How to convince customers to share data

By Anders Björklund

How to convince customers to share data

As the options for targeted digital advertising shrink, marketing leaders must convince customers to volunteer their data — and manage that first-party data capture effectively.

Google has issued salvation to digital advertisers, saying it won't scrap technology that tracks web-browsing habits. Still, the respite is possibly short and doesn't remove the urgency for you and your company to convince your potential and existing customers to volunteer their data about preferences and behaviour (first-party data).

To succeed in the world of consent-based advertising, all digital leaders must accelerate when, where and how they will collect, aggregate and deploy first-party data. In addition, they'll need best-in-class tactics to incentivise customers to share first-party data, data and analytics management capabilities to handle the data.

The demise of third-party cookies

The third-party cookies were initially designed to store information anonymously under the control of end users. Still, they were seized on by ad tech providers to amass and link datasets to target and measure particular ads.

As a result, Google and Apple have announced moves to increase customer governance over their data, citing privacy concerns. So digital marketing leaders face disruption, including:

  • Ad targeting, buying, and optimisation strategies will be upended, especially for performance-oriented campaigns and custom audiences.
  • Attribution and optimisation practices are constantly evolving, incrementally testing and improving app-to-web tracking.

The actions to prepare for first-party data capture

Eventually, digital leaders must get customers to share their preferences by building compelling touchpoints for data capture as customers make their way to purchase on owned channels.

When done right, first-party data will strengthen customer relationships, enabling companies to provide more personalised and relevant experiences. And how you gather and manage first-party data will be critical. So here are three things that I believe digital marketers should be focused on right now.

Establish a foundation for customer data management

Before accelerating your customer data collection, you should evaluate your organisational structure and capabilities — to identify efficiencies and close gaps.

In a B2B company, data management, integration, and formatting should be among the top three most time-consuming activities.

The challenge of effectively integrating and utilising customer data is becoming more pressing as regulations on third-party sources increase.

B2B companies must tackle capabilities and technologies, including the best use of customer data platforms and the most effective data acquisition processes, storage and organisation. They must also benchmark the maturity of their advanced analytics and learn what best practices are and how to follow them.

Tailor data collection for current conditions

Customers are increasingly concerned about who is collecting their data, how much of their behaviour is tracked and what happens with their information and data. So, be prepared to tailor your data collection approaches to ensure customers are willing to share.

You'll need to follow the data privacy best practices and set a clear strategy — perhaps using lessons learned by your peers — to incentivise account signup and use first-party data to improve the customer experience across all websites, apps and emails.

Create compelling touchpoints for the data collection on owned channels

Getting customers to volunteer information about themselves requires a compelling value proposition.

Popular models include loyalty programs that solicit data for transactional and experiential rewards. Still, opportunities exist to incentivise account creation or data capture outside traditional loyalty programs.

There are several opportunities to learn more about your customers post-purchase. For instance, if you follow up with your customer post-delivery, you may be able to act upon the input and feedback and improve over time. In addition, retargeting efforts and 1:1 communication through email and social media continue to capture valuable information for marketers.

All companies must get more sophisticated about using data from loyalty programs to deepen engagement on their owned channels to strengthen customer retention efforts. And turn points of friction or churn within the post-purchase experience into an opportunity to collect valuable data and feedback.

For more insights into how to work with your data and your CRM, check out our in-depth guide on the topic. If your company needs to get its data in order, and if you're interested in actually getting something out of it, feel free to book a meeting with me, and we can discuss it further.

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Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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