In this article, originally published on Modern Marketing Today, Paige O’Neill shares her thoughts on how brands need to find the balance between customer data and their trust. This article highlights a three-step plan that retailers can use to discover only the necessary information from customers while establishing trust in the process.
Customer data can boost an organization’s digital strategy. But it can only be a brand’s greatest strength if they have their customers’ trust. Data and trust are integral to understanding the customer base in today’s world. With the rapid increase of information at the hands of retailers, brands need to keep customer privacy in mind and protect the data. Data helps organizations understand customers, what content needs to be created, how content is performing, and more. Paige O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer at Sitecore, recently commented that “data is the driving force behind the new era of trust. In an age of rapidly evolving privacy regulations, it’s [the brand’s] opportunity to deliver value, differentiate, and gain competitive advantage. Data is not a marketing problem. It’s not a sales problem. It’s not a customer success problem. It’s a company problem.”
According to O’Neill, 50 percent of retailers say data gaps, data fragmentation, or getting access to data is a significant challenge. Brands need to create relationships and ensure they have their customers’ trust to establish a partnership where data can be shared. Since more data breaches are occurring, customers are wary about their data and the privacy and security surrounding it. Brands need to invest in data governance strategies and create a plan that protects their customers.
The three-step data plan that O’Neill advised includes: eliminating dirty data, targeting strategic datasets, and making data management a team sport. By ensuring that the right processes are in place and holding workers accountable, brands can clean-up their data and make it easier to keep privacy front of mind.
“[Retailers] must trust their datasets, and, in turn, customers need to trust [brands] with the responsible use of their data,” said O’Neill. Then, retailers can segment their customers and examine their information to see what data is valuable. This process helps agencies determine what personal data is necessary and filter out the rest. Brands will learn what specific information needs to be gathered rather than taking all of it. And, finally, retailers can collaborate with brands to ensure that the data is governed consistently and secured to comply with regulations.
Continual data protection promotes customer trust. Brands can create a security and privacy-first mindset that sets up customer data and trust for success by having and executing a data governance plan. Customer data can identify valuable insights about the brand, so organizations need to establish trust-based relationships that continue to be valuable the brand and its retailers.
Learn more about Paige O’Neill’s three-step plan here.