You’ve likely heard the story of the Minneapolis father who discovered his teenage daughter was pregnant after Target sent her coupons for maternity clothes and related items (if not, it’s summarized in this Forbes piece).
This anecdote illustrates one of the defining questions of our time when it comes to data-driven marketing:
How can companies provide customers targeted offers without making them feel, as a Target spokesperson at the time put it, “queasy?”
The “queasy” or “icky” factor certainly presents companies with a challenge, and the lagging response to GDPR underscores that companies are struggling to effectively address the problem. In fact, now months after the new GDPR rules went into effect, and still more than a thousand US news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, still aren’t available in Europe.
Despite these findings, most marketing gurus agree that GDPR and general concerns surrounding data privacy don’t signal the death knell for data-driven marketing. Consumers’ demand for convenience and a highly personalized customer experience will ultimately win out over privacy concerns—if they perceive the value exchange to be worthwhile, and the company to be transparent and trustworthy.
So, what’s the key to ensuring that they do?
Success starts with developing a strong, foundational data strategy aimed at making data accessible and actionable by employees on the front lines.
From an operational perspective, this means ensuring that all systems are underpinned by a business intelligence and predictive analytics platform. Only then can companies and customer-facing employees obtain the necessary intelligence that enables them to provide the personalized services, on-demand offerings and other modes of convenience for which customers will happily exchange their personal information.