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Best Practices

Best Practices

What Is the Difference Between Zero-Party Data and First-Party Data?

20 Apr 2023 | Jessica F. Lillian | 2 minutes

Event leaders and marketers know that the impending end of cookies will make zero-party and first-party data from their event attendees — and from other potential buying group members — increasingly important. 

There’s been no shortage of buzz about the value of these data types in establishing and growing client relationships. Your event platform must fully support this data: It should offer comprehensive integrations, sophisticated reporting, and trustworthy security to get all data quickly flowing to those who need it. 

As organizations seek to enhance their data, they may want more clarity on the critical differences between the main types. Zero- and first-party data both provide valuable information while following privacy rules and steering clear of future cookie challenges. But they are collected differently, and each offers certain specific advantages.

Zero-party data is directly and intentionally shared by clients and prospects themselves. Generally, the transaction occurs as part of a value exchange. The person enters the information to receive a service, benefit, content asset, or something else they deem useful. For events, examples of zero-party data include initial registration fields, agenda-building, session favoriting, survey responses, contact requests, and Q&A participation. 

Because it is shared voluntarily, zero-party data contributes to a building of mutual transparency, trust, and relationship strength. As the data points build, event teams and marketing teams can learn about attendees’ and buyers’ preferences. They’ll likely find plenty of opportunities to personalize content, communications, and offerings. 

First-party data is gathered passively from users’ interactions with the organization’s website, mobile app, and other touchpoints. First-party data from events may come from sources such as package purchase history, exhibitor booth visits (in person and virtually), session attendance scans, session engagement information, and in-app chats with other attendees.

Like zero-party data, first-party data can be used in many ways. It can enhance personalization, drive cross-sell and upsell, and uncover buyers’ and clients’ preferences to shape future iterations of products. In addition, because it does not require any additional effort or action from either party, collection is seamless. The information also remains controlled indefinitely by your organization. 

Both types of data speak to the power of events in harnessing the information needed to create marketing and sales programs that speak to your buyers, as well as to deliver continually personalized experiences

Effectively capturing and delivering robust data starts long before the event. From profile setup to mechanisms for monitoring registrations, make sure your configurations are ready to go. From there, real-time data flow provides a steady supply of actionable insights — no cookies required!