Consumer concern about data privacy has shifted over the past decade.
More than ten years ago, consumers were concerned when companies such as Amazon analyzed their data to provide them with a recommended list of products they may be interested in based on their purchase habits.
Fast forwarding to today, many consumers now expect companies to mine their data through the use of analytics to provide them with relevant offers and products to improve their shopping experience.
Yet, recent data breaches have placed a spotlight on data privacy once again, moving the topic of consumer personalization versus privacy back to the forefront of the marketing conversation.
According to recent research, the majority (80%) of consumers surveyed view data privacy as a thing of the past and 87% don’t believe adequate safeguards are in place to protect their personal information.
Consumers also understand that in order to get the relevant experiences they crave, they need to share some of their personal information with brands. This give and take concept is a familiar one as it is being applied in many everyday life scenarios as well.
For example, when someone goes to the doctor for their annual physical exam, they don’t think twice about giving up their private information because they trust that handing over this information will be crucial to a proper diagnosis and their future health.
When people consider sharing their data or personal information, there are two important elements they are looking for: trust and value.
In addition to simply acknowledging the need to improve the safeguarding of their customers’ data, marketers can build trusting relationships with their consumers by following the following tips.
1. Strike the right balance between privacy and personalization
How can marketers successfully balance the right amount of personalization and privacy?
Here’s one simple barometer to go by – the amount of information people are willing to give up is directly related to the value they receive.
On one hand, the recent survey uncovered that almost half of the consumer respondents (49%) would accept having their buying behavior tracked if it resulted in relevant offers from their favorite brands.
On the other hand, 70% don’t feel businesses are transparent enough about how they are using their data. Privacy concerns won’t diminish until companies can establish a level of trust with consumers and be transparent about how they are turning data into relevant offers – the value.
In order to build this trust, companies must ask themselves the age old question – what would the customer want/need/expect?
2. Take a customer-centric approach
When asked to rank the top three factors leading customers to complete the purchase of a product or service, consumers ranked customer experience as a top factor.
To provide consumers with their desired experiences, marketers need to pursue a customer-centric business transformation and place the customer’s wants and needs at the heart of the company.
This transformation can be accomplished by reorienting the business and operating models to the consumer and exploring analytical tools that can support data-driven decision-making that will lead to delivering relevant offers to consumers in real-time.
3. Changing Times
As brands continue to digitally transform, there should be an accompanying shift in the way marketers communicate with consumers.
Marketing should no longer be looked at as something you ‘do to’ customers, but rather something you ‘do with’ customers. For instance, instead of focusing on targeting and showcasing products and services, brands need to look at ways to engage, share and help their customers by providing relevant experiences.
By following these three tips, brands can establish trust and deliver value to their consumers – which are solid building blocks to a fruitful, long-term relationship, and a successful business.