The Value Exchange Economy

Danny O'Reilly
April 26, 2023

Modern consumers are more cognizant than ever of the value of their personal and preference data, and are not going to hand it over without receiving something of value in return. To collect the zero-party data required to power better personalization, consumers need to be entertained, engaged and receive a tangible commodity in reciprocation for their attention and preference data. This is the value exchange economy.

Fortunately this isn’t the latest marketing buzz phase. The idea of a value exchange as old as civilization and omnipresent in life. Our 2023 Consumer Trends Index surveyed over 11,000 global consumers, and an encouraging 70% of consumers stated they will happily share their behavioral and psychographic data in return for a better service.

Whether you’re looking at it from the marketer’s or the customer’s perspective, it’s simple: ask, receive, give, repeat. It’s a match made in relationship marketing heaven.

Introducing Marigold Grow

Marketers can realize this through interactive experiences that conduct granular research, progressively profile and accrue opt-ins. Questionnaires, polls, quizzes, sweepstakes, contests, QR codes at point-of-sale and social stories, to name a few, can incorporate reward mechanics that give consumers a genuine reason to engage and submit their zero-party data.

It doesn’t have to be a red-letter prize or huge discount (although these of course work). 86% of consumers declared that they will share their personal, psychographic and behavioral data in return for early or exclusive access to products and services, 91% for personalized loyalty rewards, 59% to feel part of a brand’s community and 51% for unlocking content. By leveraging the right mechanics, and offering a tempting value exchange, your customers will tell you what products they desire, what they look for in a service, and what motivates them to purchase.

Shifting to a zero-party data strategy, where you ask rather than infer means that your audience building and profiling doesn’t stop, but that it also allows for change. This keeps your data accurate, relevant and current because the data points are coming directly from your audience.

Check out three of our favorite brands that are collecting zero-party data at scale and using it to deliver the individualization consumers crave and build more meaningful, one-to-one relationships.


Discovery wanted to load its marketing database with zero-party data…and lots of it. With the red letter prize of a fully-furnished waterfront home in Florida on offer, consumers were always going to enter en-masse.

On a dedicated microsite, participants were asked to submit a small amount of PII data in return for entry into the sweepstakes, as well as information that Discovery could monetize – things like, what TV provider an entrant subscribed to, and whether or not they were a homeowner. Consumers could enter once per day, and each time they returned they would be asked different questions allowing Discovery to progressively profile the entrant.

The results were staggering, with over 110 million unique entries and over two billion individual behavioral data points gathered. Of course, most marketing departments don’t have the resources available to give away a $2.7m house, but the concepts are true whatever your scale — offer an enticing value exchange and ask the right questions to learn more about your customer and start owning those relationships.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Hill’s recognizes that every pet is unique, with its own preferences and quirks just like their owner. With this in mind and the objective of collecting zero-party data, they deployed a relatively simple, yet hugely effective interactive experience.

Rather than a traditional short-lived experience, Hill’s embedded an always-on interactive experience into its homepage, collecting incredibly granular data points complemented by branching logic so pet owners are swiftly driven to the right resolution.

Starting with your pet’s name, then birthday, size, weight, food preferences, allergies, any health issues and even if it’s currently eating a competitor’s pet food, pet owners are driven on the pathway to the right product for their pet and directly towards sales.

By entering an email address the customer will then receive highly-personalized emails – imagine receiving an email with your pet’s name in the preview text or a discount on their birthday — who wouldn’t open and click-through?

Check it out for yourself

Tailored Brands: Men’s Wearhouse

Using zero-party data to turn one-off shoppers in returning customers

For nearly 50 years, Men’s Wearhouse has been at the forefront of the suit and tuxedo rental market, serving customers with high-quality, affordable designer apparel for all occasions. Although a great market to lead, it has its limitations, with the typical customer hiring a suit or tuxedo for a one-off special occasion — seldom making a transaction with the brand again.

To combat this, Men’s Wearhouse deployed a post-rental interactive experience where customers could share their individual style preferences. Things like professional or casual, slim or modern fit, single or double-breasted jacket, lapel type and budget etc. Customers were then directed to specific products that fit their personal preferences where they could purchase online.

However the campaign was not merely limited to a virtual stylist. Suits are an expensive purchase, that for many require some consideration. Using customers’ self-reported preferences, Men’s Wearhouse emailed its customers their unique product selections, with a personalized subject line and preheader, nearest store to their location and individualized styling tips. This is a great story of re-engaging lost customers, audience building and converting.

We’re excited to announce the launch of Marigold Grow available to all Selligent customers, which give brands of any size the value exchange mechanics to encourage consumers to willingly share their zero-party data. Learn how Marigold Grow can help your business start building more meaningful connections with your customers.

Check out these other blogs in the series:

Zero-Party Data: A Primer

Want more? Access The Complete Guide to Zero-Party Data in 2023 here!