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The equitable exchange – why personalization is our duty

January 22, 2015 by Experian Marketing Services

Marketers: personalization is our duty

Customers willingly give brands a lot of information. Some brands collect names, birthdays, message preferences and location in addition to contact information like email address, phone number and physical address. Brands that connect through Facebook and other social media accounts gain access to even more information – a person’s likes, friends/followers, age, demographics and more.

Why are so many consumers willing to share this information? In a recent webinar, Ed Kowalski, Senior Director of Strategic Services at Experian Marketing Services refers to this phenomenon as the equitable exchange – customers provide companies with personal information because they believe it will enhance their brand experience. In return, marketers have a duty to responsibly use that data to benefit the customer.

Consumers want personalization. Marketers: personalization is our duty.Personalization is an oft-discussed strategy in marketing, but many marketers struggle to make it a reality. In fact, a recent study found that 94 percent of companies have challenges relating to personalization.

Yet marketers continue to collect more customer data – without a clear plan to utilize any of the data in a personalized context.

Consider a brand that collects birthdate as part of its subscription process. As a consumer, I will only provide my birthdate if I can imagine a benefit to doing so. And I can – the brand may send me personalized well-wishes or even a special offer on my birthday each year. Because I’m willing to share my birthdate, I expect that the brand will use that data to engage me on a personal level. If they don’t, I’m likely to feel that the data I shared was not used productively, which will damage my perception of the brand and make me more reluctant to share information with them in the future.

This concept extends to behavioral data too. Consumers often realize that companies may have data on their past purchases, browsing behavior and more. With this assumption in mind, they expect this data to be used to create more relevant brand experiences as well. Remarketing campaigns like abandoned cart emails and display ads targeted by browse behavior are increasing in popularity, as 69 percent of marketers in our most recent survey run these types of campaigns. This means customers are coming to expect them.

So what does this mean for marketers? Not only is it a best-practice to personalize messaging based on customer data, but it’s often a requirement. Consumers are saying, “Show me that you know me.” As marketers, we need to make good on the unspoken promise of this equitable exchange.

It doesn’t need to be hard. Check out the slides below or watch the webcast to learn how brands can begin to implement more personalized, relevant messages today.