Zero Party Data

Introducing Question Bank: Our Best Practices In Zero-Party Data Gathering

by Micah Elerson

The funny thing we see when clients first adopt a direct-from-consumer data approach is that initially, they suffer from writer’s block. "I can ask my customer anything? Well... what should I ask?"

For many new and growing DTC brands, this kind of proprietary customer data is somewhat new -- and if they aren’t on our Question Stream platform yet, they may not even realize how easy it is to send these insights to actionable destinations in their stack. So, we certainly appreciate that some folks could use inspiration to get their DFC juices flowing.

To that end, we’re happy to deliver Question Bank: an ever-growing resource of questions we’ve gathered from successful clients, brand consultants, and behavioral scientists to tackle zero-party data needs across the business -- attribution, segmentation, CRO, operational research, customer research, brand positioning, you name it. Let’s get to some examples:

Who is this purchase for? Segmentation, Customer Research

The “buyer vs. user” problem has been haunting brands for centuries -- gaining insight here as to who the actual product recipient is can improve segmentation for 1:1 marketing automation (via our Klaviyo integration), and guide customer research at scale. We’ve already seen one of our clients make a massive change to their product page and buying options once they learned how many buyers were actually purchasing gifts.

Is it clear that you just got something you couldn’t get anywhere else? Brand Positioning

A favorite question of famed survey researcher Sam McNerney, the binary responses here offer a fantastic quantitative (and trendable) output on the health of your brand positioning. It’s especially useful to ask during calmer seas for the sake of creating a baseline, and then compare after you’ve launched a positioning initiative -- such as rebranding, product pivoting, entering new markets, etc.

How was your shopping experience? Conversion Rate Optimization

It’s the question any good brick & mortar brand will ask during checkout, and in Ecommerce you’ll get the benefit of a higher response rate than what typically happens at the store’s register. Incredibly useful data on its own, but even more so when you consider that you’ll never gather these insights from staring at an analytics dashboard, no matter how hard you look.

How will our product make an impact on your lifestyle? Segmentation, Brand Positioning

Let this question do double duty as a 1:1 segmentation opportunity for marketing automation, and a broader focus group panel on brand positioning. By listing out your top selling points as responses (for instance, a food brand’s response options might be “eat healthier”, “feel more energetic”, and “be a more adventurous eater”), you can easily bucket your customer into the drip campaign that they’ll find most engaging. But, the magic happens when you add “Other” as a response, and let your customers tell you things you didn’t know about your product:market fit.

Where did you most recently hear about us? Attribution

Fairing’ bread and butter is the attribution survey -- so much so that it’s the #1 question our clients ask, typically generating a net 20%+ gain in attribution data and reducing their CAC. This version is an intentionally-biased twist on the classic “How did you hear about us” question, wherein you’re aiming to learn where to attribute bottom-of-funnel credit for more surgical insights on ROI. For brands who don’t have the volume to use this as a primary post-purchase question, we often see our smaller clients deploying the Response Clarification feature to ask a standard attribution survey and follow it up with this question.

Even if you’re already well-versed in talking to your customers, the Question Bank will likely surprise you with some gems that are ready to use right now as you build your competitive advantage. And, since it’s an ever-growing resource, we’d love for you to share any great questions you’ve built to capitalize on the value of zero-party data. Drop us a line, or submit a comment on our LinkedIn post!

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