The Future of Data for People-Based Marketing: A Return to the Golden Rule

By EventNotesApril 10, 2019

What is the top challenge you currently face in your marketing?

If it’s real-time customer engagement, you’re not alone. Only 29% of marketers feel like they’re able to deliver the right message to the right consumer in the right channel at the right time.

It’s called people-based marketing, and it’s hard!

Layer on top of that the chaos surrounding data privacy regulation and it’s difficult to see a safe path forward.

Marketers everywhere are trying to navigate the weeds. But Ross Shanken and Jeff Beard think they’ve found a solution, and it’s simpler than you think.

So simple, in fact, that you learned it in kindergarten: The Golden Rule.

Digital data is taking over the world, and marketers now face a choice —

Leverage data for self-interest and profit until it gets locked down by regulators, or use it responsibly to help consumers and improve the marketing experience for everyone.

If you picked the latter, thank you, and keep reading.

HOW TO: Apply the Golden Rule to customer data to drive long-term growth

1. The “give-get” principle: consumers will give their data, but only if they get something in return

Consumers willingly exchange their data for improved experience, satisfaction, cost, efficiency, etc., but the moment you stop providing these benefits, you’ll face backlash. Think about it. Facebook combusted the second it came out that their data usage did not directly benefit their customers.

Always check yourself: If you’re getting something from the data that’s not helping the consumer in some way, stay away. Otherwise, it will come back to bite you.

2. Be entirely transparent with consumers in your data reporting

95% of consumers are more likely to remain loyal to a company they trust. In the long run, obscuring your data usage or using it in a way that harms consumers will actually hurt your bottom line.

Plus— these days, consumers can easily do their own research. Don’t kid yourself, there’s no more “flying under the radar.”

3. Build reactive marketing systems instead of focusing solely on outreach

Control is increasingly shifting into the hands of consumers. They have more channels than ever to reach you, and if you can’t respond to them in real time you’ll fall behind.

Build your infrastructure and data assets towards a reactive, consumer-led approach.

4. Take compliance regulation seriously, and be proactive to get out ahead of it

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will be at full force by 2020, and many other states are likely to follow. Be proactive in preparing for the new rules; otherwise you’ll suddenly find yourself noncompliant and scrambling to catch up.

For example, Jeff’s company began working on an automated compliance system for California back in 2018. As CCPA takes hold, they’re already a year ahead of the curve.

5. Shift your mindset from one of “acquiring” customers to one of “helping” them

80% of consumers believe the company experience is as important as their products & services. Think about your data as a way to better understand your customers’ journey and to connect them to a relevant solution, not as a way to just grab them for more profit.

If you don’t, your customers will notice—and shift their behavior accordingly.

6. Navigate the ebb and flow of privacy culture by keeping the Golden Rule front & center

In the 90’s, people predicted the market for data would die out due to backlash over privacy. Then Myspace and Facebook came along, and the floodgates were opened. Now, we’re experiencing another pushback. This back-and-forth is inescapable.

If you always keep your customer’s best interest in mind and only use data for their benefit, then whichever way the pendulum swings, you’ll be on the right side of it.

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