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What's Holding Brands Back from Personalization?

For most marketers, harnessing the ability to personalize all marketing efforts across every channel is the holy grail that they’re striving for. I recently spoke on this topic at Programmatic I/O, a two-day event bringing together minds from the marketing, tech, and publisher worlds, where I heard from many attendees that addressable media and omni-channel personalization are the focal points for their teams.

Courtney speaking at Programmatic IO

Addressable and personalized marketing is not only a priority for organizations – consumers also expect it. What frustrates brands are the hurdles in the way of making this happen. In this blog, we’ll talk through what these hurdles are and how to move past them.

What’s standing in the way

1. Consumer privacy

Privacy regulations and big tech policies will continue to evolve. To stay ahead of competitors, brands need to understand and monitor these changes and how they affect business. Furthermore, the retirement of third-party cookies has accelerated the need for first-party data collection and activation to continue to succeed within media channels.

2. Customer Data

With the headwinds discussed above, the acquisition and collection of first-party data in a privacy-safe manner has become key to unlocking marketing value. Creation of a customer-360 profile via robust identity resolution will allow a brand to reach and address customers at the moment of interaction, regardless of the channel. Customer data has traditionally been distributed across siloed teams of an organization, making this type of profile near impossible. However, with the rise of the cloud data warehouse, organizations can use these cloud-native capabilities to create a customer profile and then grant access to all data needed by various teams like marketing (email, social, creative, etc.), sales, IT, and service (like the call center or staff behind the POS in a physical store) for addressable activation.

Value Exchange to Grow Customer Data

Brands should operate with a clear understanding that consumers will be increasingly reluctant to give up their data for free. Indeed, when asked if they expect to receive something in exchange for giving a brand data, 70 percent of respondents in this year’s Q1 Customer Engagement Report said yes.

One helpful way to gain more owned data is to establish a value exchange. A value exchange is offering your consumer something in return for the exchange and collection of data from them. A few simple examples could be collecting an email for free shipping, their birthday in exchange for a birthday freebie, or account creation for free shipping, and the list goes on. Typically, these exchanges can fall into four categories: offers (discounts), content (exclusive content), time (early access), or services (free delivery).

This is a great opportunity to get creative and show your audiences that you really understand what they care about. This is also a chance for an organization to think strategically about what data you want to collect. What are the use cases you are trying to power and what data is needed to do so? You can use this newly collected data for relevancy in the moment of interaction and personalization across channels.

Value exchanges, enabled by responsible data sharing, can power more engaging and enduring relationships between brands and their customers. Ultimately, every customer-obsessed brand must master value exchanges, or risk losing sales, customers, and market share to their competitors. Along the way, they’ll also need a firm understanding of how modern data platforms, privacy-safe environments, and intelligent identity capabilities empower their command of customer data – and help to futureproof their CX investments

Key Takeaways for Future Strategizing

Privacy is a priority, but consumers want and crave a relationship with the brands they love, and it is imperative for brands to build a first-party relationship with their consumers​.

1. Know & Prepare

  • Understand and monitor government policy and big tech regulation.
  • Prepare by collecting first-party data and building an owned private identity graph to create robust customer profiles.

2. Strategize & Do

  • Establish a first-party data strategy and asset that is accessible by the business for activation.
  • Execute a value exchange with your consumers; use what resonates and what is of value to them to create that relationship and trusted data exchange.