Five ways to leverage zero-party behavioral data
August 30th, 2023, Aisha Tritle

Five ways to leverage zero-party behavioral data

In a digital age where third-party cookies are facing their demise, alternative methods of gathering insights will become exponentially more valuable. Providing businesses with a more direct, real-time view of their audience, zero-party behavioral data is a crucial additional source of market intelligence to inform business strategy and advertising spend.

What is zero-party data?

Most traditional market research relies upon surveying a target consumer, asking them to self-report opinions, behaviors and intentions. Data collected through surveys – including always-on intelligence within YouGov’s flagship brand tracking and audience intelligence platforms – can deliver up-to-date, granular insights with a high degree of accuracy due to our extremely engaged panel. However, self-reported behavioral data is subject to bias, and responses can tend toward the socially desirable. Zero-party behavioral data takes the “self” out of the equation.

How is zero-party data collected?

With zero-party data platforms panel members volunteer to share their online browsing, shopping and streaming data automatically, usually for additional compensation. Zero-party data collection offers verifiable intelligence: it is automated, unfiltered and secure.

With the expansion of YouGov Safe, YouGov’s online consumer behavior data solution, we’re providing the most comprehensive ecosystem of zero-party behavioral data on the market, integrating closely with our flagship audience intelligence solution for unprecedented granularity in audience segmentation. The combination opens up new opportunities for brands to identify trends and refine their strategy.

Understanding industry landscapes

Zero-party behavioral data can offer companies a comprehensive and accurate picture of industry landscapes.

Financial zero-party data

With verified financial transaction data, it’s easy to unlock an understanding of consumer spending habits and market trends in your sector and beyond. Transaction data allows you to understand the landscape of your industry by charting share of wallet for your target audience to know your competitors, identify in-market audiences and analyze market share.

Supplementing zero-party financial data with additional social listening capabilities also enables companies to pinpoint and gain in-depth understanding of events that have impacted customer retention. For example, when online conversation and news shares surrounding Netflix’s new password-sharing restrictions were peaking in February 2023, YouGov Finance data indicates the total amount that UK consumers were spending on Netflix fell by 11% from the previous month. This shows a clear synergy from connected data – hypotheses that can be verified with actual outcomes.

Streaming data

Viewership data helps companies gauge their share of the attention economy. Integrating these datasets can present endless opportunities.

For example, recent analysis by YouGov reveals that Canadian viewership trends across Netflix and Prime Video indicate an increasing demand for movies and miniseries. Additionally, series with extensive back libraries have proven to be most impactful on subscriber activity, while SVOD Originals generated the widest reach.


Conversions - The number of unique subscribers for which a specific title was the first they watched on the platform.
YouGov Signal - Canada data through March 31, 2023

Zero-party data can be extremely useful in surfacing trends and demand, with viewership and gaming data having the potential to optimize marketing strategies, content production, and acquisition decisions.

Financial zero-party data explores the reality of consumer loyalty journeys, their wider spending habits and where they shop. It enables you to build a consistent historic tail of information, so you can discover trends out of the box.

YouGov’s connected dataset can take it a step further and be used to predict demand. For example, purchase data connected to viewership and gaming habits can help studios to flag potential intellectual property (IP) with high potential for success. Extrapolating from one data point and monitoring trends, you might predict that someone who buys something from a sports team’s shop on one day may buy a ticket to see a match two months later.

Charting consumer journeys

Insights gleaned from zero-party behavioral data can help companies chart customer journeys from awareness to purchase, identifying important drivers along the way. By collecting and analyzing data across the consumer journey, patterns and pain points can be identified, allowing for a slew of strategy optimization including more effective targeting and personalized marketing efforts. Interconnected zero-party behavioral data ensures the creation of detailed user profiles, anonymized to provide a holistic view of customers’ preferences, consumer behavior, and motivations.

Overall, having such a granular view of demand trends can enable businesses to make faster decisions – with YouGov data allowing top streaming services to stay ahead of the curve across content creation, acquisition, product development, and more.

Streaming and financial transaction data can also be broadly leveraged by companies across industries to dial down into shifting media and spending habits and affinities for their audiences, providing immediately actionable insights and dynamic refinements of predictive methods.

Developing hyper-personalized marketing & content strategies

With access to zero-party behavioral data that can be connected to hundreds of thousands of self-reported surveys, it’s simple to compare what customers say with their actual behaviors. These insights allow companies to tailor campaigns to better resonate with their target audience. Hyper-personalization not only elevates user experience but also can drive conversions and build long-term customer loyalty. Ultimately, this level of connected and constantly evolving intelligence enables you to differentiate between what consumers say that they do and what they actually do. Zero-party behavioral data can therefore result in more impactful marketing and strategies across business units.

Let’s consider the example of women aged 18-25 to show you some of the exciting behavioral data points you can extract and connect:

  • Amazon shopping data shows their #1 most purchased item on Amazon is “Skin Treatment Mask”
  • Banking data shows this segment over-indexes the most with the ecommerce marketplace Etsy
  • Doctor Who is the #1 show that converted this segment to Amazon Prime Video
  • Streaming data shows the Most Binged (watching three or more episodes in a sitting) show for this segment on Netflix is Victorious, followed by Never Have I Ever and New Girl
  • Taylor Swift’s YouTube Channel is the #1 channel for this segment and they over-index the most for the YouTube channel CrashCourse

This data can be compared to attitudinal data in our audience intelligence tool to test audience recall and attitudes, understanding whether people are aware of their behaviors. It can also be connected with additional audience intelligence to better tailor advertising and communications, with a fully rounded 360 degree, verified view of their behavior and frequency of use across channels as well as their opinions.

Recontacting for deeper insights

By connecting behavioral data to self-reported data, YouGov can help you recontact hyper-targeted audiences to glean even more insights – even targeting them with surveys along various points of the consumer journey.

Taking behavioral data and reported intelligence, a re-contact question can look deeper into the ‘why’ behind consumer actions and attitudes – they watch X show on a certain streaming platform three times a week, but why do they like this particular show? Since buying a home they have stopped purchasing take out, but have kept up their gym membership – instead of assuming the reason behind these changes and priorities, which could be incorrect, we can directly ask customers their opinion.

Connected intelligence from YouGov allows you to create a feedback loop that companies can use to dynamically refine strategies, improve products or services, and generally build strong relationships with customers.


In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer insights, leveraging zero-party behavioral data through platforms has become paramount. With access to interconnected and comprehensive dataset, businesses can unlock valuable insights, enabling them to understand industries, predict trends, personalize marketing, and ultimately thrive in a privacy-conscious world.

Learn more about YouGov’s behavioral data products

YouGov Safe

Unlock verified audience behavioral intelligence to understand what your consumers actually do, across devices – from search queries to social media interactions, streaming behavior to shopping purchases.

YouGov Finance

Get a complete picture of consumer spending habits including their loyalty journeys and shopping behavior with aggregated transactions from thousands of consumers in the UK and US.