The modern consumer is increasingly conscious of the value of their data. Not merely that, they’re more and more cognisant of privacy legislation sweeping the globe, and the rights it gives them.
Where privacy has normally been an afterthought most B2C brands’ go-to-market strategy, limited to a generic policy buried on the annals of its website and exists solely for mitigation purposes, it should now be seen as vital a differentiator as price, product, and customer experience.
As newspaper headlines continue to be awash with data scandals from personal information breaches, to surreptitious location tracking, digitally-savvy consumers are turning to brands that respect their data preferences. For brands that have relied on third-party data sets and cookie tracking to power its marketing this time of digital disruption is quite the headache. However, for those marketers committed to forging honest, meaningful relationships, and adopting a fully-fledged privacy-first strategy, they will have the ability to win, win their competitors and retain their customers.
The personalization and privacy paradox
The new era of privacy has created a catch-22 for marketers. Today’s consumer expects true personalization, bespoke content and tailor-made product recommendations, complemented by tighter privacy controls, and the right to have their information erased with the click of a button. This is the personalization and privacy paradox.
This seismic shift in the data landscape has even alarmed the normally uncompromising tech behemoths, with Google rolling out plans to curtail cookie tracking, and Facebook shutting-off its billion-dollar Audience Network. As Forrester extols in its latest report: The Capabilities Marketers Need To Build A Strategic Privacy Function, it’s time every brand follows suit and treats privacy as a fundamental, and not a necessary evil that stifles creativity.
It’s time for marketers to skill-up
Forrester states marketers need to up their privacy prowess. In practice, this means that the collecting of compliant data is the job of all in the marketing department, and they need to apply the same level of creativity that they do into conceiving engaging campaigns to delivering compelling, data-collecting experiences.
It was not too long ago that eCommerce sites would merrily capture email addresses before users had clicked submit, and marketers would lavish budgets on the purchase of aggregated third-party data sets. In this new world, marketers need to laser-focus their attention on collecting the permissions and preference data to power more personalized marketing — the differentiator in the privacy era.
“Marigold Engage+…has built marketer-friendly solutions to design consumer experiences that encourage and enable users to share preference, intentions, and context with consent built in.” – Fatemah Khatibloo, The Capabilities Marketers Need To Build A Strategic Privacy Function, Tools And Technology: The Customer Trust And Privacy Playbook
As Forrester declares: “For most marketers, first-party data has historically been their most valuable data. As we enter the era of privacy regulations, an important subset is zero-party data.”
Zero-party data is a class of preference data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand in exchange for tangible value. Zero-party data allows brands to build direct relationships with consumers, and in turn, better personalize their marketing efforts, services, offers, and product recommendations. As it comes directly from the consumer, there are no intermediaries, no guesswork. So you don’t just know what your customers have done in the past, you have the data to know what they will do in the future.
Business leaders are rightly fixated on strategies that drive revenue today, through identifying prospects, retaining and growing accounts. Privacy initiatives have not been seen as a revenue driver, but the tide is turning. Forrester asserts that if marketers don’t make the right investment in privacy capabilities, they risk being “tamed” by their privacy and security peers rather than becoming a lead partner in the privacy strategy of their organization.