Personalization in the Age of Consumer Privacy

Lifecycle Marketing|[wtr-time]

Personalization in the Age of Consumer Privacy

Every so often, there’s a seismic shift that drastically changes the way companies engage with their customers and prospects. Some shifts shake things up for the better. Others are more of a mixed bag in terms of their impact, like the rise of walled gardens: Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

The next shift is already upon us. Companies find themselves in a new era in which privacy is at the forefront. A series of high-profile consumer data breaches and the demand from consumers for more control over their data has given rise to privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In response to these regulations, browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are eliminating or severely inhibiting the use of third-party cookies for tracking purposes.

These events have sparked organizations across industries to redefine their customer engagement strategies. Specifically, it’s forcing marketing, customer experience, digital products and monetization, and other growth-focused teams to develop entirely new personalization frameworks and programs that factor in customer journeys and consent.

So, how can your company reap the rewards from your personalization strategy in the privacy-first era? In this post, we’ll explore what a successful personalization strategy looks like in 2022 and beyond.

Personalization in the privacy-first era

Roughly 80% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience.

And yet, according to Gartner, the same percentage of companies who’ve built personalization strategies will abandon them by 2025 due to insufficient ROI. According to the report, both data and technology are cited as major hurdles to personalization efforts.

Why? Because marketing, customer experience, and other teams responsible for personalization and growth have historically been at the mercy of other entities – both internal (e.g., IT, the analytics team) and external (e.g., agencies, technology vendors) – to gain access to the data they need to better understand and interact with customers.

This data inaccessibility presents a significant risk in a world with GDPR and CCPA—not to mention the operational inefficiencies of activating that data. When you don’t have direct access to the data you’re using, how can you be confident it is complete and accurate and doesn’t violate an individual’s consent preferences?

Some companies will make do with what they have – at least in the short term – by relying on legacy technologies and databases like CRM software, campaign management tools/ESPs, and internal data warehouses to manage individual consent status and rights requests across channels. But the truth is these technologies weren’t designed to enable compliance because they lack the ability to provide a single customer view. Moreover, these tools cannot effectively manage individual consent and rights requests across channels, nor can they automatically federate individual consent back out to other systems quickly and with confidence.

Modernizing your tech stack for a new age

The benefits of personalization, combined with the growing monetary and reputational risks of non-compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and other consumer data privacy laws means companies can’t afford to wait to modernize their systems and processes. Success in today’s privacy-first landscape means making the construct of identity the unifying principle of your personalization strategy.

However, identifier fragmentation presents a significant barrier to putting identity at the center your personalization efforts (not to mention complying with GDPR and the CCPA). These growing complexities require modern technology that can reconcile identifiers across your technology ecosystem and create a complete and dynamic single customer view for the business.

That’s why more and more companies are turning to a customer data platform (CDP). When it comes to personalization, it is the CDP that serves as the enabling technology for managing customer data at an individual level.

A CDP like BlueConic gives you a single customer view (also known as unified customer profile) that becomes the central object of your business technology infrastructure. In other words, your growth-focused teams gain the benefit of profile data accessibility that offers both confidence and utility – so they can put individuals’ consent preferences at the forefront of their personalization efforts.

Here’s how BlueConic customers build privacy-centric personalization strategies with our customer data platform.

Targeted, timely ads to prospects and customers

To ensure a strong return on advertising spend, marketers and other business users need to be able to target engaged segments across channels and touchpoints. But they can only get granular with their targeting efforts when they’re able to use any data associated with an individual (including online, offline, behavioral data, calculated scores, and marketing consent status) to create rich, multi-dimensional segments.

What’s more, marketers see stronger results when they streamline and scale their advertising efforts by creating segments on their own and automatically send them to ad platforms for immediate activation.

With a CDP, companies can eliminate manual list pulls and handoffs between teams, and even deploy business-user-friendly, out-of-the-box models to calculate scores like CLV and RFM to incorporate into their segmentation and personalization efforts.

Using data stored in their unified customer profiles, marketers and other business users can select any combination of customer attributes to build highly targeted segments and send those segments directly to their advertising platforms via out-of-the-box connections. Since segments update in real time as individuals’ attributes change, marketers can not only reach the right people with the right message based on their most recent interests and behaviors, but also suppress ads from those unlikely to convert, like customers who’ve already purchased.

Take one of BlueConic’s retail customers, for example. This boutique retailer operates with both limited budget and resources. To compete with the likes of Amazon, it turned to BlueConic to optimize its advertising spend.

By unifying online and offline data in BlueConic and leveraging the platform’s machine learning capabilities, the retailer ran models to calculate CLV and RFM scores without any additional analytics resources. It then used those scores to build dynamic segments that were passed to its advertising platforms for immediate activation. The retailer was also able to suppress messaging from customers who were in the lowest quartile of RFM scores (and, therefore, unlikely to convert) and create lookalike segments for high-CLV and high-RFM customers — all of which led to more conversions and a better ROAS.

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 those who arrived via your advertising efforts — around longer. In turn, this gives you the chance to personalize their experience with previously viewed and additional product pages, and, hopefully, convert them.

For example, BlueConic customer Franklin Sports uses BlueConic to unify all its online and offline behavioral, shopping, interest, and marketing consent data in persistent, individual-level profiles. A single customer view and the CDP interface makes it easy for Franklin to build highly targeted, multi-dimensional segments based on any customer attributes and easily use those segments for on-site recommendations.

Franklin uses BlueConic to remove the complexity from its one-to-one personalization efforts. Customers never see recommendations for products they recently bought and, instead, see ads for related products because they rely on BlueConic to be the intelligence engine behind every interaction across the lifecycle.

Personalized emails based on recent engagement

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

For example, let’s say you want to execute personalized cross-sell and upsell email campaigns designed to boost retention, loyalty, and customer lifetime value (CLV). The only way to personalize offers and product recommendations is by understanding each individual’s interests, past purchases, recent browsing behaviors, and similar customer data points in actual (not near) real time.

With BlueConic, you can create custom segments and then use product recommendations to show applicable deals and relevant products to each segment based on buying behavior and interests dynamically on-site.

For example, BlueConic customer Telia Company wanted the ability to tailor interactions with customers at every point in the lifecycle and use data to drive smarter customer engagement. With customers across multiple countries, products, brands, and systems, the telecommunications company uses the up-to-date data stored in its BlueConic database to understand where a particular customer or prospect is in their lifecycle and create dynamic segments using their recent behaviors, interactions, subscription renewal date, consent, customer scores, and more. Recognizing customers across systems allows the Customer Service team, for example, to put the most relevant upsell offer in front of a customer calling for a renewal.

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 to unify your 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 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.