Online sales. Working women in their business. You take new orders online and pack goods … [+]
The way companies connect with their customers and respond to their preferences is paramount in today’s digital world. For years, businesses of all sizes have relied on third-party social media platforms, cookies, and databases to learn more about their customers and their preferences. But that’s changing quickly.
New regulations aim to ban ad targeting, and consumer preferences for data collection suggest this won’t be difficult to achieve. Research shows that 39% of US consumers dislike targeted ads based on information from third-party data collectors. 70% do not trust social media platforms with their data for privacy reasons, and 37% delete cookies regularly.
What does this mean for customer loyalty when brands cannot quickly determine what their customers want, how they should be contacted, or what to offer them in return?
Based on extensive research, Cheetah Digital has developed a system that encourages consumers to share vital psychographic data with brands they know and trust. And consumers are not just a part of it – they go out of their way to express their preferences.
This one-to-one relationship between a company and its customer avoids the need for data collection by third parties. We are in the early stages of the zero party data phenomenon, but as cookies continue to crumble, prepare for a new wave of personalization in the coming year.
Personalization matters – now more than ever
According to Cheetah Digital’s study, based on over 5,000 respondents worldwide, the number of consumers who wanted more personalized offers and services from brands increased by 33% in 2020. In return for these offers, they are more willing to share specific details about themselves and their preferences. Why are consumers suddenly so ready to share more specific details about their interests?
It has to do with something called an exchange of values. Consumers are more willing to tell a brand what matters most to them in exchange for offers that are more relevant to their interests. What is important to one consumer may not be important to another. If a business can target someone’s interests, it can show ads that are actually interesting, resulting in better click-through rates and potential purchases. This is a significant leap from loosely constructed “personas” based on general demographics.
So this is where the future of personalization lies. It can’t just be about what companies think they know. It’s not just based on search history or what social media posts someone likes. We are approaching a new era of marketing where things will become more of an exchange between businesses and consumers. Marketers can now enter into an individual contract with their customers in which they know what those customers are interested in and can engage with them based on those interests and only those interests. It’s about treating people for who they are.
The growing influence of zero-party data
To help companies achieve this level of personalization, Cheetah Digital helps collect so-called zero party data. In contrast to the generalization of third-party data through cookies, Zero Party Data reflects the specific interests that customers have willingly shared with brands. These data points are usually not demographic, but psychographic in nature. This means that they provide insights into things that a company cannot determine from external data sources.
Zero party data includes how a customer prefers a company’s products if they plan to travel in the near future, and what their biggest problems with similar products in the past have been, to name a few. It is important to remember that this data is continuously collected so that companies can continually update their offerings as customer preferences change.
The possibilities for zero party data are almost unlimited. Some companies using the Cheetah Digital platform have collected over 200 different data points on specific customers over a number of years. At Cheetah Digital, brands’ intent to collect zero party data has increased by around 25%. Brands are becoming increasingly aware of this fact – in such a competitive market, customer loyalty and trust are the way forward.
A new era of customer loyalty
The data collection options that marketers have relied on for the past decade are disappearing. Customer loyalty is no longer about offering reward points that apply equally to anyone who signs up or just sends an email with a small discount on their next purchase on a customer’s birthday. Put simply, if this is your approach to building customer loyalty, you are doing it wrong.
When brands and their customers have a more open relationship, everyone wins. Brands can market their customers more effectively with lasting messages, and consumers are less likely to turn off irrelevant contacts that are not beneficial.
From a marketer’s point of view, the results speak for themselves. For example, one Cheetah Digital customer, Pure Archery Group, achieved open rates in excess of 50% when personalizing subject lines in their email marketing campaigns. They were able to get a 5x increase in ad campaign engagement rates using third-party data and generate up to $ 250,000 in one email campaign.
These are no small feats. But now the factor is that Pure Archery Group only sells through qualified retailers and distributors – meaning they have no direct relationship with their end customer? The results will be even more dramatic.
We are entering a new era of marketing, customer loyalty, and a brand’s ability to work directly with their customers. This is the future for any company that wants to build better and longer lasting relationships with their customers.