Brand loyalty and brand affinity are built on trust. How do you build trust? You deliver on your promises.
When you perform a transaction of any type with a customer, you are making a promise. A promise that you will keep their information safe. A promise that you’ll safeguard where they are vulnerable.
In sharing their information with you, it is assumed that you will protect it.
So, while data privacy might sound boring or intangible – little data packets floating out in cyberspace – data privacy is essential to building solid, long-lasting and devoted relationships with your customers.
This is especially true with members of Gen Z. As the first generation of digital natives, where information has always been quickly accessible and at their fingertips, they are not easily fooled. They are research enthusiasts. They diligently read and post reviews – and they make efforts to align themselves with brands that share their values – or “cancel” those that don’t!
According to GenZinsignts, “For brands who want to gain and keep Gen Z’s business, this means complete, total and genuine transparency about values and business practices.”
Transparency. This is everything to a very powerful consumer group – and honestly, just like DEI and ADA compliance, it’s just the right thing to do.
Proactive marketers that are transparent about how they handle their customers’ data grow trust with their customers – and this gives them a competitive edge. Transparency shows you have nothing to hide. It demonstrates that you care about getting your customer’s buy-in – and that you care about personalizing their experience with your brand – to their comfort level.
“The trust associated with data privacy has gained so much clout that it’s now a competitive differentiator for companies.” according to Tealium’s “Trust is Golden” report on data privacy.
Data privacy is one way where you can provide an exemplary customer experience and set your organization apart.
In any relationship, transactional or not, when trust breaks down, the relationship breaks down. There are few things more valuable than trust because relationships are built on trust. And relationships are foundational for everything meaningful in life.
While trust builds brand loyalty, when you give your customers a delightful customer experience (consistently) you have devotees.
In the report titled “Delight the Right Customers to Build a Successful Business” by Forrester, research showed that customers who had earned the moniker of “devotee” were willing to:
- Spend more money with their favored brands
- Keep their business with these brands
- Forgive these brands
- Pay a premium price for these brands
- Go out of their way to work with these brands
For businesses that can deliver a customer experience that delights, the payoff is securiung a devoted customer – which in some cases can increase revenue per customer by more than 100%.
And, trust has never been more important. As Millennials and Gen Z continue to rock the marketplace, along with transparency, they demand personalization. Giving consumers a personalized online experience hinges around collecting the right kinds of data, and keeping the usage of that data in balance.
So, what should you do?
Aligning Data Privacy with Organizational Values
Consumers expect brands to be good stewards of their information. For that to be the case, your brand and your whole team must be aware of your data privacy manifesto. By definition, a manifesto is a public declaration. You need to first, know your intentions with the data you collect (and know what you are collecting and what’s being done with it) and then declare your intentions. Then, stick with it.
Do what you say you’ll do, and people will trust you.
As part of your efforts, crafting a company-wide plan to ensure consumer data protection keeps your whole team on the same page while also motivating support and advocacy of the initiative itself. Get your team’s buy in and you’ll have their support with enforcing the data privacy policies you publish.
Your current strategy, or lack thereof, is impacting your customer relationships. How your digital privacy strategy helps or hurts you will affect not only your brand reputation and your bottom line – but it could also hurt those that you hoped to care for as valued customers.
As the privacy landscape continues to shift, there is an opportunity for organizations to become privacy leaders in their industry – and not only gain a competitive advantage and grow tangible bottom line value but also grow their intrinsic value.
In the spirit of transparency, use this as an opportunity to tell the story of how your brand is using data to create a relevant brand experience for your valued customers. Explain the why behind your need for their data. This will help build trust as well as pave the way for an
enhanced customer experience (the path to gaining devotees!).
Pressure is mounting to protect consumer privacy online in the form of data regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the E.U. and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), plus a patchwork of laws elsewhere. Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari), Microsoft (Bing), and Mozilla (Firefox) all have initiatives to protect user privacy. Google has stated it will eliminate third-party cookies in Q4 of 2023.
What do your customers think?
Consumer views on data collection and usage continue to evolve.
According to a report by Accenture, 85% of respondents would not forgive data abuses or leaks from a brand, even one that they previously trusted. And, half of consumers don’t feel well informed about how businesses are using their data.
While just one in 10 consumers have heard of CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) or GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), that doesn’t mean that brands are off the hook. It is the responsibility of businesses to educate consumers, manage and communicate data privacy practices and protect consumer data.
In a world where 80% of consumers believe personal information is being sold online, you have an opportunity to educate and protect your customer.
Public sentiment surrounding the collection and use of personal information is behind the move to regulations like the GDPR in the European Union and CCPA in the United States. These laws provide new rights to consumers and, in some cases, carry the risk of substantial penalties.
As Accenture’s report states, “Privacy isn’t just about avoiding financial repercussions, but also the arguably costlier impact of diminishing consumers’ trust and lifetime brand relationship.”
How will it affect me?
Informed data processing
If you rely on first-party cookies, you won’t be prevented from capturing what brought visitors to your website or recording visitor behavior on your website. The use of programmatic ad targeting will have the biggest impact on marketing.
For this reason, Edge has chosen to partner with iubenda, a company built on both legal and technical expertise, that specializes in this sector. As iubenda Certified Partners, we have developed a simple and safe solution to your compliance needs.
Explore our quick explainer guide featuring a brief technical and legal overview of what’s at work in the data privacy discussion, plus a checklist of what to work on to be compliant with regulations.
Why you should care
“In the modern aspiration economy, people develop true brand affinity only when it gives them a sense of community.” Harvard Business Review
You should care about safeguarding data:
- Because the people that your brand affects are important to you
- Because you care about being morally and fiscally responsible
- Because you care about your organizations reputation
Bottom line, it’s good for your customers and it’s good for business. Putting people first is always good for business.
Customers care about your values. How you protect their data demonstrates how you value your customer.
How to Get Prepared
Edge has prepared a Guide to help you prepare. Learn what you must do for your:
- Informed Consent Notification
Review our recommendations on how you can lean in to first-party data:
- Uncover and investigate the data you own
- Optimize your site analytics
- Optimize conversions and cross-platform opportunities
Turn data into impactful engagement:
- Segment audiences by persona and product
- Align content with decision stages
- Manage user journeys with marketing automation
At Edge, we take a first-step approach–helping our client-partners understand where they are at and what’s possible. We are a strategic, full-service marketing agency that takes complex problems and leads our clients to solutions that are not only forward thinking but tangible. Learn more about how we can help you with your data privacy policies and user consent management.
Remember, at the end of every Data Packet is a PERSON.