Here’s The (New) Deal: How To Use Data To Build Greater Trust And Loyalty With Consumers

It’s time for brands to rise to a higher standard regarding how they collect, secure, and keep consumer data private.

by Gayle Kesten

posted on 06-16-2020

Nearly 90 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put forth the New Deal — a series of programs and projects aimed at ending the Great Depression and based on three tenets: to provide relief, recovery, and reform.

Now it’s time for a similar deal for brands, one that sets a new standard around data security and privacy practices to build greater consumer trust and loyalty, according to a global survey by Adobe and Advanis of more than 5,000 consumers and 2,000 businesses. The survey was conducted in January, before the COVID-19 pandemic, but its findings remain highly relevant.

Of note, it’s not that consumers have a problem sharing their personal data: More than three-quarters (76 percent) said they’re comfortable doing so if it means a better customer experience (CX). But 67 percent of consumers also expressed concern about the possibility of identity theft, 57 percent already have experienced some type of data breach, and 48 percent said a data-security lapse is inevitable.

Enter a “New Data Deal,” which, like FDR’s initiative, revolves around its own trio of beliefs: transparency, empathy, and value.

Tenet 1: Transparency

Openness is everything, especially when it comes to visibility into a company’s data-collection practices and how the information is kept secure and private.

“[Organizations] need to help safeguard that data so that it’s only available to individuals that need it to accomplish their jobs, and to better ensure that any data transferred across the internet is not available to any third parties,” said John Bates, director of product management at Adobe.

The Adobe/Advanis report recommends best practices for organizations to demonstrate transparency about data security and privacy:

“That means enabling customers to have transparency into how data is being used, as well as control over how it’s used,” said Nate Smith, group manager of product marketing at Adobe. “If consumers don’t see any value being offered by a brand in exchange for their data, they won’t be giving that brand their data, and likely won’t be an advocate for the brand either.“

Tenet 2: Empathy

The types of personal information consumers are comfortable with sharing—full names, email addresses, phone numbers—vary from country to country, yet across the board 85 percent said they have the right not to be tracked online.

“Not only do companies need to respect this desire, but they also need to engage in their entire data practice with empathy and respect to the consumer as the foremost concern,” the report stated.

Of concern, while an overall 50 percent of consumers said they are comfortable with sharing their full names, 82 percent of companies are collecting them, the survey revealed. In addition, only 25 percent of consumers said they are comfortable sharing their phone numbers, yet 75 percent of companies are collecting them.

Respect and empathy for consumers’ preferences, which also includes the digital channels on which they want to communicate, will go a long way to improving the customer experience, according to the report. And it begins with a customer-centric company culture that asks consumers what they want and then feeds this insight into its data-collection strategy.

Tenet 3: Value

Consumers look at data collection as an exchange: “Here’s my information, now deliver something of value in return” — revolving around personalization, targeting, and a better, overall CX. For 48 percent of survey respondents, that means being recognized when they call or log in; for 46 percent, it’s about receiving news or articles in line with their interests.

But once again, companies seem to think they’re doing a better job at providing value than consumers do, according to the report. To close the gap, the report suggests organizations make better use of the data they’ve collected. Data integration across disparate systems is key to developing a single customer profile, which, in turn, leads to the development of a more tailored customer journey. Also important is presenting content in a manner that helps further its reach, and tracking metrics to gauge effectiveness and pivot as necessary.

Encouragingly, 76 percent of companies do understand the benefits of providing a personalized CX. However, the burden is on them to bridge the divide and demonstrate to consumers the value of sharing their data.

“But by embracing the core tenets of a New Data Deal, every company has the opportunity to close this gap and build greater trust and loyalty with their customers,” the report says.

Download the report for more, including how well-known brands have embraced the New Data Deal.

Topics: Analytics, Personalization