Trust is the balance between personalization and privacy. Without trust, our customers’ privacy concerns increase. 90% of executives say that privacy is a fundamental part of the customer experience. A similar proportion of customers are willing to leave if their privacy is not respected.
Similarly, trust – backed by informed consent – is the only basis on which real-time personalization can be established. Marketers are the gatekeepers of trust and the key players who create the personalization that helps deliver engaging customer experiences.
The risks associated with the desire to achieve this balance are enormous and likely to increase. For example, it is estimated that less than 37% of users worldwide have opted to allow apps to track them following Apple’s privacy-related changes to its operating system (iOS14.5), and this figure, being optimistic.
So how can marketers ensure they strike the right balance and not overcomplicate the opportunity? The key is to follow some simple privacy and personalization strategies and tactics.
1.Collaborate closely with technology teams
Marketers can find themselves in the sweet spot of personalization and privacy and struggle to manage all aspects of the balancing act alone. Working closely with the CIO to understand security and data flow is essential for an informed, multi-dimensional approach to customer data. Product and customer teams should take a privacy approach to the business and then with their legal teams to understand what is coming from a privacy regulatory standpoint.
Consider: Conduct a privacy impact assessment of any new project to map how information is collected, how it will flow, who can access it, how it will be stored, what it will be used for, etc.
Avoid: Don’t wait for the regulator or the big tech companies’ moves to act. Staying ahead of the market gives you the opportunity to be proactive, see how customers respond and fine-tune your approach.
2. Adopt a customer-centric approach
Put the customer at the center of customer experience management. 75% of senior executives say marketing has taken a more active role in strategy during the pandemic because of its ability to understand changing digital customer behavior from data. Analyze customer data and be the voice of the customer in your organization.
Be mindful: Be as transparent as possible about privacy, including why you collect some forms of data and what you intend to do with it.
3. Give consumers control.
Autonomy is an important principle. While it is common to offer web users the ability to stipulate the type of cookies you collect when they are on your site, best practice includes allowing consumers to control and change their consents. This type of consent management can make privacy a brand differentiator.
Consider: Create a comprehensive online privacy portal.
Avoid: Using data in a way your customers don’t expect.
4. Develop your first-party data strategy.
With third-party cookies on the way out, access to quality, privacy-compliant first-party data will enable brands to build trusted relationships with their customers while still delivering exceptional customer experiences. Get your source data in order. Consider the purpose for which you want to use it, and then decide if you need to augment that data with additional information.
Consider: A new “value exchange” to persuade your customers to provide additional personal information, which may include increased convenience, a superior digital experience, access to premium content, or free or discounted products and services.
Avoid: Assuming that your internal data handling processes will be followed. Use technology to proactively protect consumer privacy, such as by ensuring privacy compliance is built into tools.
5.Develop a personalization strategy
Delivering a personalized customer experience requires an enterprise-wide approach based on operational, privacy-compliant customer data with real structure, such as KPIs.
Consider: Having a budget to fund a personalization strategy is essential, as it requires operational data, education, training and technology to implement.
Avoid: Thinking it can be one person’s job. Appointing a personalized marketing manager and assuming the job is done is one of the biggest mistakes we’ve identified.
6. Gather all your data
Integrating data across all systems is the key to developing a single customer profile, which is the foundation of personalized marketing. Nine out of ten marketers understand that this is essential, but only 48% deliver personalized content.
Consider: Augment and enrich your data with external sources that respect privacy.
Avoid: Leaving silos of customer data that cannot be used in real time to personalize the customer experience.
7. Operationalize source data
Once you have a centralized customer profile, implement personalization technology that can ingest the available data and activate it by orchestrating – in real time – the next best content, offer or experience to achieve your business objectives.
Consider: Contextualize your data to ensure your offers are relevant without being overdone.
Avoid: Overlooking essential customer data. For example, not taking into account whether your customer has a complaint in progress will impact their customer experience.
8.Democratize the use of and access to data in your organization
The more you can put up-to-date, relevant data in the hands of your organization’s staff, the better. A dedicated data team linked to marketing can help spread best practices, but direct access to dashboards and configurable search queries will make for a more dynamic customer experience.
Educate your staff on empathetic use of data, data protection principles and privacy compliance to avoid data breaches stemming from internal actions.
Consider: Empower your team to make decisions or conduct experiments based on the data.