Last updated: No more creepy! Gain a competitive edge with data privacy

No more creepy! Gain a competitive edge with data privacy


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Everyone wants the love of their customers. Marketers collectively spend billions of dollars each year to attain it, while consumers are increasingly resistant to give it.


Too often, marketers are in a mad race to attract customers across every channel – online to offline, desktop to mobile, social media to experiential, pop-up stores, in-store freebies, and more.

With little knowledge of who they’re actually reaching – and no explicit permission to do so – from the customers’ perspective, this kind of runaway marketing ranges from annoying to creepy.


All of these stalker-like experiences have culminated with consumers emphatically saying, “Enough!”

I see through you: Consumers demand transparency

Companies often walk the tightrope between data privacy and personalization, two issues that are often viewed as opposing forces within an organization.

On one hand, customers want to be recognized by brands, and enjoy personalized content, products, and services that help them make smarter decisions. On the other hand, they don’t want this at any cost.

Consumers increasingly demand that brands be transparent about their data practices. They also demand full control over their own personal data.

If a business markets to customers using fragmented data from its tech stack, or if it doesn’t have a system for orchestrating and governing accurate data across its customer engagement solutions, attempts at personalization will miss the mark.

There’s no way around it. Poor personalization breaks the customer experience and customer’s trust, directly impacting marketing budgets and your company’s bottom line.

Now, customers are saying no more. Put simply: They are done with creepy.

They have raised their hands and shouted from the rooftops. New strict data protection and consumer privacy requirements, including those of Europe’s newly-enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), protect those voices.

The path to success: Gain a competitive edge with data privacy

A smart approach to this business challenge emerges out of a recent CMO Council report. Their research found businesses that created a cross-functional team – including stakeholders from Marketing and IT to Security and Operations – were more prepared to turn data privacy into a competitive advantage. This approach enables stakeholders to align behind a holistic strategy that balances customer experience, technical, regulatory, and business requirements.

As an example, look at the GDPR requirements for transparency with regards to data collection and processing. While many enterprises are working to improve transparency as a way to comply with the regulation, businesses in the vanguard of customer experience are going beyond the requirements to detail their data collection and processing practices in ways that address their customers’ questions.

They’re creating privacy pages on their web sites, distributing white papers about their GDPR compliance initiatives, and ensuring their policies are presented in easily-readable formats. These efforts can only be successful if a cross-functional team supports them. The compliance and IT stakeholders know the content, while the marketing and customer experience stakeholders are the experts in capturing customer interest and communicating the information.

Such a solution helps address GDPR requirements and – more importantly – builds market-differentiating customer trust. There’s an additional benefit as well: Customer service reps face lower workloads because customers aren’t asking as many data privacy questions.

The end result of this cross-functional effort is more transparency about data collection and processing, compliance with GDPR requirements, and stronger consumer trust.

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