How to build trust with digital customers in a privacy-first age

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Advances in data integration technology mean brands have an unprecedented ability to better connect with consumers. It’s no surprise, however, that consumers prefer brands that can engage in timely, relevant, and meaningful ways—while respecting their privacy preferences. According to a recent report, around 75% of consumers do not feel comfortable buying from a brand with poor personal data ethics.

Consumers are more educated and informed about their privacy rights than ever before and want to know their data is protected. At the same time, they are willing to choose a better buying experience. this is that Privacy Paradoxa term coined by Gartner to reflect consumers’ continuing concerns about privacy and their actual online behaviors and desires.

Transparency about how customer data is being used creates a stronger foundation of trust and will ultimately allow brands to have a greater competitive advantage now and in the future, according to recent researchers In data we trust e-guide. With the phasing out of third-party cookies on the horizon, consent will be the driving force behind how brands build future relationships with customers.

Brands should first define a first-party data collection and management strategy that addresses privacy preferences while delivering the highest quality insights. Using only high-quality data is essential to creating comprehensive, real-time portraits of your customers for optimal activation. Brands that can best integrate their customer data into an accurate, personalized and trusted picture of the customer, while recognizing consent across all channels, will ensure better customer experiences that inspire trust, right from the start.

Out with third-party cookies, in with first-party data

Uncertainty about how a brand acquired your information can certainly raise eyebrows. The phasing out of third-party cookies presents a huge opportunity for companies to now switch to a first-party data strategy and get opt-ins from the start.

First-party data comes straight from your customers, which means it’s not only more accurate, it’s also more trustworthy. To make this shift, organizations may need to transform their data collection processes and implement or update existing consent tools. At the same time, they must ensure their first-party solutions comply with broader data protection regulations.

With the data unified into a comprehensive view of the customer and available to other systems, brands have a consent management solution that reflects the entire customer relationship and enables compliant, personalized activation across all channels.

More data is not better data

Customer expectations for a personalized experience have prompted brands to integrate more complex data into their customer experience channels. However, with an influx of data comes the challenge of refining and optimizing it for the best use.

A clean, accurate, and high-quality data foundation is critical to generating conversions and achieving ROI. Your focus should be on bringing in only the right data to improve the customer experience. You do not need Everyone the data, only the information that is useful for your end goals.

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By outlining what you need (also from a data management perspective), you can create clear customer profiles that you can target with activations and experiences that will keep your audience close.

The key to engagement starts with the ability to take action. As customers update their privacy preferences, brands should be prepared to meet them where they are with a content management solution that reflects this in real-time. This can help maintain a valuable lead. Higher quality data profiles, achievable with a centralized data framework capable of receiving information from a variety of channels, make it easier to target a high-risk customer with “in-the-moment” marketing and can reduce churn.

Going forward, brands need an integrated, future-proof approach to complying with privacy preferences and regulations to best connect with customers. Focusing on developing a robust first-party data strategy provides the best path forward to accurately and meaningfully personalize activations. These initiatives are building customer trust now, increasing lifetime value and brand loyalty for the future.

Heidi Bullock is Tealium’s Chief Marketing Officer.

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