Privacy sign and word on a computer keyboard button conceptual 3d illustration.

By Andrew Fegley

Customers across all industries expect companies to understand and respond to their needs in thoughtful, intuitive and targeted ways. Time and time again, research has proven that customers want these organizations to respond to their needs and behaviors.

And as we know, personalization is one of the primary keys to driving conversion.

These stats prove just that:

  • 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history (Accenture)
  • 63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly (Marketo)
  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience (Forrester)

But there’s a catch: Prospects and customers want personalization — without sacrificing their privacy.

It’s created a challenge for organizations. How can you leverage the massive amounts of data you have about your prospects, visitors, and customers — in ways that benefit them through enhanced messaging and one-to-moment marketing — without compromising their privacy?

Let’s take a look at four keys:

1) Find The Right Balance of Personalization and Privacy

No two companies or customers are alike. Your organization should have a fairly deep understanding of what your prospects and customers want. With that in mind, it’s critical to create a privacy approach for your organization that’s specifically geared toward your business goals — but with the needs of your prospects and customers at the center of this approach.

2) Put Someone in Charge

Privacy rules and trends are ever-changing as organizations have more data than ever before. But without someone steering the ship, it’s easy to misstep. Make it someone’s priority to be the Chief Privacy Officer at your organization — and empower her to monitor privacy trends and news — crafting policy best practices and guidelines that help you ensure you are doing what is best for your prospects and customers.

3) Be Clear With Your Consumers

People are concerned about data and privacy practices they don’t understand. What are these companies doing with my information? Are they hiding something from me? Ensure you — and your vendors and partners — are taking the right specific steps to transparently state how their data will be used, why, and what kinds of messaging they can expect. That brings us to our next point.

4) Choose Your Partners Wisely

Choosing a vendor partner that doesn’t hold your same privacy standards is asking for trouble. In fact, this is where many companies go wrong. To the outside world, your vendor is acting on your behalf — and when that vendor violates privacy compliance agreements, it’s a mess.

As technologies and data continue to grow, it’s up to us, the marketers, to be responsible stewards of data. And that means balancing personalization with privacy to deliver customer experiences that drive conversion — without sacrificing privacy.

Andrew Fegley is the president of Remarketable.