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The future of data has arrived! Introducing no-party data

Author: Laura Ballam

In the world of marketing and data science one of the hottest topics these days is the intersection of privacy and personalization. With increasing constraints around third-party data capture, including cookies and browser restrictions, marketers are left wondering how to provide an optimized experience that’s relevant and timely when visitors have opted out of cookies, or their browser blocks them altogether. In fact, Epsilon found that 70% of marketers believe restrictions in the use of third-party identifiers will make it harder to personalize ads and prove marketing effectiveness.

The great news is – there’s a new solution in town! A way to provide customized experiences without tracking or sharing data, and without using cookies. A completely self-contained, session-specific solution that respects privacy wishes while still delivering relevant, in-the-moment experiences to anonymous visitors.

It’s completely innovative, 100% compliant, and it’s called no-party data.

What is no-party data?

Simply put – no-party data means no cookies, no tracking, and no data sharing. It enables marketers to personalize every digital experience for people who don’t want to be tracked. The magic is in the unique code that enables contextualization of real-time, session-specific signals to activate relevant messaging based on the pages viewed within a single session. It’s not connected to the individual or their identity in any way.

It can be leveraged with both known and anonymous visitors and is subject to a direct relationship with the consumer. It’s completely compliant with browser and tracking restrictions as well as opt-out preferences. By definition, no-party data works in real-time and is only available on the specific website or app while the user is actively visiting. No identifiers are created, and the data is completely protected in that device, like being in a vault that’s emptied as soon as the session is over.

How no-party data fits with all the other data types:

Well – it doesn’t. The whole point of no-party data is that it can be used to deliver a more relevant and engaging experience to individuals who don’t want to share their data. No-party data is the only solution for brands to offer the individualized experience that customers want to have when they can’t use any of the other data types. Let’s dive into each of the five customer data types to understand the differences:

No-party data: A completely new form of data capture. No-party data is data that’s collected within a digital vault. It’s not connected to anything else and therefore doesn’t require consent because no data is shared, saved, or tracked, and no cookies are placed. It never stores PII, no information leaves the website or the device, and it’s highly accurate since it’s based on the activity within a specific session.

No-party data works within a brand’s website to recognize user interaction sequences in real-time without storing or sending data. Once the session is over, the data trail stops. Since no-party data is captured only for the specific pages visited in a single session, the data collected is restricted to:

  • Interaction data, including patterns and sequences
  • Page insights, such as topic and theme
  • Contextual insights that generate marketing signals
  • Behavioral machine learning (ML)

Zero-party data: According to Forrester, who created the term, zero-party data is “data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize them.” It’s essentially a component or subset of first-party data because it’s collected directly from the consumer by the organization, but the differentiating factor is that users knowingly provide it – usually in exchange for something they value.

Zero-party data is gathered actively and solicits a direct interaction from your audience through methods such as:

  • Quizzes, polls, surveys, etc.
  • Loyalty program memberships
  • Preference data
  • Purchase intentions
  • Online tests (i.e. what’s your style, makeup tone, etc.)
  • Receipt sharing for points
  • User profiles

First-party data: Data a brand collects via their direct relationship with customers, through first-party cookies on their own web properties, CRM platforms, and owned marketing channels. First-party data is the data that defines your customers’ experiences with your brand.

First-party data is gathered passively and provides insights from analytics and user behaviors such as:

  • Behaviors and preferences from website and mobile app interactions
  • Purchase history and sales interactions
  • Contact information, including email, phone, or address
  • Demographic information
  • Subscription information
  • Customer support and success interactions
  • Social media data

Second-party data: Data the brand did not collect directly. It’s essentially first-party data that was collected and shared from another organization, such as a trusted partner. To be effective, there must be a common identifier to connect the information – such as an email or phone number that both parties have in their own data. The data is consolidated to create common, anonymized identity assets.

Second-party data is collected passively and gathers the same type of information as first-party data - typically from:

  • Customer surveys and feedback
  • Website and mobile app interactions and behaviors
  • Purchase history
  • SMS, POS, and CRM systems
  • Call centers
  • Social media
  • Email engagement

Since second-party data is shared, organizations must be careful to ensure that appropriate disclosure is provided, and permission is granted to allow the sharing of data with trusted partners.

Third-party data: Data collected by a third-party aggregator that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the customer. They typically get it from other companies or via third-party cookies and assemble it into a separate dataset. The data is often compiled from multiple sources and is then purchased by others for advertising purposes. For example, behavioral data from publishers that’s purchased by an AdTech company who then sells it to brands, or brands purchasing it directly as audience segments for individual campaigns. Third-party data can also be purchased to enrich internal customer data, such as with demographic information to enhance customer profiles. Most third-party datasets are created or supplemented with third-party cookie data, which means the accuracy, availability, and effectiveness of it is in a precarious TBD situation.

Typically consists of:

  • Demographics
  • Financials (income, net worth)
  • Media interests
  • Life events
  • Buying habits
  • Affinities and attitudes
  • Health information
  • Paid ads engagement

For a side-by-side comparison, check out this helpful chart of the five types of customer data.

The million-dollar question - what can marketers do when visitors opt-out?

This is where the rubber meets the road. Without no-party data, marketers have no alternative but to deliver untargeted, generic content when a visitor has either opted out of cookies or their browser settings restrict tracking. They can’t use data to drive paid media or email strategies, and they can’t deliver real-time personalization. This drives down response and conversion rates and counteracts all the personalization efforts marketers work so hard on. It's a massive backward step for brands.

Unfortunately, most customers expect a personalized experience but still opt out of tracking. Even when presented with multiple options for cookie tracking, a typical consumer doesn’t bother to read the fine print – they see a scary message about their data being stored and tracked, and they just say no (to all). This means the data and insights aren’t available to enable brands to deliver personalized experiences.

No-party data is the solution to this infuriating challenge. It enables brands to provide relevant experiences during any session, for any visitor, with timely and appropriate messaging - without collecting personal data. Effectively using no-party data to capture, contextualize, and inform customized messaging in real-time, within a protected session environment, is the only way to give customers what they want (a relevant experience) while still respecting their privacy.

What is CX Vault?

Celebrus CX Vault leverages no-party data to use a set of signals reflecting visitor interests in a single session. All data and content for tailored messaging is secured within the device. It provides a unique and innovative solution for in-the-moment customization when opt-out restrictions prevent traditional personalization.