Original Article: The European Business Review.
By Tom Fricano
The way in which businesses communicate offers, promotions and other marketing messages is changing before our eyes. Consumers’ larger voice and increased power through social media has certainly been a key driver here, but changing regulations and legislation is also creating an environment for businesses to modify and modernize their marketing practices.
In order to accomplish this, businesses need a more direct pathway and visibility into each and every individual customer’s behaviors, needs, and preferences. Organizations have traditionally relied on third-party data to reach their customers but changing policies on collecting tracking cookies and the realization that this type of data cannot provide the reliable insight into personalized preferences has left businesses looking for new and better options.
Businesses are now building strategies to collect this personal data through direct interactions with their customers, known as zero-party data or explicit first-party data. This process results in greater trust between the customer and business and fosters more longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Zero-party data is highly personal insight a customer intentionally, directly, and proactively provides to a brand because they have established a level of trust with that company. This personal insight may include preferences, insights, profile data, consents, and how the individual wants the business to engage them.
Marketers must build a comprehensive strategy to collect, manage, and use zero-party data in new, effective and meaningful ways. Doing so helps them connect with prospects and customers and build trusted relationships. Old ways of doing this, such as generic web and mobile forms are no longer effective. Businesses must truly seek to offer relevant experiences that help the customer accomplish their goals.
Many of these best practices will surely leave a number of businesses scratching their head wondering where and how to build out their websites to accommodate all of these needs. It is important to partner with a marketing technology provider that specializes in consumer trust, preference and consent management, understands the changing landscape of regulations and provides strategic consulting services to tie it all together. Leveraging “technology only” solutions will only end up leaving the business short of these goals and spending even more money in the long run to properly implement these changes – while losing customers along the way.
Once these changes are implemented, businesses will see value grow overtime through better relationships with their customers, a position of leadership, and ultimately, better profits.
Tom Fricano is PossibleNOW’s Senior Practice Director of Strategic Consulting, Tom assists clients with customer experience, preference management and consent initiatives through advisory and strategic consulting, technology expertise and project-to-product-to-implementation roadmaps.
Tom’s 25 years of experience allows him to strategically and tactically apply organizational and technology skills in a manner that builds trust with key stakeholders across client engagements. His expertise spans multiple industry sectors and business initiatives including customer engagement, regulatory compliance, email marketing and automation platforms, eCommerce, back-end systems integration, managed services and hosting, product rollouts, ongoing measurement and data governance. Tom is a trusted advisor helping clients enjoy a rare level of success in solution delivery and advancing their business