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Forced Change – Growth

Image of Ingesting Data

There are things in life that force you to change whether you like it or not. Changes with employment status, job role, relationship status, health, life stages, natural disasters, laws and regulations to name a few. Some are perceived as positive, some negative, but all are a matter of perspective.

What comes first is a bit of pain or an uncomfortable feeling. That’s how we know change is necessary. Pain has purpose, and the goal is to not feel pain. I know I’m getting a bit philosophical for a business blog post, but believe me, when it comes to new regulations with data privacy, marketers feel the pain.

Marketers want to connect brands with customers, and how they do that continually changes based on what can and can’t be done. Not just from a best practice perspective, but from a regulation or compliance law perspective.

The data privacy landscape is evolving. Newer legislation, like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), mandates transparency with data collected, gives people the right to control their data (if they choose to exercise that right) and gives them visibility into how their data is being used. Is it still possible for marketers to be able to target individuals with hyper-relevant personalization but also honor a customer’s request to opt out or be forgotten? Yes, it’s possible using a customer data platform (CDP).

Customer Data Platforms

A CDP is software that pulls in data from multiple disparate systems, like point of sale, loyalty program, CRM and website analytics, and creates unified customer profiles. The unified customer profile contains all interactions and activities that an individual has with your brand. That data can then be made available to other systems.

A CDP enables marketers to create hyper-relevant personalization and segmentation and makes data-driven customer journey mapping possible. It also enables brands to use data science and build models to answer complex business questions like:

  1. What website behaviors do our best customers have in common?
  2. What type of customer buys the most with our % off Facebook ads?
  3. What customers have the highest basket size in store when redeeming a direct mail offer?

Without a CDP, most of those questions aren’t easily answered or are an educated guess at best.

Data Privacy

When it comes to data privacy, if a customer exercises their right to be forgotten, you could manage each request manually or manage all requests in a privacy or consent management platform (CMP), but that still requires action or process to reflect that request in all systems where customers interact with your brand. That includes email service providers (ESP), marketing automation platforms, your websites and landing pages, etc., and would need to be done manually each time someone sent in a request, unless there were multiple integration points between the systems. Having a CDP gives marketers one place to store a customer’s data and if/when they request to be removed, it’s the source of truth for how to reflect that request across all systems that touch that customer. Many CDPs also have a user interface (UI) allowing non-technical marketing users the ability to submit data delete requests.

Forced Change

Now when it comes to forced change for privacy compliance, CDPs become the marketing hero to streamline how compliance is managed when set up correctly. That has many positive side effects like:

  • Unifying customer data
  • Persistent data storage
  • Single source of truth for all customer data
  • Increased data hygiene
  • Supports privacy compliance
  • Powers multichannel preference center

The investment to adding a CDP to a business’s marketing technology stack isn’t trivial, but fines for non-compliance to privacy requests will justify the cost over time.

Jenny Lassi • March 5, 2020


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