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  • Writer's pictureLior Weizman

Cookie Apocalypse or Golden Opportunity?

This article was originally published by me on Medium

How to Win in the Era of Consumer-First Privacy Regulations and Changes?

Insights from a panel discussion at VivaTech 2022, with Lior Weizman, Taylor Donnell and Kris Dimitroff

“How to succeed in the ‘New Era of Data Privacy’?” — it’s a pressing concern for brand leaders around the world. In many ways, third-party cookies were the foundation of the web as we know it today. But that bedrock is giving way, thanks to rising global concern and scrutiny over data protection, stricter governance (GDPR, CCPA, PIPL, LGPD), and the ensuing policy reforms (kicked off by internet giants Apple and Google, who are phasing out cookies). Simultaneously, as noted by Forbes, we’re facing new frontiers with the vast amounts of consumer data generated and the technologies to leverage it. So with the entire industry on shaky ground, what should marketers be doing now?

This exact topic was the focus of a panel I moderated last month, at the Viva Technology conference in Paris. For the session, I was joined by experts Taylor Donnell (Vice President of Content & Partner Marketing at Jebbit) and Kris Dimitroff (Global Head of Technology Partnerships at Emarsys, an SAP company). Following are selected questions and answers from that panel discussion.

[A short background before starting: Jebbit is an SAP partner and SAP.iO Foundry graduate. Jebbit’s solution empowers businesses to securely and transparently collect first- and zero-party data from their customers via interactive quizzes, and it’s integrated with SAP Emarsys and SAP Customer Data Cloud. Emarsys is an industry-leading customer engagement platform trusted by innovative brands across the globe and was acquired by SAP in 2020.]

Insights from a panel discussion took place at the Viva Technology event in Paris, June 2022

Taylor, before we jump into challenges, can you please explain what is “Zero-party data”?

Taylor Donnell: We often associate first-party data with consumer’s behavioral and transactional data. What they clicked or swiped-up on, opened, viewed, and purchased. First-party data is incredibly valuable for brands but with it, comes inferences and assumptions. It’s hard to know for sure if a consumer was shopping for themselves. Was that golf club they just bought for themselves or for their dad as a Father’s Day gift? Zero-party data differs from first-party data because it’s explicit. It’s data that’s coming directly from the consumer as they raise their hand and self-declare that these are my interests and preferences.

Zero-party data is important because it gives the user control over the data they share, or don’t share with a business about their preferences, needs, motivations, intentions, and more. They opt-in to engage and share more information about themselves versus all of these things running in the background that are tracking them.

Often, businesses try to collect consumer preference data using traditional survey tools which aren’t all that engaging for consumers, often include too many questions, and are one-way, meaning the brand wants to take inventory of how consumers feel about their brand. This results in low engagement and even lower completion rates.

Taylor, how can Jebbit help brands to “win in the era of consumer-first privacy regulations and changes”?

Taylor Donnell: GDPR and CCPA were the first big changes — requiring businesses to be crystal clear about the data they were collecting and how it was being used, and even giving users the ability to enact their right to be forgotten so that the business didn’t share or sell their data.

And more recently, Apple and Google have made significant changes to protect consumer’s privacy but [at the same time] are impacting bottom-line revenue and market share for businesses and brands.

By using Jebbit, our clients can create beautiful, interactive quizzes and experiences that capture zero-party data at scale and that look/feel like the brand running the experience (without touching a line of code). For example, a retail or beauty brand might create a “Find the right product for you” quiz and embed it right on their homepage. Consumers answer 5-7 questions and get matched to only the most relevant products, based on what they told the brand as they engaged.

We’re experts––with the expertise built into the software––at capturing and sustaining user attention. The proof here being [that] our average experience completion rate is 85% or more. So we have businesses capturing hundreds of millions of these attributes, and some far less but focusing only on the attributes that matter most to power more relevant interactions with their consumers.

The joint Jebbit-Emarsys (SAP) solution

Consumers want control when it comes to the data they share with businesses. And the businesses that use this data to deliver genuine value back to their consumers will have a serious competitive advantage because it’s data that YOU, the business, own. And it comes directly from the most valuable source: your consumers!

In summary, we enable brands to ask consumers about themselves, their preferences, needs, life stages, etc. so that they have the information needed to then curate a more personalized journey for the consumer across channels like Emarsys, for example. In partnership with SAP, mutual customers can send the zero-party data they collect into platforms like Emarsys to send more-relevant emails, SMS messages, ad-creative, and more to fuel a more personalized, relevant interaction [the] next time you engage with your audiences.

Kris, how do marketing automation platforms like Emarsys help businesses to win in these challenging times, and WHY is giving consumers more control of their data actually a GOOD thing?

Kris Dimitroff: I recently heard the phrase ‘COOKIE APOCALYPSE’, which makes it sound all doom and gloom, but it’s really not. Despite the regulatory changes, there is much to celebrate for consumer-facing brands looking to connect with their customers. ‘Where there is change, there is opportunity,’ right? There are tactics that enable businesses to not only adapt, but thrive in these changes, resulting in better direct relationships with consumers and more revenue. Successfully capturing zero-party data turns customers into brand advocates.

There are many ways you can capture zero-party or ‘earned’ data, and the benefits are huge:

  • Registration / Sign-up: Walk them through an experience like Babbel, the language learning app (i.e. ‘What’s your motivation to learn Spanish?’).

  • Social Media: Instagram polls are easy and effective. For example, PUMA gathers customers’ info on what type of exercise they like best.

  • Emails: Ask customers for their birthday, in exchange for receiving something on that special day.

  • In-store: Sign a customer up for a loyalty card, and encourage them to use that card when they make a purchase.

  • Online Gamification Tactics: Use engaging, interactive quizzes and experiences such as Jebbit provide.

Since zero-party data comes directly from the customer it will be very accurate and relevant, and your brand can be certain that a customer wants to hear from you. Unlike other data collection types (second- and third-party) it will be inexpensive, as you don’t pay for zero-party data as customers willingly hand it over. Also, there are little to no compliance risks because you know the source of data, in addition to how it was collected.

It might be a heavy lift for some brands, but retailers that get it right will be rewarded with loyal customers, not only in terms of repeat purchases but also willingness to leave positive online reviews and feedback.

Kris, how can brands take a strategic approach to capturing first-party data?

Kris Dimitroff: No big secrets here, just a few tips of the trade.

1. Start by evaluating what data you already have. Like most brands, you probably have first-party data, and now looking to gather more zero-party data. But first, assess the quality or accuracy of your data; Does your business have consent to use it? Is your data stored in a way for it to be properly used by your marketing team? Do you have the right technology to fully leverage it and turn it into money? You may find that you’re currently sitting on a gold mine of data, but you’ve yet to fully unlock and harness all its potential.

2. Use gamification to earn the customer’s consent.

  • “Fill out this survey and have a chance at winning 30% off your next purchase.”

  • “Take our quiz and be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift card.”

  • “Grab this bonus PDF with extra tips and be added to our premium e-newsletter!”

  • “What’s our most popular fashion choices for this spring? Tell us your favorite spring fashion pieces and see the results.”

3. Be transparent, give customers the power. Being abstruse about how a customer’s data will be used for fear that they won’t share it is not only unethical, but likely counterproductive. The fact is, the more transparent you are about how a customer’s data will be used, the more likely they are to share it. This is about earning the customer’s trust, as much as it is their data.

4. Have fun with it, this is actually an exciting time for brands to better connect with your customers!

Thank you Kris and Taylor for joining us at the SAP stage at Viva Technology 2022!

For more information about Emarsys, please visit

For more information about Jebbit, please visit


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