By Greg Griffiths | Posted on August 09, 2018
For most brands, customer data and consents are their most treasured assets. Data fuels innovations in products and services and enables the level of personalized experience that many channel managers view as necessary for maximizing consumer loyalty. However, mishandled and stolen data has led to marked degradation in the level of trust that many consumers have in online services, commerce and marketing. Developing and implementing a data strategy that fosters customer trust is essential for growing your online brand.
Consumers are increasingly wary of brands that take an underhanded approach to consent and privacy. Wave after wave of breaches have made the general public aware of how much of their personally identifiable data is out there and how vulnerable it is. In the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, 57% of survey respondents indicated that scandal left them more concerned about their data privacy and security – and much less willing to share their personal data freely with brands.
Looking at the other side of the coin, a recent survey of retail CMOs found that 25% want to use consumer data to create new products while 44% wanting to use data to craft more personal shopping experiences. The most common use of customer data is tied to loyalty programs, with 60% of retail CMOs recognizing better data would result in more effective programs. Without customers sharing their data, however, these business drivers are dead in the water.
So what is the key element in overcoming the skeptical consumer? In a word: Trust.
88% of consumers say that the extent of their willingness to share personal information is dependent on how much they trust a brand. Unfortunately, some of the most data-reliant industries – food & beverage, online retail, automotive, airlines, media & entertainment – suffer from consumer trust rates below 15%. Brands within these industries will have to consistently demonstrate that their handling of consumer data is designed to breed trust. As Tom Champion, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, said during a What It Means podcast, “Any interaction is a chance to build trust, to sustain it, or delude it.”
Your brand’s data strategy should be engineered with customer trust as its primary goal. To achieve trust, it should be a purpose-specific and transparent mutual agreement between you and your customer.
Prioritizing consumer data security and privacy – and acting on a data strategy that is purpose-specific, clear and mutually agreed to – is central to growing your customers’ trust. To learn more about best practices in managing consumer data, watch our on-demand webinar, “Does your company’s consumer bill of rights measure up?”
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