Personalization in the Age of Consumer Privacy

Lifecycle Marketing

Personalization in the Age of Consumer Privacy

The goal posts for successful personalization strategies have been moved.

More broadly, the rules of the personalized marketing “game” — especially those pertaining to privacy — have changed for just about every digital marketing pro.

Emerging consumer data privacy laws (e.g., GDPR, CCPA). New browser privacy changes, such as Apple’s ITP. A general lack of brand trust on the part of consumers globally.

(Many of whom are already skeptical of sharing personal info with businesses.)

These customer behavior-related events and trends (among others) have sparked organizations across industries to refine their customer engagement strategies.

Specifically, it’s led many marketing, customer experience, and ecommerce teams at countless consumer-centric companies to develop entirely new personalization frameworks and programs that factor in customer journeys and consent.

In the era of data privacy, growth-focused teams need to pay attention regarding how they obtain and maintain consent. Moreover, they need to carefully activate data via bespoke experiences across channels (i.e., customer lifecycle orchestration)

As long as you have a comprehensive consent management approach and use the right tools to drive your engagement efforts — notably, a customer data platform (CDP) — you’ll reap the rewards from your respective personalization strategy in the years ahead.

What does a successful personalization strategy look like in 2021 (and beyond)?

Roughly 80% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy from a business if they get regularly personalized customer experiences based on their past engagement, per Epsilon.

And yet, according to Gartner, the same percentage of digital marketers who’ve built personalization strategies will abandon them by 2025 due to insufficient ROI.

The biggest obstacle to achieving a strong ROI through personalization strategies? Per the research, “weaknesses in data collection, integration and protection.”

Here’s what digital experts say about the present and future of “person-to-person experiences.” Specifically, how businesses can adjust their strategies accordingly:

  • Forrester VP, Group Director Melissa Parrish and Analyst Steph Liu said marketers “must grapple with how they can serve consumers’ individual needs, expressed on the customers’ own terms” to win and retain their trust and business over the long haul.
  • Marwick Marketing CEO Christian Thomson wrote for Forbes that “2020 is going to be the year of personalized marketing,” adding consumers will “tune out” generic ads with little relevance to their wants and needs and engage with more personalized messaging.
  • Franklin Sports Digital Marketing Analyst Aaron Seitz said the accumulation of first-party data in a single source of truth, like a CDP, allows brands to “decide what levers to pull with that data and … personalization” to best convert customers.
  • Gartner Senior Principal Advisor Eleni Lee noted that, in the “era of Data Veracity,” speed and accuracy now take precedence with marketers’ personalization strategies. Segmenting high-value audiences and customizing content to them is vital.
  • SAP CMO Kevin Cochrane wrote in Harvard Business Review that building trust with one’s audience requires ditching third-party data and implementing transparent personalization activities in which the value exchange is clearly explained.
    Personalization is clearly viewed differently based on one’s niche, industry, and goals.

One commonly shared perception among many business professionals, though? ‘Winning’ with personalization is still very much possible for companies today.

And a CDP is the tech for companies that want to bolster their personalization strategies.

personalization personalized marketing

Benefits of personalization strategies remain numerous for companies

Increased email marketing open rates due to custom-tailored subject lines. Higher conversion rates from integrated campaigns based on segments’ interests. A better CX for (and greater customer satisfaction among) existing customers through targeted messaging.

The pros of personalized content and product recommendations remain many.

The key to see your marketing metrics continue to scale at a strong pace lies in testing, optimizing, and refining your personalized marketing with modern tech that unifies all customer profiles and associated details in a single database.

Enter the CDP. Specifically, BlueConic, which helps business users to refine their consent-driven personalization efforts with ease. How? By enabling them to put individuals’ consent preferences at the forefront of their engagement efforts.

Here’s how BlueConic customers build personalization strategies with our platform.

Targeted, timely ads to prospects and customers

Adlucent research shows 71% of internet users prefer advertising that factors in their shopping interests and buying habits (e.g., purchase history, product pages viewed).

However, marketers need to consider their audience’s reception to promotional messaging. Three-quarters of these same users want to see fewer ads altogether.

It’s this sometimes-tricky balance marketers need to realize with their advertising to get the most bang for the buck on social media, Google, and other ad platforms they use.

Thankfully, with BlueConic, marketers who run targeted advertising for their organizations get the complete single customer view of all contacts — visitors, prospects, buyers, and subscribers — and present ads attuned to their interest and interactions.

Additionally, our customers can figure out which individuals and segments tend to engage most with ads and which don’t. In turn, they can modify their ad targeting and reallocate their ad spend accordingly. (A prickly pain point for CMOs.)

BlueConic customers can see the engagement histories of every person in their unified database. This allows them to segment individuals based on distinct attributes.

For example, they can see intricate insights related to repeat buyers of high-ticket items and returning visitors who’ve never purchased, individuals with sizable CLV, etc.). Then, they can activate that data in activities like targeted advertising.

personalization personalized marketing

Real-time, customized website messaging to users

In addition to building trust with and earning business from your audience via timely, personalized ads, you can also develop tailored, on-site dialogues.

These messages can keep your visitors — including and especially those who arrived via your advertising efforts — around longer. In turn, this gives you the chance to better engage with previously viewed and additional product pages, and, hopefully, convert them.

BlueConic customer VisitBend.com recently developed a new personalization strategy to coincide with its website relaunch. Personalized, on-site messaging on its landing pages to promote deals to users based on past engagement led to a 15% increase in return visits.

VisitBend.com also encouraged repeat visitors to create accounts, thus giving it the ability to offer richer, individualized experiences upon subsequent sessions and based on saved itineraries of visitors and their persistently updated BlueConic profiles.

Regardless of business type, you can utilize content and product recommendation engines like those offered in BlueConic to better resonate with prospects and customers.

The key is to solely personalize messaging to those contacts who’ve explicitly expressed interest in a given products or services and “opted in” consent-wise.

For instance, BlueConic customers can segment consented prospects who have checked out the product page for a specific item at least X times in the last Y days.

Personalized emails based on recent engagement

BlueConic customers can also alter content and product recommendations in personalized emails delivered to specific segments to promote solely the most relevant items.

Let’s say you want to send a product update email for new items in your online store.

You can set up rules for your open-time email recommendations in BlueConic (primary content to share first, then “fallback” options). All you have to do is add a simple HTML code snippet into your ESP editor (BlueConic integrates with all major ones).

Doing so ensures each recipient will only see the items that most directly correlate with their interests, based on their dynamically updated, persistent customer profiles.

That means you won’t promote products they have minimal interest in, past products they’ve bought, or any other suggested items that wouldn’t appeal to them.

Rather, you and your team deliver timely, persuasive, personalized marketing emails that “update” in the background up until the second contacts open them.

Among the many email marketing best practices you ought to follow, sending the most personalized and appropriate emails possible is right at the top of that list.

All in all, it’s a great way to show prospects and customers you care about their CX.

Perfecting your personalized marketing approach easier with a leading CDP

Sharing custom-tailored product and content recommendations to both highly engaged individuals and high-value segments is clearly ideal for companies across industries today.

But without a CDP like BlueConic in which you can unify all first-party data and activate it in targeted messaging to prospects and customers, your personalization strategy will falter.

Worse yet, you’ll leave revenue on the table, deter business growth, and have to rely on dated, inefficient engagement approaches.

Whether you have hundreds of thousands of contacts in your database or hundreds of millions, BlueConic can help your business deliver mutually beneficial customer experiences.

Ones that help you build greater loyalty with buyers — and boosts your bottom line.

Watch our recent MarTech Conference session with BlueConic customer Franklin Sports to learn how the retailer built its personalization strategy with our CDP.

personalization strategy

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.