Digital Currency

ViralGains Releases Zero-Party Data Solution for Dynamic Interactions

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Understanding the challenges that brands now face in collecting zero-party data, the video ad journey platform ViralGains is releasing its own solution, designed to prompt ad viewers to share their preferences, sentiments, and interests within online ads. 

The new cookieless tool creates dynamic interactions within advertisements to cater the brand experience to the viewer based on their individual input. The solution is expected to make it easier for brands to collect zero-party data — self-reported data that consumers voluntarily provide, usually in exchange for some type of value, like discounts or loyalty points.

ViralGains’ approach to zero-party data

Using the new tool, advertisers on ViralGains’ Odyssey platform can set up ads that prompt viewers to share their data within the ad. Based on the feedback, ViralGains quickly adapts the remainder of interactions within connected ads in real-time.

ViralGains President and Co-Founder Dan Levin sees the solution as a transformative enhancement to the traditional concept of ad journeys, giving marketers a way to create personalized brand journeys within a single creative, rather than across multiple ad creatives using retargeting. Early testing has shown that the capability leads to more opt-in voice within customer data, with brands able to deliver deeply tailored experiences at the individual level without running afoul of privacy regulations. 

“Privacy plays a large role here at ViralGains, though not particularly different as of late versus in the past. … Privacy really has been at the core of our platform since day one,” Levin says. “What I do think is different now is that rather than being an afterthought, consumer privacy is valued progressively higher by all constituents in the ecosystem, and as a top priority, all of which has had the positive effect of catapulting demand for what we do both by current customers as well as significant inbound demand from new ones.”

ViralGains’ story began nearly a decade ago with the premise that advertising functions most effectively when communication barriers are broken down and consumers have control over the information they’re sharing.

“The capability we have introduced is the capacity for a more personalized experience for consumers. All of our own research suggests—and common sense certainly dictates—that when you tailor a consumer’s experience to their personal preferences, sentiment, intentions, and so forth, they are more likely to respond in kind,” Levin says. “Imagine you’re on a first date, or maybe even a subsequent one, and every time you talk to the other person you can see that they ignored what you told them previously or something they should have known about you from basic information you know about them, and say something completely irrelevant to the conversation. How many future dates would you want to go on with that person? Likely, it would be less rather than more.”

The industry embraces privacy

After years of advertising functioning as a one-way street, with brands speaking to consumers but ignoring their preferences and sentiment, Levin says the market is ready for change.

The death of third-party cookies was a precursor to the rise of zero-party data, but Levin sees the solution he and his team have developed pushing the industry even further — beyond the product-finder quizzes and similar widgets that have become standard on e-commerce websites. With its new solution, ViralGains is opening the door for brands to be more creative when it comes to obtaining customer data through advertising and allowing customers to drive advertising. The company’s new tool, when coupled with its existing creative suite, delivers a set of unique interactions that brands can use to tailor customer experiences.

“What we expect to see moving forward that is different than before is the new level of creativity and personalization, and therefore higher brand equity value generated, when it comes to the brand-consumer relationship in advertising for any brands that use our new tool,” Levin says.

Looking forward, Levin believes zero-party data will have a positive impact on the industry as a whole, strengthening and deepening the relationship intimacy between brands, publishers, and consumers.

“Zero-party data is consent- and volunteer-based and the most privacy-compliant form of data, not to mention most accurate as it comes from the source—being the consumer—that can be used to deeply personalize experiences and effectively nurture relationships,” he says. “We can expect, firstly, a mending of the advertising industry’s reputation, as it’s usually seen as creepy, and secondly, a rebuilding of consumer trust and a shift in how digital strategies and communication is deployed—especially in the wake of the Covid digitization wave. A new path forward awaits that is more effective, more transparent, and centered around listening to and acting on the voice of the customer.”

​​Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.