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Social Login: A Win-Win for CMOs

By Brad Cohen | Posted on June 27, 2013

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Social login has erupted onto the scene. If you don’t believe me, ask the Account Management team here at Janrain – if you can get them to pause for a moment. (Hint: you cannot, and bless them.) One of the main drivers of its success is that it solves problems for marketers and users at the same time. Typically digital marketers are struggling to balance what’s best for themselves (gathering as much accurate data about users as possible) against what’s good for the users (secure and seamless user experience without barriers to intended behaviors).

The Impasse of the Past

Until the advent of social login, CMOs who wanted to collect lots of user data had to force users to enter all of that data field by field. This was a serious obstruction for users and led to significant negative impacts on data, including:

  1. User attrition with users dropping out of the registration process before completion, leaving the CMO with zero data on those users
  2. Reduced accuracy of data – the industry standard has been reported by Bloomberg at a paltry 35% compared to the 90% accuracy of Facebook data available via social login. Compounding that, Janrain’s own research shows that 88% of consumers admit to having given incorrect profile information
  3. Reduced security for the user and increased risk for the CMO as another keeper of the user’s password

Improved Security and Experience for the User

The user gets two serious benefits out of social login. The first is security. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if you choose to register with site after site after site across the web as you browse, submitting your email and password to each, then with each registration the odds increase that you have just pushed your private details to an insecure infrastructure. It was almost exactly a year ago that Sony – a completely respectable organization in handling personal data by most accounts – was still subject to a massive security and credit card information breach from their Playstation Network. Security experts advise to not use the same password for all of your accounts, but in practice consumers suffer fatigue attempting to follow these best practices because their online experience degrades when they do.

The second benefit of improved user experience starts with offloading the task of memorizing site-specific credentials from the user. At each additional login instance while browsing from site to site to site across the web, a user only needs one click to authenticate through a social profile. Maintaining a highly secure password with a very small number of identity providers (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc) is easy by comparison to the prior example!

The more secure solution for the user is also the better experience.

Bonus Data for Onsite Personalization

As if the previous benefits weren’t enough to make today’s CMOs adopt social login just to please their users, they also get more actionable data out of the deal. This addresses the user experience after logging in by enabling higher engagement through personalization based on user data that wouldn’t be available (or accurate) with traditional login solutions. The additional data points for a user provided by different identity providers can enhance a marketer’s offerings to users both on the site through personalization, or off the site through better targeting of emails. Social data can be tied through to analytics systems and used in multivariate testing and site optimization. It can also be served up on a platter to creative agencies as a smorgasbord of opportunity, and honestly this is what many of us at Janrain hope to see more of this year – creative marketing initiatives based on innovative use of social profile data to surprise and delight users while also driving toward key marketing objectives. Sounds delicious.

If you’re interested in a more secure, more reliable registration solution, then social login is it.

If you’re interested in better quality and more actionable data about your users, then social login is it.

This win-win is happily brought to CMOs by the lovely people at Janrain. ?

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About the author

Brad Cohen

Brad Cohen

Director of Communications

Brad is Director of Marketing Communications at Janrain. Brad has experience across the digital landscape, including SEO, content strategy, content creation, development and creative direction, and installation projects for brands like Google, Nike, Intel, Nestle, Adobe, Verizon, AT&T, Oracle, and more. Brad enjoys driving discourse around marketing strategy, technology, and infrastructure.

View all posts by Brad Cohen