How APAC brands are forging a new win-win ‘data deal’ with their customers

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By Gabbi Stubbs

Posted 09-09-2020

The prioritization of data security and management has gained prominence among APAC IT leaders and the C-suite as two factors converge: stronger privacy regulations and the need to secure and manage a remote workforce and new business processes brought on by the pandemic.

Customers are paying close attention, too. According to “The Power of Data,” a 2020 report by Adobe and Advanis, 48 percent of global consumers surveyed expect their personal data will be compromised at some point, and 57 percent have already experienced some type of data breach.

Despite that, 76 percent of these same consumers remain willing to share personal data in exchange for value-driven, personalised experiences. Reassuringly, the majority of businesses (81 percent) are aligned in their understanding that they must demonstrate a tangible benefit to consumers to justify collecting and using their personal information, the survey also found.

Now comes the execution, and that requires brands to forge a new data deal with customers and within the organization itself. This new data deal is built on one big idea: Customer data is everyone’s responsibility, not just the CIO’s or CTO’s. It’s a reflection of a healthy customer-experience culture and desire to create value for everyone.

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How can APAC leaders win the new data deal? By focusing on three key tenets: transparency, empathy, and value.

Get proactive about transparency

At one point or another, we’ve all skimmed and agreed to the fine print before setting up a new phone, downloading a new app, or signing up for a loyalty program. We may not always know what’s in the “user agreement,” but if it’s from a reputable-enough source, we’re usually willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

According to the Adobe/Advanis report, 80 percent of APAC businesses believe they are transparent about the personal information they collect from customers. However, it’s important they understand that for consumers, data transparency means more than just providing the fine print laid out at the beginning of a customer journey. Consumers want more control over their data and active engagement from brands as to how it’s being used.

Sydney-based TEG Analytics – the region’s largest ticketing, live entertainment, and technology business – exemplifies a brand that understands this. Speaking at the 2020 Adobe Experience Makers Live event, Daevid Richards, head of audience automation analytics, explained how the company creates data transparency for its 16 million members: TEG’s privacy policy is written in simple, customer-friendly language that makes it clear how audience data is collected and used, he said.

In addition, the company provides meaningful examples across its platforms of how data is applied to different initiatives. TEG also has dedicated privacy officers who liaise with customers and different business units on issues of data and compliance. Importantly, customers can request to see the data TEG holds about them and update it at any time via their member profiles on the website.

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For an Australian company that has a data scale similar to that of Google and Facebook, TEG’s data transparency has been critical to building consumer trust and, in turn, driving business growth.

Create a culture of empathy

Knowing and respecting your customers is the second tenet of a new data deal, and an empathic organisational culture is what brings it to the fore. Business leaders need to encourage a customer-first philosophy throughout their teams, one in which data is shared responsibly, handled ethically, and applied to create an effective customer experience.

Building this foundation is not only crucial for resilience, it can also mitigate the risk associated with a data breach. The Adobe/Advanis research reveals that while data breaches can have a negative impact on how customers perceive your brand, how you respond to the breach is more important: Of the 20 percent of businesses that have experienced a data breach, 57 percent said their response led to a positive impact on the brand. Meanwhile, of the two-thirds of customers who said they have experienced a breach, only 15 percent stopped doing business with the company entirely.

Drive your data deal with value

However, the fact remains: When you ask for data, you need a good reason for doing so. Personalisation, when done right, is how brands can deliver value, outperform competitors, and increase customer loyalty. Indeed, according to the Adobe/Advanis research, 48 percent of surveyed customers said they like it when they’re recognised by a brand, 45 percent like getting content that’s geared toward their interests, and 40 percent like offers, promotions, and information that match their needs.

These values are being recognised by brands looking to overhaul their customer experience. Take, for example, Australian supermarket giant Coles. Its post-pandemic announcement outlined it would discontinue its home-delivered print catalogues in favour of a shoppable digital catalogue published on a new section of its website. Over time the catalogue will become customised to an individual’s shopping habits, offering tailored weekly specials, information on new products, and shopping tips.

As data-led initiatives are a strong driver of business growth, it’s time for brands to double down on their relationship with data. The data deal we make with our customers should reflect a healthy appetite for change while respecting the opportunity to deliver trusted services to all stakeholders.

Topics: CMO by Adobe, Trends & Research, Customer Stories, Personalization, Analytics, Digital Transformation, Customer Intelligence, Personalized Experience, Experience Cloud,

Products: Analytics, Experience Cloud,