Consumer data has become an extremely valuable commodity for businesses – unlocking a web of possibilities for customer targeting, market research, product enhancement and so much more. However, consumers are becoming increasingly aware (and concerned) about the privacy and security risks associated with data collection – as they should be. What does this mean for businesses hoping to harvest consumer data? You must first work to earn their trust, and present them with a worthy trade-off.
Transparency is the key to trust in any relationship – and that includes brand-to-consumer. Your consumers need a reason to want to share data with you. It’s important to be upfront about what data is needed, and why. Beyond explaining why it’s necessary, tell them how they will benefit from it, and what steps you’ve taken to ensure their personal data is protected. They’re more likely to authorize consent if you’re explicit and to-the-point, rather than if you bombard them with a request form full of legal jargon. In the case of privacy and security, asking permission is better than asking for forgiveness.
Who is your target audience? Where do they generally lie on the spectrum of privacy and security concern and consent hesitancy? It’s important to tailor your message appropriately. Too little explanation or lack of consent for an older audience might give off the impression that you’re taking advantage of their lack of digital literacy.
People want leverage on how their data is being used. Building a consumer-mediated data exchange lets consumers manage their personal data and control how that information is used by your organization – giving them both authority and peace of mind. Prioritize consent from your consumers before collecting any data, and make information preferences and opt-ins/outs simple and straightforward.
Consumers are looking for a return that benefits them as much as, or if not, more, than it benefits you. Make sure you’re delivering on the value they demand. Is it convenience? Is it a more streamlined process? Is it access to free content or insights? Is it for a better, more personalized app experience? Is it to advance research for the greater good? Pinpoint the biggest value(s) you’re able to give consumers in exchange for their personal data, and tell them exactly what they’re getting out of the bargain. They’ll be more willing to share data with you when they know the full value they’ll receive from you.
It’s important to find the right balance between value and privacy concerns. Don’t overstep by collecting more data from consumers than you need, which might break trust. Figure out exactly what data you require to drive value for your business and your consumers. This will also help streamline your marketing strategy.
If you’re working with an agency, like FIFTEEN, we can help you to decipher which data is most pertinent to your marketing strategy while sorting through the logistical and legal complexities of capturing consumer data and making sure that it’s secure – giving you the confidence to support your principle. Then we’ll communicate integrity and transparency in your data collection process, and rationale, to your consumers from the get-go using approachable, comprehensive language that earns you their trust. Once you’ve collected the data, we’ll help you digest the information and find new ways to strengthen your products, services or efficiencies.