How often do brands find a balance between the obvious benefits of personalisation and customer’s privacy concerns? The most effective tactics employ zero-party data to drive marketing and sales, give consumers power over how their data is used, and build transparency and privacy into every department’s operations. Zero-party data is essentially data that the customer provides intentionally.

While today’s customers may be interested in personalised perks like weekly smartwatch usage reports, they will likely be turned off by recommendations that are too invasive, such as the disastrous incident where Target’s advertising algorithm revealed to a father that his teenage daughter was pregnant when she was sent coupons for baby items. The risk behind using inferences for marketing is that companies may unintentionally touch on sensitive topics and drive consumers away in droves.

By relying solely on zero-party data, you can avoid PR disasters and help customers develop trust in your brand. Plus, businesses that lead the way in ethical and transparent data collection often gather superior quantity and quality data. This is because when customers know their data is used ethically and responsibly, they are more willing to provide additional, accurate information.

Customisation: the best of both worlds

Companies can demonstrate a commitment to privacy as a key value by outlining how consumer information is collected and used and by allowing consumers to manage their own advertising settings.

Giving consumers more control over their data results in more effective targeted advertising. Customised advertising also creates a space where customer and company interests intersect. When brands empower customers to create their own experiences, they are more equipped to anticipate and address their demands.

Data. Image by
Kevin Ku /

Customised responsible roles

Apart from providing role-based security and privacy training, several businesses have developed positions for business information security and privacy officers (BISPOs). BISPOs ensure that security is taken seriously when business enablement decisions are made by ensuring employees remain aware of security and privacy practices.

Assuming accountability for good security practices increases revenue, as companies can avoid potentially-catastrophic costs that result from poor security practices.

Consumers are collectively establishing the line between wanted and unwanted personalisation. While crossing the boundary can be detrimental to the brand-consumer connection, successful companies understand predicted customer reactions and work within them.

Customisation based on zero-party data allows a business to establish trust and respect while simultaneously providing effective, personalised information.

  • Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa, Zoho Corp.
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