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How Zero Party Data Is Affecting The Healthcare Industry in 2021

How Zero Party Data Is Affecting The Healthcare Industry in 2020

Why are healthcare companies increasingly talking about Zero Party Data, and what is it? Zero Party Data (ZDP) will drive personalization efforts, above all when sensitive data – such as patients’ one – is involved.

We take a look at what zero-party data is and why its so important to both patients and the healthcare industry.

What is Zero Party Data

What is Zero Party Data

Before defining what zero-party data is, lets understand the other types of data: First party data, and Third party data. These are usually adopted to personalize the patients’ online and offline experiences, namely:

  • First-party data (FPD): this is users behavior across websites and apps, in terms of clicks, scrolling, purchases, downloads, chosen language, and active time spent on a page. Thanks to this data, you can gain some valuable information about your clients’ interests and provide them with a better user experience. Purchases and downloads, are also considered first-party data.
  • Third-party data (TPD): Third party data comes from sites and apps that the user visits. This data is constantly collected by data management platforms (DMPs) or data providers to create a profile of the users. It is then sold to companies or brands for their marketing campaigns. It’s clear that third-party data places personalization over privacy: that’s exactly why Safari and Firefox have already blocked third-party cookies, and Google is going to do the same by 2022.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica’s scandal is an example of how consent factors should be more important online and some measures have already been put into place to protect consumer data, such as:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Zero Party Data (ZPD), or explicit data, comes from the need to value and protect the privacy of consumers. So, ZPD is the data a customer intentionally shares with a brand.

  • Purchase intentions;
  • Email address, telephone number, job;
  • Preferences and newsletter subscriptions.

Nevertheless, while brands own FPD, they do not own ZPD and cannot use it for other purposes. When it comes to the healthcare industry – patients give a company the right to use their ZPD for a specific purpose or for a value exchange.

How Zero Party Data is changing the Healthcare Industry

How Zero Party Data is changing the Healthcare Industry

1. More direct relationship with patients

After understanding Zero party data, it’s clear that in order to collect that spontaneous data – healthcare companies need to create a stronger relationship with their patients.

As soon as Google will remove cookies in 2022, companies will have to explore different marketing avenues. Possible solutions for life after cookies will be;

CRM sign-up and newsletter subscription;

  • Landing pages and forms
  • Co-pay card activation
  • 1:1 relationship between the patient and support specialists.

Of course, you still have the opportunity to promote your company through Facebook, Google, and Amazon to acquire patients’ information through third-party cookies, but you will have to establish a direct relationship with them, as in 2020 patients are really concerned with how their data is used.

2. Better knowledge of the buyer personas

As above-mentioned, collecting ZPD will allow you to have a better overview on your potential clients’ needs, habits, and preferences, in order to create online – and even offline – content that provides value.

As a matter of fact, ZPD will afford you to easily:

  • Create audience quality scores that help you understand when and why a patient is likely to engage with your marketing content;
  • Figure out your patients’ probable purchase steps, in order to send them specific marketing content along the way;
  • Partner with IT companies specialized in healthcare, in order to come up with the right app, web, AI, and machine learning software to provide more value, above all when it comes to diagnostics.

3. Collecting data to provide more value

Furthermore, while first-party data is rich in implied preferences and behaviors, ZPD provides explicit interests that you can truly use to improve your content strategy, website, and software features.

In fact, always bear in mind that patients give you their data in exchange for benefits from your company. Nowadays, people want to have more control over their data: so, if they sign up, it’s for a purpose or a reward, such as a discount or a free premium content.

New lead generation and inbound tactics

4. New lead generation and inbound tactics

As we said, in order to provide value, you need to become familiar with some inbound marketing tactics that give you the opportunity to let your clients autonomously share their data and create a trust-worthy relationship with your healthcare company.

Digitally savvy patients, in fact, need to be engaged and receive something in return for their personal data, which you can achieve by leveraging:

All of those features can help healthcare companies both quickly collect ZPD and provide value to their clients, that’s why they can be considered as smart forms of lead generation.

To do so, never forget that you’d need the help of a cutting-edge website and software development company that is able to turn your patients’ needs into reality, through the right:

5. Importance of Privacy and GDPR

As international regulations have focused on safeguarding consumer privacy, everyone agrees that zero-party data is more trustworthy than the other forms of data.

Patients and clients, indeed, are on high alert when it comes to privacy issues, above all after the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, so you need to pay attention to how much personalization efforts you bring to the table.

Therefore, always balance customer expectations for a personalized experience with their concern for privacy, opting for the highest transparency.

Personalizing the customer experience

6. Personalizing the customer experience

As already mentioned, the consumer’s expectations about your company are becoming higher than ever: they expect to receive personalized emails, tailored services, and ad hoc product recommendations, based on the data they gently gave you.

Therefore, when we talk about relationships, we are referring also to the so-called lead nurturing: namely, sending personalized and relevant content to your clients at each stage of their buying journeys.

So, in order to personalize the customer’s experience, you should back your company up with an innovative machine learning technology that’s able to provide your patients with the right recommendations and offers, at the right time, and across multiple touchpoints.

7. Gaining and maintaining data consent

How to obtain consent data

Then, in order to earn the right to consent data, you should rely on a well-structured lead generation strategy that engages the patients and offers value, as we’ve already seen.

Yet, bear also in mind that there are only three rules to be trusted by your buyer persona, namely: transparency, reliability, and fairness.

How to Maintain Consent

Once you have gained consent from your patients, you must maintain it.

Just like you created value to earn it, you need to generate even more value to maintain it, by putting into place a strong lead nurturing strategy, both by email and on social media, websites, landing pages, digital advertising, and apps, creating a cycle of giving and receiving.

How To Collect Zero-Party Data

We’ve already seen some of the most straightforward, effective ways to gain valuable data, including giveaways, surveys, polls, gamification, or social media interactions.

Yet, another few things to bear in mind is to keep it short: your customers are more willing to fill a one-minute form than a 30-question survey, no matter what’s the reward.

Therefore, just opt for a couple of questions about their preferences, and never forget to engage them with interactivity and storytelling, in order to build a dialogue and gather even more information.



As we’ve seen, the online experience is going to keep changing.

Cookies are going to be out of the picture and you need to provide your clients with more value and trust, above all when it comes to sensitive data, healthcare, and diagnostics.

In about a year, when third-party cookies will be gone forever, this will turn into websites’ higher bounce rates and lower conversion percentages: that’s why you need to start thinking about this technological and promotional mind shift right now.

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Reach us out to learn more about how you can start building your digital identity before third-party cookies are retired: just contact ICON’s team to get a free quote!


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