Data Privacy is important to customers; but a smooth, personalized experience is more important.
We are in an era that seeks to stifle what advertisers, marketers, and companies can do to better reach new and existing customers. Increased government regulation and self imposed limitations on customer data from most browsers fall under the veil of consumer protectionism.
It really comes down to “cookies,” which are used by businesses and marketers to track users across domains via various browsers. Third-party cookies – those placed by a domain other than a business’s website placing the cookie – are going away. Only first-party cookies placed by a business on its own or a hosted server will be allowed. The aim of these restrictions is to protect customer identities.
I’m all for making sure personally identifiable information (PII) is kept away from bad actors. With each breach reported in the news, companies are left scrambling to find out how their customer data got in the hands of the wrong people. Those customers are left wondering if their social security numbers could be used to access their bank accounts or their identity used for something more nefarious.
When it comes to collecting and analyzing data regarding how and where a customer is accessing information about a brand, company, product, or service, I believe very strongly there is real value for not only the advertiser/business but for the consumer. The most important KPI for any enterprise marketer is the return on ad spend (ROAS). At the same time, the consumer benefits from an enterprise’s ability to collect data on them.
When a person visits an online retailer’s website or their bank’s website, they want a personalized experience that includes remembering their login info and account and billing information, including which stored credit card or payment method to use and to which address packages should be shipped.
It really comes down to what all businesses should be doing – keeping the customer at the center of everything they do.
a) Progressing a consumer along their journey to become a customer must be done in a trusted fashion with advertising and messaging that is thoughtful – not an approach of beating them into submission to sign a contract or make a purchase.
b) Believable and trustworthy messaging that makes a consumer feel protected by a brand creates a kind of empathy for that brand. By doing so, they’ll become a customer for a very long time, and a competitor won’t stand a chance of taking them away.
c) Remember why consumers are clicking on ads and putting their trust in a brand. We are all humans, not bots. Give them an experience where they feel they are the center of everything being communicated.
d) Happy customers lead to repeat buyers and consumer loyalty. There is no benefit in rushing a buyer from 30 days to 15 days to close a deal. If consumers love doing business with a brand, for whatever reason, they’ll come back.
A Shift in Mindset
The concept of customer-centric marketing sounds straightforward and simple, but it requires a shift in the mindset of the marketing team, business leadership, and the business as a whole. Instead of “what can we sell to you,” the mantra should be “what can we do for you.”Marketing attribution, particularly impartial multi-touch attribution, helps businesses identify who their customers are and how and where they would like to be communicated to.
Don’t get me wrong, security is extremely important. We understand the desire to protect consumer information, and any breach of that trust should not be tolerated. I also believe strengthening trust is more important than getting too wrapped up in worrying about breaching it.
Cookies will never go away, but properly placing first-party cookies are essential – not only to make consumers feel safe but to increase trust and provide a comfortable, easy, personalized experience with brands.