Dec 6, 2021 3 min read

What is zero-party data? Advertising with user-provided data

What is zero-party data? Advertising with user-provided data

What if we asked users for their data? It seems simple, but this concept has gained steam in the last year, and the ad tech world is calling it zero-party data.

What is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is any data that a user shares intentionally. Unlike first-party or third-party data, which brands or publishers collect surreptitiously (albeit with consent) — users directly provide zero-party data.

Forrester Research coined the term back in 2018, and they have a fancier definition:

"Zero-party data is that which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize [them]."

Marketers collect first-party and third-party data through browsing habits, purchase behaviors, and signals (like user agent / IP address), while users directly provide zero-party data.

First-party, third-party, and zero-party data can tell you the same thing, but the collection method is the dividing factor. For example, I can determine your location by collecting your IP address from request headers (first and third-party) and running it through a geolocation vendor, or I can ask you where you live (zero-party).

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