Beyond Cookies: First-Party Data, Zero-Party Data, And Consumer Comforts & Concerns

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Data privacy worries aren’t a particularly new or novel matter, but it’s still a sound plan for marketers to forever be aware of what consumers are feeling and where they’re coming from. … particularly as it relates to potential cookie-replacing solutions such as embracing first-party data.

Attest’s latest study, “Zero-Party Data Revolution: How To Grow Marketing Effectiveness,” goes directly there with a specific eye toward the cookieless future, finding that 84.1% of consumers are concerned about their data when interacting with brands online (41.2% of which are “very concerned”). And even as email marketing continues to be seen as a centerpiece for marketing strategies, 85% of consumers are opting out of mailing lists at least some of the time, and more than half (58%) doing it always or most of the time.

“The general mistrust of brands, and the daily deluge of marketing that most consumers receive, has led to a growing unwillingness to share personal data,” the study says. “Handing over one’s email address for marketing purposes is something that’s carefully considered.”

The study found 31% of consumers were likely to decline non-essential cookies when given the option, with the opt-out number rising to 47% on social media websites. 36.6% decline cookies to avoid being targeted by advertising, 36.3% don’t trust that site with their data, and 27.1% worry about hackers stealing their data.

“While the death of third-party cookies is a good thing from a consumer perspective, it’s only going to get harder for marketers to reach their target customers as they demand greater data privacy,” the study says. “Ultimately, we’re looking at a future where the consumer calls the shots about how — or if — you can advertise to them. Brands that are unprepared are likely to experience serious losses in revenue.”

Attest’s main solution, as you could guess by the study title, is zero-party data (which Attest differentiates from first-party data and its opt-out potential in that zero-party data is explicitly asked for by the company). In its survey, Attest found that nearly half (47.6%) prefer interactive surveys for capturing such data, followed by loyalty cards (34.8%), and online forms (27%). Cookies place 5th with 18.8%.

(Source: Attest)

“Beyond being a far richer source of information, collecting data via surveys actually helps to build consumer trust,” the study says. “When we asked respondents how they felt about brands seeking zero-party data (rather than using passive data collection methods) 48.0% said they would be more likely to trust those brands with their data. What’s more, 57.8% would feel more at ease using the brand’s website and 53.4% would feel more at ease interacting with the brand on social media.”


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