Gamified experiences increase zero-party data collection

By Oliver Hajjar

CRUX Knowledge

London, United Kingdom


Every marketer knows that, in today’s world, personalisation is key. Users are looking for an experience that’s created especially for them and one that meets their individual needs. The best way for brands to meet those personalisation desires is through the use of customer data.

Customer data offers brands unrivalled insight into the way their customers behave and what they’re looking for online. In turn, this helps to drive personalisation within a business’s customer-facing ecosystem.

Zero-party data is powerful for driving personalisation and customer loyalty.
Zero-party data is powerful for driving personalisation and customer loyalty.

Zero-party data has been identified by marketers as a key tool for driving personalisation and customer loyalty. But how can brands collect it? The answer lies in gamified experiences.

To capitalise on this opportunity, it’s important to understand exactly what zero-party data and gamified experiences are and how one can have a major impact on the successful collection of the other.

What is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is data that a customer has intentionally shared with a brand. Zero-party data is often given to improve marketing or personalised services. It offers brands exact insight into their customer base.

First-party data (data collected through a user’s behaviour and journey on a Web site or app) and third-party data (data purchased from another source) rely on making presumptions. However, zero-party data offers brands the most accurate pool of customer data possible. It comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

The sharing of customer data is often done on the promise of a value exchange. Customers will share their data with a brand based on the agreement that the data will be used to modify or improve a service that will offer tangible value. Sharing their data will often mean a more personalised experience.

Of course, customers are under no obligation to share their data with you. Brands, therefore, need to find ways to encourage data sharing, which can be hard. A user is only likely to share their data with a brand that is open, honest, and transparent.

What are gamified experiences?

A gamified experience is an experience, usually online, that uses game elements in a non-game setting.

Brands are able to combine game mechanics and dynamics to improve the customer experience and help meet business goals. Game mechanics include common and recognisable features of gaming, such as scores, point collection, levels, missions, and leader boards. Game dynamics refer to the emotions, behaviours, and desires that a user exhibits as they move throughout a game, such as competition, motivation, and collaboration.

A successful gamified experience will tap into users’ emotions to help direct them through an activity to help fulfil their desires. As users interact with a gamified experience, they will meet goals and determine pathways that will impact their user journey and experience.

A gamified experience helps to drive engagement and allows brands to better understand how a user is interacting with their business, products, and services. The insights that a gamified experience presents to brands can then help to inform marketing and personalisation as well as create an engaging and memorable user journey for customers.

Collecting zero-party data with gamified experiences

Collecting customer data all comes down to trust. If a brand can build trust with their customers, then collecting zero-party data should be relatively straightforward. Brands need to do more than just ask users to fill out a form or complete a survey, though. They need to find ways to make the process of sharing data engaging, fun, and entertaining. This is where gamified experiences come in.

An interactive experience has two main purposes: provide customers with an enjoyable user experience on your platform and provide you with valuable data insights. Everyone can be a winner.

Collecting customer data is a circular process. You need to build trust with your users by offering an excellent service as well as offering value to the user in return for their data. Often, that value is a better improved and personalised service and experience.

Brands can use polls, questionnaires, and quizzes to collect zero-party data easily and at a mass scale. Gamified experiences allow you to capture a user’s motivations, preferences, intentions, and interests — all of which can be used to help create a personalised customer strategy.

Having access to this data will allow you to understand your customers on a much deeper level, offering you a key competitive advantage. The more customer data you collect, the better you can make your service. This, in turn, can lead to the collection of even more user data. With each interaction within a gamified experience, you’ll be given insight into where users are spending their time and what kind of content and activity prompts the most engaging behaviour and interest.

The strategy behind gamification all comes back to influencing and motivating user behaviour. Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Who are you more likely to share your data with? A brand that bombards you with a long and boring survey, or the business that has created an engaging and interactive experience that is not only fun but is providing you with real value? It’s a no brainer.

Data collection doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the more engaging and exciting you can make it, the more successful your data collection process is likely to be.

Final thoughts

When requested and collected in the right way, zero-party data can offer brands strategic insight that will vastly improve the personalisation available for users. Everyone can benefit from zero-party data, but ensuring the collection of it doesn’t impact the trust and relationship you’ve already built with your customers is a must.

Therefore, offering incentives and gamified experiences can go a long way to safeguarding your customer relations whilst providing you with the insights and benefits you need. Users are surprisingly willing to volunteer data about themselves if they are provided with a compelling reason to do so, within a truly engaging gamified experience.

About Oliver Hajjar

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