How a CDP Can Be Used to Build Consumer Trust & Comply With GDPR

Consumer Trust

This article is written by Leverage Lab CEO AnnMarie Wills and originally appeared on Target Marketing.

For anyone who has ventured into the “Quotes” section of Pinterest, you’ve seen thousands of quippy memes dealing with loss of trust. The gist is once trust is lost, it’s hard to regain. Although mostly focused on romantic relationships, the same can be said for relationships with brands and business.

Consumer trust in businesses is low and dropping. According to the industry standard measure of consumer trust, the Edelman Trust Barometer, overall consumer trust dropped 10 full percentage points during 2017 from 58% to 48%. Coincidentally 2017 was a record high point for US data breaches (1,579 data breaches in all), as well as ushering in the birth of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook debacle.

In this series on specific customer data platform (CDP) use cases, you’ll see the core competencies of CDP’s go a long way toward maintaining consumer trust. In this post we’ll look at how a CDP can be used to ensure accurate first-party data and consistent brand messaging – which help build consumer trust – while also maintaining compliance with consumer data protections such as GDPR.

Managing First-Party Data

All communication from a brand/business to its customers and prospects is an expression of its brand. Many brands and businesses have relied heavily on third-party sources to provide targeting options for reaching prospects and customers.

Understanding the flaws in this method is as simple as creating an account at Sponsored by Axciom, the leading aggregator of third-party targeting data, this portal will allow you to access your digital profile. Each of the characteristics in this profile identifies how you are being targeted. Now think about brands and marketers crafting messages directed to YOU based on this data. A mismatch between messaging and targeting will chip away at authenticity and brand trust.

Related story: What Is a CDP and How Does It Differ From Other Customer Data Tools?

First-party data collection and activation are the reasons the CDP exists. By ingesting, organizing, reconciling, segmenting, and activating first-party data across all customer data siloes, the CDP creates the opportunity to communicate around specific data gained from the direct, first-party relationship between brand and consumer. Imagine the following:

  • Adjusting the content of your website based on the user’s past content tastes and interests. Right Message.
  • Determining the appropriate channel for your message based on the behavior of an individual target. Right Channel.
  • Choosing the appropriate timing of your message based on the intensity of your customers behavior. Right Time.

GDPR and Data Management

Aside from creating more consistent and authentic conversations between customers and brands, a CDP also creates a potentially smoother path to compliance with recent privacy policy legislation including GDPR and the California Privacy Act. Key to compliance are two factors, both of which should be core capabilities of any CDP system.

  1. Choice: A core capability of CDP technology is the identification and reconciliation of known and unknown users. As unknown users are accessing your site, the ability to offer them the appropriate experience (cookies for tracking or not) can be offered or directed and the preference maintained. More and more tools in the marketing technology stack are offering this capability, but maintaining these preferences in one environment that is used for all customer data collection and interaction makes the most sense.
  2. Transparency: The portability aspects of the GDPR and California Privacy Act specifically relate to delivering a comprehensive profile of all data points and their use for an individual. Whenever asked, an organization must be able to produce a succinct and complete picture of the user’s data and how it might be used within the organization. There is really no better place to create and extract that comprehensive picture than the CDP.

Being a steward of your customer data is not just a nice thing to do but an absolute requirement in an age where consumer trust is rapidly eroding and regulations on data protection are mounting. Adopting a philosophy and discipline in growing and activating first-party data from customers and prospects pays off by creating more authentic relationships grounded in trust. Statistically speaking, a highly-personalized relationship steeped in authenticity converts and performs optimally every day of the week. To cite one of those Pinterest quotes, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” For marketers, trust is the pathway to business success.

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