The evolving legislative landscape and consumer behaviour and expectation can appear challenging to marketers. The last decade has seen a proliferation of mobile, social and digital channels, changing the way customers interact with brands, even in physical channels.
Yet, in many respects, what consumers are looking for is the same now as ever – the search for selfhood (defining themselves through activities, brands, fandom, etc), status (being admired, whether through likes or within a social circle), sharing (being an influencer or trend-setter) and service (being recognised and rewarded).
Personal information supports customer engagement whether it is for buying, service or marketing and it can be captured from all of these transactions, interactions, reviews, shares and the like. To build a value-driving personal information asset means entering a data-value exchange with consumers, but one where there is a careful balance struck between what the company intends to do with that data and what its customers expect to happen.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very clear about what companies need to do in order to achieve this balance. Article 5 sets out the key principles to be adhered to during the exchange, with a strong emphasis on the accuracy of data, fairness, transparency and relevance. Brands already know these principles build positive, longterm relationships. However, the new marketing landscape calls for a more enlightened approach to marketing communication –
The right to be personal.
Marketers who see the opportunities presented by GDPR and meet – or even exceed – the requirements of GDPR earn this right for themselves. That means having the permission and trust from individuals to demonstrate across all of a brand’s marketing and interactions that it knows, understands and positively engages with consumers and their needs.
The benefits to brands of getting this right are powerful – return on investment is 30% higher for companies who use data and analytics to personalise their marketing and customer engagement (source: SAS and Forrester Research).
The risks for brands of getting this wrong are also real – 55% of consumers have decided against buying something online due to privacy concerns. (source: ”Crossing the Line,” KPMG).
But, only 50% of consumers will exchange their privacy just for free or cheaper products/services. (source: KPMG)
Instead, it is the personal experience, convenience and deeper value which they seek.
With the new legal framework being ushered in from 25th May 2018 by the GDPR, new terms for this data-value exchange become obligations, not choices. The Regulation recognises that personal information belongs to the individual, not the companies they provide it to.
Brands can earn the right to be personal if they are clear in the way they recognise, identify, understand, interact with and reward their customers.