Skip to main content

Build a Cost-Effective Acquisition and Engagement Strategy with Zero-Party Data

It’s never been easier for users to change to a new service—or harder and more expensive for app companies to acquire new customers. And the upcoming loss of third-party cookies means that many tried-and-true tactics for customer acquisition won’t work for much longer. 

It’s a dilemma marketers can’t spend their way out of. As customer acquisition costs rise, consumer app companies need to find cost-effective ways to build and nurture strong direct relationships with their key consumer communities. And to do that, they need to collect and leverage zero-party data.

Use Zero-Party Data to Connect Emotionally With Users

A brand relationship rooted in positive emotional associations is one of the best ways to ensure loyalty. But 40% of marketers surveyed in a recent study by Forrester Consulting said the data they collect is anonymous, and 57% said their data isn’t meaningful to the customer. And nearly 9 in 10 marketers believe if they could align campaigns with more meaningful attributes, it would make their companies more successful. So how can app companies connect with users on a deeper level?

The solution is simple: use zero-party data—information your users willingly provide so you can personalize their experience—to build stronger emotional connections with your best customer groups. 

Since zero-party data also comes directly from the customer, brands can learn reliable and relevant ways to personalize marketing. When campaigns are tailored to recognize a customer’s identity and values, it makes them feel cared for and seen. For example, if a company knows that a customer is a teacher, it can send personalized communications and discounts that recognize Teacher Appreciation Week or Back-to-School and product recommendations for items teachers would be likely to buy, such as school supplies. 

What is Identity Marketing?

Identity marketing is a form of personalization based on deep-seated attributes such as a customer's life stage (students), profession (healthcare workers), or affiliation (military). When you invite these consumer communities to enjoy an exclusive offer, they willingly provide their personal information to redeem it. And when you digitally verify that information, you gain zero-party data you can use to nurture a deeper brand relationship.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a personalized offer for a consumer community, such as 40% off your subscription for students.

  2. Users opt-in to receive your offer by providing basic information like their name, organization's name, birth date, and email address. An identity marketing platform digitally verifies their membership in the consumer community to ensure the offer’s integrity and prevent discount abuse

  3. Use this zero-party data to continue nurturing your new customers.

The Benefits of Identity Marketing

Connect on a Personal Level

Membership in a consumer community is a deeply personal attribute. More than 4 in 5 students, teachers, and military members said they identify more strongly with those roles than their religion, family role, or nationality/cultural heritage. 

Acquire More Customers by Standing Out from the Crowd

In a recent survey, more than 4 in 5 consumers who belong to an identity-based community said they check to see if a brand offers them an exclusive discount before making a purchase. 

And identity-based promotions are a powerful motivator to try a new brand. More than 90% of students, teachers, and military members would be more likely to purchase something from a brand that offered them an exclusive discount.

Own and Leverage the Customer Experience

With identity marketing, verification occurs in-brand as part of your online sign-up process. This results in a higher conversion rate and sets you up to nurture lifelong loyalty, as users are more likely to abandon an offer if verification seems overly complicated. More than 9 in 10 consumer communities said a personalized offer would positively impact their brand relationship.

Lower Acquisition Costs

Members of consumer communities know and support each other. When a good deal comes their way, they will promote it for you by passing it along. Ninety-six percent of the consumer communities said if they received an exclusive offer, they would share it with others who were eligible for it.

Boost Customer Lifetime Value and Retention 

With the impending death of third-party cookies, customer lifetime value (CLV) is becoming an even greater priority. Expressing high regard for a consumer community by giving them an exclusive offer fosters brand loyalty. More than 9 in 10 consumer communities said a personalized offer would positively impact their brand relationship, and over 70% of students, teachers, and the military are more loyal to brands that give their community an exclusive deal. 

6 Ways to Nurture Loyalty with Zero-Party Data 

Use these six tips to use zero-party data to build customer loyalty:

01 Reach Audiences That Look Like Your Best Customers

Successful modern marketing campaigns are driven by smart audience design. Intelligent behavioral audiences, contextual placement, and geographic targeting can be combined to find the right audience. All these approaches are enhanced with zero-party data. This is especially true of lookalike audience campaigns. These audiences can guide digital advertising strategies, improving return on advertising spend (ROAS) and effectiveness. 

By using lookalike audiences as part of its military campaign, online mattress brand Purple generated 6x conversion and an outstanding 25:1 ROAS. The success inspired the company to launch similar programs for teachers, medical workers, and other groups that altogether generated 58% of the previous year’s program revenue in just eight weeks.

02 Engage Users with Personalized Content

Once you’ve honed in on the customers that make the most sense for you to pursue, you can deliver content that’s tailored to them. Begin by serving them a personalized ad or create a landing page with personalized content.

For instance, CheapCaribbean runs campaigns targeting teachers, healthcare workers, first responders, and military members. When customers identify themselves as members of these groups, CheapCaribbean enrolls them in travel clubs designed just for them and can use this zero-party data to promote offerings tailored to their lifestyles. 

03 Deliver More Meaningful Experiences and Offers

If audiences are the guests you invite to dinner, personalized offers are what you put on the table, and zero-party data helps you understand what you should serve and to whom.  Marketing to consumer communities makes “planning the menu” easy because members have already shared an important aspect of their identity. 

For example, you can use the knowledge that a customer is a teacher or member of the military to build offers that those groups would find compelling, and then continue to refine your promotions as your understanding of them grows. 

04 Map the Customer Journey 

Tracking the steps that customers take on their path to conversion can help you optimize the messages and timing of your campaigns. It can also give you valuable insight into where and how to invest your marketing dollars. When the zero-party data is identity-based, you can leverage knowledge of the consumer community to refine that even further. For example, when you know customers are in college, you can ramp up social media and mobile campaigns to reflect their viewing habits and reach them more easily.

05 Gain Audience Insights That Drive Future Business

Zero-party data gives you information you can combine with other intelligence to set the direction for your strategy. For example, if a video game company knew that San Antonio had a higher number of gamers than the rest of Texas and that the city was home to a lot of medical workers, running an identity marketing campaign that targeted healthcare professionals could really pay off. 

Testing these ideas through smart paid media and other strategies would give the brand quick and meaningful feedback it could use to optimize the approach. Plus, as consumer trends change, setting this kind of feedback loop enables a brand to stay nimble and quickly respond to the needs of the market and their customers.

06 Win Trust by Respecting Consumer Privacy

Privacy laws like CCPA and GDPR reflect the growing concern consumers have about their data. When you collect zero-party data, which is always gathered with the consent of consumers, you show customers you understand the personal nature of the information.This builds a sense of brand trust and authenticity that fosters loyalty.

Drive Success Using Zero-Party Data 

Jumpstart your acquisition and engagement strategy with personalized offers. Book a demo and see firsthand how leading consumer app companies are using SheerID to acquire new subscribers and re-engaging them with zero-party data.