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Future-Proof Your Affiliate Strategy with Zero- and First-Party Data

Last Modified: February 13, 2023

In 2020, Google announced that it will no longer support third-party cookies in Chrome. Since this is one of the top web browsers in the world, this news shook the marketing world. Furthermore, Apple also announced that end-users will need to get permission from users to track them.

The era of third-party data seems to be over, which means marketers have to turn to first-party and zero-party data. If your marketers are going to create an effective campaign, they should tweak their strategy to no longer include third-party data.

But, before we go any deeper into the subject, let’s take a closer look at zero-party and first-party data. What are they and what do you need to know about them?

First-Party Data vs. Zero Party Data: What You Need to Know

Many growth marketers know what cookies are and what their purpose is. However, many do not know about first-party and zero-party data. Let’s take a moment to define both of these terms.

First-party data includes all of the information a company gets from analytics and user behaviors. For example, if you have an email list you can track which emails lead to the most clicks and sales. All of that data from your internal email list is first-party data.

A study covered in Marketing Drive found that 88% of marketers see first-party data as a top priority. On the other hand, zero-party data doesn’t come from analysis, but directly from the customers. That is all the information your customers intentionally share with you. For example, the comments they leave on your site, emails, and calls you receive from them are all zero-party data. They can give you valuable insight into your customers’ preferences.

The most forward-thinking ecommerce brands are collecting zero-party data to power deep personalization and future-proof their businesses from major data privacy changes. Octane AI helps thousands of Shopify and ecommerce brands collect this valuable zero-party data using quizzes and conversational pop-ups. Brands then use the data they collect with Octane AI for personalization across email, SMS, ad and affiliate marketing. Brands that do this typically see 2–4x increases in email collection and 20–40%+ growth in overall revenue, AOV and purchase conversions.

Why is all of this important? Data is the heart and soul of digital marketing. Without valuable information, marketers won’t be able to create strong strategies.

On the other hand, with the correct data, they can keep track of the campaigns and measure how successful they are. When you know which campaigns are working for you and which are not, you can boost the effective ones and kill the underperforming ones. Creating a successful campaign without all of this data is like flying a plane without radar. It is possible, but you can crash and burn.

So, how can you get your hands on more useful data? Well, you might have some information sources right there in your pocket, but you are not using them. We are talking about affiliates. Let’s take a look.

How Affiliates and Influencers Gather Data

Affiliates can help you gather more data from customers in a few different ways. Check out these ideas and see which one is a good fit for your brand.

Create Contests

If you want to gather more zero-party data, you can work with influencers on a contest. They could share “vote on our next product” stories or posts where their audience could share their opinions and choose which products they would prefer to buy. Experienced influencers won’t have a problem driving traffic to these contests.

If you want to receive first-party data, your goal can be to add a thousand people to your email list. This may sound tricky, but affiliates can help you with this task. Organize a contest among your affiliates. Have them encourage quality subscriber sign-ups and whoever gets the most new subscribers, wins. Your reward can be, for example, double commission on all sales for 30 days following the contest.

Run a Pre-Order Campaign

Let’s say you have a new product ready for production. How can you know how many units to produce? To get a better picture, consider running a pre-order campaign featuring a few products. You might include a bonus product for those who order early. By driving traffic to such a campaign on your website, you will have the opportunity to generate more zero-party and first-party data.

Offer a Quiz

According to TechCrunch, quizzes are a great way to get your hands on more zero-party data. A quiz usually involves asking a few questions about the consumer and then recommending a specific product. Work with your affiliates to make the quiz more engaging and generate more interest. Keep in mind that affiliates know their audience better than you, so they may have some great ideas for the quiz.

How to Update Your Affiliate Management to Reflect Data

When you have figured out how to grow your first-party or zero-party data, work on your marketing materials and processes. Update your marketing reports to track zero-party or first-party marketing data. Use that new data to predict business outcomes.

In time as your affiliate campaigns grow and more and more data is collected, manually tracking your results may become overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a solution that makes it simple and easy to scale up your affiliate marketing campaigns.

The Bottom Line

Tracking the growth of your first-party and zero-party marketing data doesn’t have to be complicated. Refersion is an all-in-one affiliate marketing management platform.

You can use it to track conversions, identify top performers and quickly adjust your campaigns. To see for yourself, learn more about Refersion today.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey