A truly personalised consumer experience can only be provided when sufficient data is available to analyse consumer behaviour. Marketing today has become more personalised, contextualised, and dynamic. Acquiring data is the starting point—improved technology and algorithms have made it possible for companies to collect the same.
Companies work under the misconception that personalisation and privacy are conflicting efforts and do not believe that it can be interdependent. It is actually a positive-sum gain from cooperation. Research shows that 60% of consumers are frustrated with the brands’ inability to predict their needs and think they aren’t doing an adequate job using personalisation.
Companies find it challenging to optimise marketing personalisation with increasing privacy issues related to attaining granular consumer data. On the one hand, consumers are expecting to be recognised and their experiences personalised, on the other hand, consumers are concerned about data privacy.
With the implementation of privacy laws like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and many browsers providing enhanced data privacy, it is clear that collecting consumer data has become difficult.
According to a recent Gartner survey, despite consumers having trust issues regarding usage of their data ethically, they are still willing to share information in exchange for convenience and personalised experiences. 63% of consumers expect to be recognised and want their experiences personalised. This has left marketers in a “catch-22” situation. Companies are stuck between the need for personalisation of data and consumers’ need to maintain data privacy.
Growing privacy concerns and predictions for this tech driven marketing landscape
With the increase in the number of data breaches, the data security market is expected to reach $38.23 billion by 2025 over the forecast period 2020 – 2025. Here are a few growing concerns and trends you need to know about.
- Data security spending will increase.
Companies need to be transparent and prove their trustworthiness by highlighting their privacy policies. This is vital for building trust and accountability with their consumers. Data privacy is not possible without data protection.
As online threats continue to increase, cybersecurity spending across the globe is estimated to grow between $43.1 billion and $41.9 billion in 2020. Employees need to be regularly trained on data safety guidelines to ensure proper and ethical use of data.
- Facial recognition raises privacy concerns.
Facial recognition technologies promise accurate identification. However, studies have shown that the technology is still vulnerable. Hence, accurate data generation and user recognition can be a challenge. An identity mismatch can lead to a security breach. If facial data gets compromised, hackers can easily copy identities and carry out illegal activities. Also, as facial recognition software generates a large amount of data, companies need to put ample security measures in place.
- Protecting healthcare data from wearable technology.
Wearable technology provides patient data to healthcare providers to improve diagnosis or treatment. As most wearable technology is interconnected with mobiles or laptops, hackers can use wearable devices as a backdoor to get into the phone and view personal information. This is a major setback for data privacy.
- Consumers will make businesses accountable.
Consumers are becoming more conscious about the amount of data being stored by companies, and are reluctant to share information due to privacy considerations. Around 72% of consumers have said that they would stop purchasing a company’s products or services due to privacy concerns. Also, 63% of consumers feel companies are responsible for protecting their data. They do not want companies that share personal data without their permission.
By prioritising a few key actions to improve security and privacy, organisations can overcome the privacy dilemma:
- Communicate and educate consumers on the link between personalisation and consumer data collection. Share privacy policies and practices, and assure consumers that their data will never be shared without their consent. Transparency is essential to gain the trust of consumers.
- Empower the consumers by giving them control over how and where their data is used. Let them decide what level of marketing personalisation they want.
- Companies need to train employees on ethical data use—what data can be acquired and stored while compliant with new laws and regulations.
- For creating an optimal consumer experience, consumer data should be acquired within the boundaries of defined privacy rules. Stakeholders should educate themselves on how consumer data can be used without violating privacy. This will lead to greater consumer trust and help generate business value for companies.
- Companies need to combine identity data with behavioural data to deliver personalised consumer experience. By collaborating with third-party data sources such as social media to collect data like demographics, interests and combining this with buying and browsing history, marketers get rich identity data that can be used to personalise marketing campaigns.
- Keep data use in context. While performing consumer analytics, companies should use only individual-level data needed to align the consumer experience, consumer preferences, requirements and interests.
Personalisation and privacy can go hand in hand. Digital trust by consumers is now a prerequisite for companies to gather information and provide a wholesome consumer experience. To overcome the ‘privacy paradox’, companies need to be aware of legislative requirements and adjust accordingly. For companies to practice good data security they need to invest in the technology that makes personalisation possible only under the realm of privacy laws.
By assuring consumers that their privacy comes first and respecting their concerns over the shared details, companies can offer a personalised experience and inspire consumer loyalty and satisfaction—in the long run.