Consumers Expect Personalization and Privacy Protections
The last two years have been dominated by news of consumer demand for more privacy protection. The drumbeat is clear. Governments with legislation like GDPR and CCPA that flip the tracking paradigm from consumer opt-out to opt-in. Google still plans to end its support for the third-party cookie. Upcoming IOS 15 updates from Apple make tracking email opens and clicks more difficult… Still, the fact remains, data-informed personalization drives deeper engagement, higher revenue, and is ultimately something that consumers want and expect. But how do marketers deliver on the promise while safeguarding privacy?
It Starts with Trust
Trust is the foundation of solid human relationships – whether in our personal life, at work, or with the brands we choose to purchase from. Eighty-One Percent of global consumers say that trusting a brand is a deciding factor in their purchase decisions. Consumers naturally seek out brands that consistently deliver value, relevance, and delight at every touchpoint by anticipating their wants and needs.
In a virtuous circle, consumers happily share personal data with businesses in exchange for personalized experiences. Perhaps this is why millennials; despite having less trust in brands to use their data ethically than older generations, are more willing to provide companies with information in exchange for convenience and personalized experiences, according to Gartner’s research.
Similar research from Salesforce emphasizes consumers’ expectation for personalized experiences finding 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Yet, 51% of only marketers stated that they were more mindful of balancing personalization and privacy than they were two years ago. Even fewer confirmed they were able to personalize consumer touchpoints beyond basic recommendations on their websites and including their name in promotional emails. Consumers welcome personalization, but marketers struggle to deliver consistently throughout the user experience.
Consumers Want to be Known
If a brand can demonstrate its trustworthiness in leveraging data to improve customer experience, it will be with loyalty. At the end of the day, it’s the customer’s experience that is the supreme competitive differentiator in all of this because it will keep customers engaged and ultimately grow the business.
Take Stephen Curry as a cautionary tale. In 2013 the then-budding NBA superstar left a lucrative sponsorship deal with NIKE to partner with upstart UnderArmor. The reason? NIKE did not know Curry. In a story retold by his father, Nike’s effort to resign Curry culminated with a mid-level marketing executive mispronouncing his first name as ‘Steph-on’ as he clumsily followed a repurposed PowerPoint presentation used to resign Kevin Durant, a rival NBA star. The deck contained Durant’s name and images rather than Curry’s. This oversight obviously didn’t make the young phenom feel known or special so he understandably took his business to a brand that predicted the future by seeing him breakout as the league’s biggest attraction.
The lesson for marketers is clear. You earn trust incrementally, demonstrating value at every touchpoint. Sure an investment in a customer data platform allows marketers to reconcile identity by stitching together data from disparate sources. And yes, many CDPs allow marketers to use that data to inform audience targeting, onsite recommendation, and email salutations. But what about every other interaction in the user experience? This goes beyond the limited channel activation that most CDPs offer. True data-driven, end-point personalization requires a larger customer data infrastructure strategy.
We discuss this in a blog post next month.