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Importance of Consent and Preference Management in a Modern Tech Stack

To stay compliant with continually changing privacy laws worldwide and consumer demand for organizations to respect their preferences and privacy, organizations must design and implement an effective solution that takes consumer privacy into account for both the business and customer interests. In order to fully comply while keeping up with consumer demands, the technology stack that supports these processes should include data-driven decision-making tools, which help businesses easily and automatically stay compliant with the ever-changing landscape while simultaneously empowering the customer to choose how their information is used. With the growing number of privacy concerns, consent and preference management are increasingly important to businesses today.

Understanding Consent and Preference Management

When discussing privacy management, there are two primary components:

Consent Management

Consent management is a system, process, or set of policies for collecting and configuring users’ permission to collect, process, and store data from a variety of interfaces (i.e. web, mobile apps, in-person).

Preference Management

Preference management is the way an organization balances privacy and personalization by managing communications to customers, empowering them to willingly elect to receive communications in their preferred channels with their preferred content.

Consent vs preference management

Consent management is a process that allows customers and prospects to decide what personal data they’re willing to share with your business and what they are willing to let you do with that data. It’s closely tied with compliance and privacy regulations, while preference management involves collecting data your customers are reporting which allows more targeted conversations. Communication frequency preferences are often presented as an alternative to simply unsubscribing.

A preference center can offer a customer the ability to self report their interests such as contact channels, contact frequency, preferred day/time, and a list of content types such as offers, newsletters, brands, and whatever the business finds relevant to offer customer choices.

A consent and preference policy also allows the business to track where and when consent is required and obtained; building trust with the consumer, while allowing the business to better market according to what the consumer wants to receive and how they want to receive it.

Privacy Laws and What it Means for Your Business

Privacy regulations are reshaping the digital landscape. The EU General Data Protection Regulation  (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are guiding changes in how companies handle customer data. Businesses must clearly state when consent is required, identify the types of data collected, and allow consumers to withdraw their consent at any time. GDPR and CCPA both give consumers the right to refuse to share information or receive marketing communications, and the CCPA empowers users to block marketers from selling their data.

According to Gartner, by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations - a number that is steadily increasing. The United States does not currently have a comprehensive data privacy law, but New York and California have laws that govern consumer privacy, and that is expected to grow.

The good news is that today's technology enables companies to define consent and preference management in a modern tech environment. With consent management at the core of the marketing strategy, companies can increase brand value and boost customer loyalty. With the right tools, you can create a consent management practice that makes your customers' data more valuable while maintaining a positive reputation with your consumers.

Advantages of Using a Consent Management Platform (CMP)

In the privacy-centric world that we now live and operate in, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to track all elements of consent and preference management. Luckily, there is a substantial and growing marketplace for automated consent and preference platforms in the market.

Consent and preference management platforms can be invaluable for collecting consent preferences as users interact with websites and apps. Since customer data may be stored in several applications and channels, tracking consent can be difficult, especially if the company has multiple brands.

Instead, companies can leverage a central data infrastructure that monitors changes in consent state in real time, and manages data flows between systems. By using this technology to track all parameters of consent and preferences, it allows for easy compliance in collecting, storing, and utilizing customer data. A major element of this is making it easier for organizations to respond to customer’s regulatory mandates, such as “right to deletion” under CCPA.   

How CMPs and CDPs fit into an overall Identity Solution

It’s critical to recognize how the CMP will fit into the overall marketing technology stack along with customer data platforms (CDPs) and other tools as identity resolution comes into play.

As you consider a CMP, remember to ensure it works well with your underlying data environment, including your CDP. When unifying customer data into a single source, it’s important to ensure everything is aligned to your CMP for tracking purposes, while also enabling marketers to utilize the consent and preferences of customers. In general, the efficiency of a CMP in combination with a robust an clean data environment is the best way to ensure an efficient, compliant, and privacy-focused solution for organizations and marketers.