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Freely given – by Choueiri Group’s Teresa Martin Gilabert and Georges El Hani

Choueiri Group's Audience Senior Manager, Teresa Martin Gilabert, and DMS's Senior Sales Manager, Georges El Hani, explain what zero-party data is, and how it can be useful for marketers

Teresa Martin Gilabert, Audience Senior Manager, Choueiri Group Georges El Hani, Senior Sales Manager, DMS
Teresa Martin Gilabert, Audience Senior Manager, Choueiri Group (Left) and Georges El Hani, Senior Sales Manager, DMS

What is zero-party data and how is the audience collected?

Teresa: The simplified definition of zero-party audiences would be “making research addressable at scale”, while the technical definition of zero-party data would be “when a customer intentionally and proactively shares data with a brand or entity”. This is valuable information that provides insights about their awareness level, preferences, and the relationship they have
with a brand.

This type of data can be collected through in-house industry research, or specific tactical surveys launched across the publisher platforms that we represent. I believe that the magic takes place at the questionnaire stage, because they can be designed to capture any brand data signals and make them addressable. Depending on the brand’s objectives and goals, the research team will create suitable questions. To give you some examples, we can capture users’ awareness, consideration or/and intention, their perception, emotions, lifestyle statements, and the list goes on and on. There are no limits to the addressable audiences that we can create through surveys. All responses are linked to our data management platform (DMP) where they are scaled at high accuracy through look-alike models to create zero-party audiences. This makes it possible to target users based on their own answers, wants and desires.

Why are zero-party audiences better than conventional audiences?

Teresa: All types of audience complement one another, and each plays a role in driving impact to the brand, from upper to lower funnel. If we want to position zero-party audiences when it comes to activations, they drive targeting towards precision marketing.

Looking at the performance of zero-party audiences, and taking into consideration 25 activations, we can see a significant increase in brand and media metrics. For example, a recent case study we created utilised zero-party audiences for PepsiCo during their Dubai Expo2020 campaign, achieved +125 per cent click-through rate (CTR) and +37.4 per cent view-through rate (VTR) on zero-party data vs. conventional audiences. Our aim for this campaign, and the reason why we opted for addressable research, was to reach audiences specifically based on their level of intention to visit Expo2020 and their awareness of the Pepsi collaboration taking place at the event. This targeting strategy and personalised customer experience allowed us to tap into greater engagement and enhanced
customer loyalty. (You can read more on page 14.)

Looking at other industries, such as automotive, we achieved an average of +68.6 per cent increase in CTR and +29.3 per cent VTR on zero-party audiences vs. conventional. When analysing brand metrics, we found an increase of +39 per cent in ad recall and +21 per cent in brand consideration when targeting addressable audiences. We believe this was due to the alignment between the campaign’s purpose and the data’s accuracy, as the data was created specifically to cover a need
or objective.

What is the way forward? Are you seeing more demand from clients?

Georges: Clients are not entirely focused on third-party data, and instead are willing to consider zero-party audiences, as this type of data is not collected by tracking pixels, cookies or cross-device identification, but rather directly from their own customers. When users willingly share insights with a brand, we can safely say that they trust the brand to leverage their data responsibly.

Understanding users through addressable research is enabling brands to fuel better targeting and communication strategies. This is allowing brands to target accurately at scale while delivering personalised messages.

What is required from brands to launch a campaign with zero-party audiences?

Georges: The key here is to work alongside the brand as one team, and to really understand the brand’s media activation goals. This allows us to create the right survey and capture the users they are seeking. Inaccurate or random questions will not be effective and can even go against the campaign’s objectives. That is why it is crucial to align with the brand on the purpose and involve the research team to ensure a framework that can drive precision in creating audiences and meeting the brand’s objective. An activation of this nature depends greatly on pinpointing precise campaign objectives, as well as the availability of sufficient data from the client’s end to back-up their chosen direction. Zero-party audiences are typically used to create personalised customer experiences while reaching specific declared audiences.