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Companies of all sizes faced many challenges in 2021, including increased privacy-related regulations and accelerating digital transformation timelines demanded by new consumer behaviors and expectations. Now in 2022, brands that want to convert customers into loyal fans will need to find ways to deliver seamless, personalized customer experiences while respecting their data privacy preferences.

Trust and privacy

Trust is a fundamental expectation of the customer experience. With today’s privacy-conscious consumers, the success of any business relies on consumer trust. Brands must be transparent, obtain consent and give consumers control over the use of their data. Once consumers grant brands access to their data, brands have a responsibility to use it only in mutually agreed-upon ways to enhance their experiences.

The days of third-party cookie use are coming to an end. Regardless of when that end comes, companies must focus their innovation efforts by investing in ways to collect, unify, enrich and analyze source data in order to deliver the personalized experiences consumers expect, aligned with their privacy preferences.

Think about the last time you visited a retail website and immediately saw a pop-up ad with an offer of 15% off your next purchase if you subscribe to email offers. This is an explicit value exchange, where the company offers customers a discount and the ability to set preferences, in exchange for an email address. Loyalty programs are also another great way to meet and offer new types of value to customers. Through loyalty programs, brands can obtain geographic information, past purchase behavior and even more specific information, such as shoe size or color preference. When this consent-based data is used to personalize the customer’s shopping experience, it can benefit both the brand and the customer.

To thrive in 2022, companies will need to be authentic and transparent to build trust or risk losing customers. According to Adobe’s new study on the future of marketing, 74% of consumers say they will stop buying from brands that break their trust.

Engaging, relevant and personal

Consumers expect every experience with a brand, whether in-person or digital, to be compelling and relevant, and they expect the same personalized experience across channels, devices and stages of their relationship with a brand. Brands will need to find the right balance of personalization without being too obtrusive to win the hearts and attention of their customers.

To give customers the experience they expect, brands must unify source data into a single view that is updated in real time using technology such as a customer data platform. Thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, brands can quickly surface actionable information and create personalized experiences that resonate with customers. Brands can even anticipate the next best offer that helps customers move forward in their buying journey or build brand affinity.

Source: Adobe Blog