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Becoming a privacy-first company - 3: Minds over matter

Ok, so you understand the urgency of privacy-first marketing. You (sort of) know where you want to go, and what you should avoid. It might be tempting to start implementing technologies like server-side tracking, customer data platforms, etc… But not before setting clear goals, drawing a roadmap, and getting everyone on the same page. That’s right: it’s time to talk strategy.

A trusted strategy

In episode #1, we talked about the importance of weaning ourselves off third-party data. According to McKinsey, companies that fail to establish a proper strategy to maintain and increase access to first-party data will have to spend 10 to 20 per cent more to achieve the same returns.

Of course, this also depends on your marketing objectives. If your main focus is building brand awareness, privacy regulations will be less of a concern than if you’d invest in more conversion-driven marketing. That’s why you always need to understand the importance of privacy in your unique business context.

So, the questions to ask are:

  • How does respecting our customers’ privacy align with our company values?
  • Do we really need to approach customers in a personalised way?
  • How much does our digital marketing and sales depend on third-party cookies or similar technologies like pixels – and what’s our contingency plan when users will no longer accept third-party cookies or when browsers will block these by default?

No means no: Web3 and the problem of enforceability

In our current Web 2.0 context, every online transaction is based on trust. In practice, for example, there is no way to guarantee that clicking ‘no’ on a cookie banner will actually prevent you from being tracked. Often, this has nothing to do with malicious intent, but rather with bad implementation. This is what’s called the problem of enforceability.

Web3 (and self-sovereign identity or SSI), however, will make it possible to enforce the user’s decision by providing proof. This is what is meant by ‘zero trust’: as a user, you can always verify whether the company respects your decision or not.

Customer relationship therapy

The key to a successful first-party data strategy is a strong, trust-based customer relationship. That’s why, if you want to get (and keep!) your customers’ consent, you’ll have to:

  • be clear and transparent about your privacy policy
  • focus on usability and user-friendliness in consent management
  • make it worth their while to share their personal data with you

Checking these boxes will help you establish and maintain a steady flow of first-party data to feed into your customer data platform – and establish a successful omnichannel strategy. But we’ll get back to that.

1. Be clear and transparent

All too often, privacy messaging is swarming with jargon and legalese. Customers often have no idea what they’re agreeing to. As marketeers, we need to take more responsibility and start talking in plain language. Not only should our privacy communication meet the demands of current and future legislation, but it should also convince our most sceptical customers.

Explaining what you’re doing with user data and what the benefits of consent are should be second nature. Moreover, building transparency-based trust will require a comprehensive, documented permission process.

2. Empower users to manage consent

When setting up a consent management platform or data security centre, transparency and usability should be your main concern. That’s why it should include:

  • a complete list of all the data that are being collected and how they are used
  • a ‘preference centre' where users can withdraw their consent
  • up-to-date info about your data governance and privacy policy

3. Make them an offer they can't refuse

According to research by McKinsey, customers are much more likely to opt into data requests if they feel they are getting something of value in return. But how can you demonstrate this value? Since it’s against regulations to exclude customers from discounts or services because they have opted out of data collection, that’s easier said than done.

One way to do so is by significantly improving the customer experience, e.g., by helping your customers to easily find what they’re looking for, presenting them with more tailored offers, or communicating in a more personalised way, via their preferred channel at their most convenient time. A strong data value proposition can help demonstrate the value of a data relationship.

"The question we should ask is: 'Why should anyone be willing to share their personal data with my company?'" - Peter Vertongen, Omnichannel Expert at MultiMinds

Homework | Time to start blueprinting

In the last episode, we asked you to select 3 use cases based on the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. This week, we’ll further refine these use cases with another nifty little tool called ‘Service Blueprints.’

This client-centric approach to mapping customer experiences is a great way to determine the exact data sources you’ll need. It also helps you define the gaps within your current technology landscape (and thus, helps you select tools that will actually be of use). But more on that next week!

Need more help with your Service Blueprints? We use these all the time, so if you’re stuck, just drop us a line.

Up next: Stack it up

Yes, we know, becoming a privacy-first company is first and foremost about people. It’s what we’ve been preaching all along. Still, at some point, you’ll have to consider the technical side as well – so, that’s what we’ll cover in our next episode. Stay tuned!