Consumer trust and privacy: the marketer’s challenge

Privacy concerns have reached a boiling point. Consumers, regulators, web browsers, advertisers, and brands…all are evolving to meet the ever-changing landscape. Marketers consider the best way to reach customers while respecting their privacy.

We’ll discuss what’s to come in terms of consumers, as well as what brands can do to gain or maintain consumer trust for competitive advantage.

The impact of consumer privacy

With the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), effective January 1, 2020, marketers can expect more states in the United States to enact their consumer regulations, leading to national legislation.

Browsers and Manufacturers Fight for Privacy

As consumer attitudes toward privacy change, personal experiences that give consumers control over their data are critical to brand success.

Consumers’ desire for control over data is now forcing browsers and manufacturers to constantly update their system versions to address consumer privacy issues such as deleting cookies, reducing location data usage, and more. To avoid losing consumer confidence, web browsers will strive to create a privacy advocate that puts customer trust and interests first.

We will see companies leaning towards privacy as a competitive differentiator. This privacy “competition” will cause major brands to make bold claims about their privacy offerings.

Since no organization wants to be seen as “anti-privacy,” it appears that brands want to give customers more options to remain anonymous and provide greater transparency about what data is used ​and how they can access it.

Digital advertising surpassed by walled gardens

Lack of transparency, performance fraud, ad blocking, and frequency of spam advertising are hallmarks of the digital advertising industry. The result is daunting engagement numbers.

 As a result of the “walled gardens” created by advertising giants Google and Facebook, we will see digital ad formats become less personal in 2022. This is a complete step away from the hyper-targeted ads we’ve been promoting for 10 years.

Termination of Traditional Marketing Cloud Service Providers

Traditional cloud marketing providers such as Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce have long relied on cookies to “spy on” consumers and document their behavior to help brands market to other unknown users. However, this tactic is not as easy as it used to be.

Customers no longer want brands to look around and deduce what they want. Brands must adapt to a new, non-invasive way of reaching consumers or risk losing market share.

Over the next few years, marketers will shift to using third-party data—that is, data that is intentionally and proactively shared directly from consumers. This strategy encourages personal marketing with consumer consent to build direct relationships with them.

Relaunch of loyalty programs

Finally, expect brands to double their loyalty programs to reward ongoing one-on-one interactions with customers.

Increased consumer data privacy legislation and measures to restrict the use of tracking cookies will trigger a paradigm shift in communications between brands and customers. However, many consumers want to exchange personal data for loyalty points, personalized offers, and benefits.

Over the next few years, we will see a relaunch of loyalty programs as a way to gather consensus-based data and drive customer engagement. When executed correctly, this strategy can help deliver customer experiences that build relationships, bonds, and trust between a brand and its customers.

In 2022 and beyond, consumers will reward brands for their genuine efforts to ensure their data strategies evolve by incorporating privacy into their solutions, from tracking through cookies to using data directly from the consumer to personalize liver experiences.