Since the rollout of the EU GDPR rules and announcement of the California data privacy law, companies of all kinds have started to turn to consent management solutions that help them manage the once-seemingly insurmountable task laid out by European (and now American) lawmakers.
And yet, many businesses — including numerous enterprise brands — have yet to adopt this helpful technology and, in turn, are struggling to enable data compliance across their organizations.
Simply put, without the right consent management tech in place, it’s difficult for brands to provide the requisite front-end experience for consumers to understand and provide consent and for those organizations to adhere to these prospects’ and customers’ stated preferences.
How consent management platforms help brands 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 solution serves specific purposes that pertain to overall compliance with how one collects data from consumers and adheres to preferences in their marketing or when selling it.
There are some (well, many) critical consent directives for brands to follow, per the new-ish GDPR rules:
- 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”
- Data subjects can withdraw previously given consent whenever — a decision you must honor
- 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.
Consent management functionality built into other tech
When you hear “consent management platform,” you probably think of a standalone solution that connects into your CMS, app development software, and other marketing systems.
There are, in fact, many CMPs that are meant to be integrated with other existing martech. However, not all are GDPR-compliant or compliant with other consumer data protection acts.
With certain marketing tech, though — like BlueConic’s customer data platform — 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 — meaning it’s vital you carefully research the customer data platform market before making your choice.)
Our customers can handle end-to-end consent management in BlueConic with four core capabilities:
- 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.
- 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 it easy for you to comply.
- 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.
- 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 martech like a CDP that has a consent management feature, you can market to your audience worry-free.
Value of consent management: Transparency and trust
Your customers engage with you in several ways today: visiting your website, accessing your app, opening your emails, clicking your ads, and viewing your videos, to name the obvious methods.
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 more basic terms: Consent collection requires a much more concerted focus from brands.
This may seem like a punishment to some CMOs: having to put processes into place to comply with these data directives. In actuality, it’s an opportunity to accomplish two key objectives:
- Show customers you’re transparent about how you will and plan to use their data
- In turn, build trust with your customers over time by being upfront about data use
Organizations ranging from mid-sized retailers to massive tech conglomerates 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 say they’re more likely to buy from companies that can 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.
Risks of managing consent without dedicated solution
We don’t need to tell you how important it is to comply with the aforementioned data privacy laws.
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 is not an option.
Thus, you would be wise to convince your C-suite a consent management platform 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 your customer 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. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?“
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 (if not tens or hundreds of thousands, or more) 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.