Consent Management: The Key to Data Compliance

Privacy & Consent Management|7 Minute Read

Consent Management: The Key to Data Compliance

Since the rollout of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), companies of all kinds have started to turn to the consent management platform (CMP) to help them manage the once-seemingly insurmountable task laid out by European (and now American) legislators of complying with their data protection laws.

And yet, many businesses across industries have yet to adopt this helpful technology.

In turn, they’ve struggled (and continue to struggle) with CCPA and GDPR compliance.

In addition to failing to abide by the measures geared toward EU citizens and California residents, many of these organizations have also neglected to implement the appropriate consent-oriented protocols to appease consumers’ privacy concerns regarding their user data and help them comply with data subjects’ requests for data deletion.

Simply put, without the right consent management solution in place, it’s difficult for brands to provide the requisite front-end experience for consumers (e.g., user-friendly consent banners across their websites) to understand and provide consent and for those organizations to adhere to these prospects’ and customers’ stated preferences.

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How consent management platforms help brands with data compliance today

There are two types of tech that can help with GDPR, CPPA, and other data privacy laws: consent management platforms and tech with built-in consent management capabilities.

A consent management platform serves specific purposes that pertain to overall data compliance with how one collects information from consumers and adheres to their preferences in their marketing strategies or when selling it to partner brands.

There are some (well, many) critical consent directives for brands to follow, per the new-ish GDPR rules via IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (IAB TCF):

  • Consent must be “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous”
  • Consent requests must “be presented in a manner which is clearly distinguishable from the other matters, in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language” to ensure consumers understand what their rights are
  • Data subjects can withdraw previously given consent whenever they like
  • Children under 13 years of age can only give consent with permission from their parent
  • Documentary evidence of consent for all contacts in your database must be maintained

The overarching purpose of a consent management platform, and similar solutions, is to automate practically the entire data compliance process — one that, without beneficial technology like this, would otherwise be arduous (if not impossible) for brands of any size to handle internally.

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Consent management functionality built into other marketing technologies, too

When you hear “consent management platform,” you probably think of a standalone solution that connects into your CMS, app development software, and other systems.

There are many CMPs that integrate with other existing martech. But not all are GDPR-compliant or compliant with other consumer data protection acts.

With certain martech, though — like BlueConic’s CDP— the consent management functionality is built right in. Thus, our customers don’t need a separate CMP.

(Side note: Not all CDPs make it easy to comply with data privacy laws like GDPR and the CCPA — meaning it’s vital you and your marketing carefully research the customer data platform market before investing in a CDP.)

Our customers can handle end-to-end consent management with four core capabilities:

  • 1) Collection: You can collect data for your leads and customers through your website or from other systems and sources, both online and offline. This data can then be synced into BlueConic from these various solutions to unify it and provide that increasingly important single customer view.
  • 2) Reconciliation: Using our identity resolution techniques, you can store customer data in persistent and progressive profiles. As a particular customer’s data changes (preferences, purchases, behaviors), their profiles continue to grow, ensuring you always have a current and complete view of them. These profiles are also persistent, meaning, any consent preferences explicitly given will remain “attached” to their profiles. Whether they’ve opted in or out of email newsletters, on-site personalization, or other marketing initiatives, their data is stored persistently in their profile, making compliance a cinch.
  • 3) Segmentation: Within BlueConic, you can quickly and easily create segments based on contacts’ consent preferences. Segments update dynamically, meaning anytime someone in your database changes their preferences, their customer profiles update in real time. Subsequently, they’re added to (or removed from) segments automatically.
  • 4) Activation: BlueConic allows these segments to then be sent to your activation channels: anywhere you use data to decide what a customer should or shouldn’t see, experiences they should receive, ads to show or suppress, and so on. Given individuals’ consent updates dynamically, you don’t have to worry about “slipping up”: using someone’s data from whom you don’t have approval.

As you can see, there’s a lot to manage when it comes to consent management. But with marketing technology like a customer data platform that has a built-in consent management feature, you can market to your audience worry-free.

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The main value of consent management platforms: Transparency and trust

Your customers engage with you in several ways today: visiting your site, accessing your app, opening your emails, clicking your ads, and viewing your videos, to name the obvious.

Some of these engagements don’t lead to the acquisition of new information about these individuals. Those that do, thanks to data privacy laws, now necessitate a transparency and consent framework on the part of brands to ensure consumer consent is assured for this obtained data.

In basic terms: Consent collection requires a much more concerted focus from brands.

This may seem like a punishment to execs: having to put processes into place to comply with data directives. In actuality, it’s an opportunity to accomplish two key goals:

  • 1) Show customers you’re transparent about how you will and plan to use their data
  • 2) In turn, build trust with your customers over time by being upfront about data use

From mid-sized retailers to tech conglomerates, organizations are implementing strategic consent-for-data programs that give those who engage with them online the option to deny access to their personal info and online behavior (past, present, and future).

By providing these (albeit mandatory) consent options to their audiences and implementing messaging to them they care about protecting their data, companies like yours can avoid any negative repercussions — the likes of which have hit Facebook and Capital One, among other major brands.

Roughly 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that protect their data.

This is clear-cut evidence it’s worth it to develop not just a consent management strategy for your business that ensures complete compliance with consumer protection laws, but also one that shows your organization safeguards consumers’ personal information and proves their data is used responsibly.

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Risks of managing consent preferences without a dedicated solution are many

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to comply with the aforementioned consumer data privacy laws and others that will emerge down the line.

(The official GDPR website and recent fines for GDPR violators already do a fantastic job at scaring marketers and marketing executives into data compliance).

It’s an indisputable fact nowadays GDPR and CCPA — and the other, lesser-known consumer protection laws in place and coming soon — are must-obey for every company that operates or handles data in the particular locations in question.

In other words? Failure to comply with these consumer data protection acts, among others, is simply not an option.

Thus, you’d be wise to convince your C-suite a consent management solution is more than worth the investment, given both the intricacy of these data privacy policies and the value to be gained from continuing to deliver individualized marketing to customers and prospects.

The simple question you can present to your executive team can easily make the case:

“There is a mandate for data compliance and inherent value in basing marketing on first-party data. With a consent management solution in place, we’ll actually have even better data, because it is transparently collected and used.”

For many leadership teams, revenue growth is a primary concern — as it should be.

If they understand the risks associated with managing user consent and personal information for potentially thousands of prospects and customers and how it could cost them money via penalties, lost business and consumer trust, and, in turn, a poor reputation, they’ll see a reason to choose a technology that can help manage consent.

Watch our webinar to learn how you can ensure compliance with the major data privacy laws and develop a strong consent management strategy for your brand.

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See what BlueConic can do for you.

Whether you’re looking for operational efficiencies or improved marketing effectiveness through data activation, our customer data platform can help.