin Squad.
This dedicated destination cultivates passionate consumers and strengthens brand relationships while taking sampling to the next level and driving influential reviews and valuable insights.
Upon joining, consumers can participate in surveys, promotional offers, and lifestyle discussions – all personalized based on zero party data.
Ben & Jerry’s
Cult-favorite ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s collects emotion-led information through their quiz “What Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Are You?” on their brand website.
While the quiz seems playful and lighthearted, it gives the brand a huge opportunity to understand lifestyle-related information. They ask questions about fans’ favorite weekend activities, music genre, and subjects in school. It’s an appealing way to provide helpful product recommendations while collecting key zero party data.
Unilever’s fast-growing brand, Sir Kensington’s, is a challenger brand in the condiment space that competes against established players like Heinz. They started their Taste Buds online brand community to connect with consumers more meaningfully. They do this by collecting zero party data, delivering personalized engagement, and mining audience insights.
Procter & Gamble’s diaper brand, Pampers, uses its Pampers Club Rewards app to allow consumers to earn points every time they buy Pampers products, including diapers, training pants, and wipes. The points can be redeemed for product coupons, discount codes, personalized gifts, magazine subscriptions, baby toys, charity donations, and prizes.
Upon signing up, a consumer can share information about themselves, and Pampers will offer interactive experiences like a free Sleep Training assessment, baby name generator, and parenting resources.
How Vesta Helps CPG Brands Collect Zero Party Data
- Vesta believes in empowering brands to take back their consumer relationships from third party sites and build always-on, owned data engines.
- Our all-in-one online brand community platform secures your consumer relationships, mobilizes your brand advocates, and captures zero party data to accelerate the speed to ROI of all your marketing efforts.
Interested in More?
Check out our article What is Zero Party Data – Everything Marketers Need to Know.