How you can start gathering zero-party in your brand community
Gathering high-quality zero-party data in your brand community is not as hard as you might think. The main things you need are the community members, the platform to do research on and good market researchers who can analyze the data. That’s what we’re going to explore today.
Why create a brand community: 5 blogs about why you need to pursue this right now
First, let’s take a few steps back and explore brand communities. Creating a brand community allows you to gather zero-party data and increase engagement with your ideal customers. A welcoming trend for those worrying about the ramifications of stricter privacy laws and the sunsetting of the 3rd-party cookie. Today we start with blog 5/5.
Why do brands need to create communities in the first place?
Getting market research right is a very competitive advantage nowadays. But there’s a lot more going on than just that. Brands have been building communities on social media platforms that are now pushing them to pay up (for example, by buying ads) if they want to keep their engagement and visibility high enough.
All the while, privacy laws are getting stricter and fewer data can be shared by the likes of Google, Meta or your average 3rd-party data broker.
And to be honest, that 3rd-party or even 2nd- and 1st-party data may not be as reliable as you think anymore.
Meaning, everything is converging towards a scenario where you need to know more to be able to compete but must do with less available data. On top of that, the communities you’ve built on social media platforms are not yours. And you’re finding out right now by literally paying a hefty price.
That’s why creating a community on your terms around your brand or product is a no-brainer. These people aren’t just your customers. They’re your ideal customers – your fans! The ones that spread the word about it in their inner circle and love to share their opinions on how to make it even better.
In this series, we’ll dive into the reasoning behind creating such a community. Because the chances are that you’re reading this because you see some of these trends too.
And we’re going to arm you with all knowledge you need to get cracking with setting up that brand community of fans you need so badly.
Reason 5: Why you should focus on zero-party data (before it’s too late)
Instead of third- or even first-party data, you need to evolve towards zero-party data – the type customers share proactively with you.
We’ve touched upon zero-party data earlier on. It’s a type of data customers or users share with you proactively. The term zero-party data was coined a few years ago by renowned market research agency Forrester and has gained considerable traction ever since.
Now, it has to be said that customers sharing data proactively and deliberately isn’t exactly a new development. For example, you could say that customer support works with zero-party data every day. Zero-party data is mainly a convenient term to highlight the difference between this type and others like first-, second- and third-party data.
The benefits of zero-party data are many. The data is cleaner, clearer and more accurate. You know where it came from, the intent it was sent with and how the environment looked from when they were sent. That means you can leave a lot of guessing at the door and use the zero-party data to build better relationships with your customers or prospects.
In turn, this helps you grow and reach even more people you can build a relationship with wherever you are.
Another benefit is that your audience expects you to treat the data like 1st-party data. If you can show you keep your end of the bargain by protecting said data, it will be positive for your brand too in that regard.
So what can you do right now?
It’s best to zoom in on zero-party data before your competitors do. It will give you a head-start and help you build a tight-knit community of happy customers. Who’d say no to that?
In the first blogs we asked you to define and upgrade the knowledge of your target audience. If you’ve done this by now, you know where the gaps are, so you can act accordingly by gathering it on the platform you’ve also found by now.
Maybe you need face-to-face interviews or find more quantitative reliable zero-party data by having bigger groups answer surveys. You could also use diary studies, online mood boards or co-creation to dig up the vital data you need to understand your target audience better than ever.