A Comprehensive Guide to 0, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Party Data: What Marketers Need to Know

As a marketer in today’s digital age, it’s essential to understand how to leverage the power of data. Data can be used to help inform decisions regarding marketing campaigns, target audiences, and more. To do this effectively, you need to understand the different types of data available, such as zero, first, second, and third-party.

This guide will provide a comprehensive overview on each type of data, how it’s collected and used, and how it can help you as a marketer. With this knowledge, you will be able to make informed decisions about which type of data is best suited for your marketing needs.


Different types of data

Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is data that a user willingly and knowingly shares. It differs from the other data in that it is not passively collected by a company or another source. It is an emerging area of consumer data collection that is becoming increasingly popular as consumer privacy concerns grow. This data goes beyond what is traditionally collected from consumers, such as demographic information and purchase history. Also, Zero-party data is data that is explicitly provided by a consumer about their preferences and intentions. This type of data is more reliable and accurate because it is collected willingly and directly from the consumer. Therefore, this data is incredibly valuable, as it can be used to better understand the consumer and create a more personalized experience for them.

Zero-party data can be collected in various ways. Companies can ask consumers to fill out surveys, register to loyalty programs, fill out forms, answer questions, or provide feedback that can give them insight into their interests, preferences and intentions. Additionally, companies can offer incentives, such as rewards and discounts, to encourage consumers to willingly share their data.


First-Party Data

First-party data is collected directly by a brand from user interactions. The data comes from the user interactions on the company’s various systems and platforms. According to Google, brands using first-party data for key marketing functions achieved up to a 2.9X revenue uplift and a 1.5X increase in cost savings. Since the information come directly from the source, First-party data is the best form of data to use for reaching audience.

Depending on the systems a corporation uses, the data collected will vary. The data gathered consist of: Purchase history, product preferences, behavioral data (such as clicks or time spent on page), demographic information, subscription, survey data, feedback, social data, or online chat transcripts


Second-Party Data

Second-party data is First-party data shared with another company through a contractual agreement from a business partner. It is a result of a sell/buy transaction between two companies with the same audience. Second-party data can be purchased from other businesses and publishers in the same niche, as well as marketplaces. Once collected these data can be used to create personas, build lookalike audiences for social media campaigns, create audience segmentation.


Third-Party Data

Third-party data is gathered by outside data collectors who are not associated in any way with the customers whose information is being gathered. Your zero-, first-, and second-party data will have gaps that third-party data will fill in, giving you a fuller picture of your clients. It can be any data that is collected from third parties and then used by the person collecting the data. For example, if you use Facebook’s audience tools, those tools will show you third-party data from Facebook, such as the number of people who like your page or the gender breakdown of your audience. With third-party data, you are collecting it from other parties and using that data to create more targeted marketing campaigns.

Third-party data is often used to create customer profiles, which can be used to create targeted campaigns and optimize marketing strategies. This data can be used to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and interests. It can also be used to segment customers into different categories for more effective targeting.


Third-party data vs third-party cookies

The difference between third-party data and third-party cookies is one that is often misunderstood in the digital marketing world. While third-party data is a type of data that has been collected from other sources outside of a company’s own website, a third-party cookies are small pieces of code that are stored in a user’s browser when they visit a website. These cookies are more commonly used for retargeting, as they can track a user’s browsing history and the pages they visit on a website. This information can be used to deliver ads to those users that are more likely to convert.

Elimination of 3rd party-cookies

However, the use of cookies and other tracking technologies have caused an uproar in the data privacy world and are coming to an end. Consumers are becoming more aware of the data being collected about them and are concerned about their privacy. Companies have no choice but to respond to the demands of their customers and take steps to protect user data. Google and Apple recently announced plans to phase out third-party tracking cookie use, as it has been seen to be a violation of user privacy. Google plans to replace its third-party cookies with its own technology called the “Privacy Sandbox.” Apple’s updated Safari browser will also actively block third-party cookies, as well as its Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

The end of third party data will have a huge impact on the online ad industry. Third-party cookie tracking has been used to measure the success of online campaigns and to target specific audiences. Without the use of third-party cookie tracking, advertisers will need to find other ways to measure the success of their campaigns and target their desired audience. Without the use of third-party cookies, companies will have to use first-party data or other methods to track and analyze user behavior. Companies will also have to find new ways to target their ads, as traditional methods such as retargeting will no longer be effective.


Best Practices for Collecting and Using Data

The first step to collecting data is understanding what type of data you want to collect. Next, you will want to understand which sources you want to collect data from. Each source provides different benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important for marketers to understand the best sources for each type of data. When it comes time to actually collecting data, it’s important to understand that the quality of data depends on the source. It’s best to use data sources with the most accurate data, but it’s also important for marketers to understand that the source of the data can also impact how useful the data is.

Using data allows companies to create more personalized experiences for their customers, as well as enables them to better segment their target market and increase their reach. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is typically the most efficient way to gather data. This data can be used to optimize marketing campaigns, and increase customer loyalty.

Companies can also use data to better identify their customers interests, understand their customers’ needs and wants, and tailor their offerings accordingly to show more relevant advertising content. By understanding the customers’ preferences, companies can better tailor their products, services, and promotions to meet the needs of the consumer. As a result, companies are able to provide a more valuable and enjoyable experience to their customers.



With the rapid growth of digital marketing, it’s important for marketers to understand how to leverage the power of data. This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of zero, first, second, and third-party data, including what each type of data is, how it’s collected and used, and how it can help you as a marketer. With this knowledge, you will be able to make informed decisions about which type of data is best suited for your marketing needs.



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