If companies are to attract long-term customer trust and improved revenue as a result, then the era of data stalking must come to an end
It seems counterintuitive to everything that brands have been working to achieve in their marketing strategies over the past decade, but today the best way to win a customer is through a simple invitation.
Businesses are walking a tightrope when it comes to customer trust and loyalty, following a two-year period where digital proficiency has risen, and a wealth of choice is being unearthed. Consumers can afford to be more fickle than ever before, and they are not necessarily willing to offer second chances.
This lack of tolerance may come from poor service provision, fulfilment or customer service. But more and more, it comes from an eerie feeling of being watched – almost stalked. Such is the scope of data analytics and AI in the present day.
Customers have had enough.
“Data surveillance and intrusion has run its course and exclusive offers are making a resurgence for higher profits and better data,” explains Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, a company that, for the past 10 years, has explored the role of data relationships to help eliminate friction and fraud, and to champion the importance of personalised marketing.
He adds: “As consumers take more interest in who they trust with their personal data, SheerID provides marketers with a new approach where they can create an exchange by giving gated, personalised offers to consumer communities that share a core attribute, such as their life stage or profession.”
This concept has evolved from the theory that consumers are actually happy to share personal, zero-party data, but only when being offered something of real value in return. By truly getting to know the individual, brands can offer customers a more personal invitation to what they’ve said they want, rather than something based on predictions of what they might want.
“In terms of digital marketing, we’re entering a future where ‘invited personalisation’ will become commonplace. That is, one where the consumer raises their hand and knowingly opts into an offer they want,” Weatherly affirms. “This approach differs significantly from traditional forms of personalisation where the marketer secretly tracks the prospect online and tries to add data and attributes without consent.”
Taking a more subtle, patient and transparent approach may seem counter productive to companies that have had concepts like ‘big data optimisation’ shouted at them for so long. But the evidence clearly shows that invited personalisation is the way forward. Consumers have expressed a willingness to be invited, rather than stalked, and brands must trust in this method if they are to instil trust in return.
Weatherly continues: “If they haven’t already, marketers need to begin shifting away from a dependence on third-party data. Not only is it notoriously inaccurate, but changes to Apple’s iOS and Google Chrome will make it virtually impossible to run campaigns based on third-party cookies moving forward.”
This transition doesn’t have to be a solo pursuit. SheerID has been helping brands gather zero-party data through verification of potential customers for more than a decade. Each individual is invited to provide their details, not only to verify their standing as a target customer, but to ensure that they, in return, only receive recommendations or marketing campaigns that they have already put their hand up for.
This enhancement of consumer control in the provider-buyer relationship has already become an expectation for many. People want personalisation, but on their terms. And it can all start with a simple invitation.
Weatherly concludes: “Data gathered directly from consumers allows marketers to understand them on a deeper level, and establishes the difference between identification (what demographic they fall into) and identity (who they actually are).
“When you steer away from stalking consumers online and adopt this approach instead, then we have already seen that you can build a longer-term relationship truly built on transparency and trust.”
For more information, please visit sheerid.com/zero-party-data
Promoted by SheerID