3 challenges of building customer trust in a privacy-focused world

Building customer trust is vital to the success of any brand. Here's how marketers can increase trust without sacrificing something just as important -- privacy.

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Customers’ increasing privacy expectations is yet another challenge for marketers when it comes to gaining trust. Three expert marketers talked about how to turn those challenges into opportunity during a panel recently at The MarTech Conference.

“Trust is the keyword,” said Chris Wood, MarTech editor and the panel’s host. “Because no matter what kind of marketing you’re in, you’ve seen great changes in the way that consumers are willing to share data with companies and the way that companies manage that data and navigate new regulations and system updates.”

He added, “In short, it seems like privacy is much more a part of the conversation.”

It can’t be said enough — customers expect privacy. Without it, there’s little chance they’ll trust your brand.

However, this can be much easier said than done. Here are three challenges marketers face when seeking to build customer trust and how to address them with privacy compliance.

Challenge #1: Fostering a customer community

“The customer has more choices at their fingertips,” said Reema Batta, CMO at Heyday. “It’s not the same kind of ecosystem or community that used to be around them when brands were launched on retail, where they would trust the retailer selection process to help them determine what products would be good for them and their families.”

“Most brands are now going directly to consumers,” she added.

Trust has become more important in this space than ever before. Yet with more people online, it can be difficult to create a community where customers feel comfortable sharing personal information.

One of the most effective ways brands can garner this trust online is through reviews. They allow customers to share their feelings toward brands and interact with company representatives directly to find solutions to their problems. But, this can only happen if brands are compliant and create a space where customers aren’t pressured to turn over more information than they’re comfortable with.

Done right, review platforms can become the building blocks of a successful community that offers customers greater agency and meets their needs as more people congregate in digital spaces.

“Reviews are extremely important because that is the new version of community that customers are forming as channel disruption is happening from retail to digital channels,” she said.


Challenge #2: Asking customers to trust you with their data

“Part of the choice that individuals have is centered around the elements of trust and privacy,” said Jodi Daniels, CEO and privacy consultant at Red Clover Advisors, LLC. “From the trust side, we have to help [customers] figure out why they should buy your product or service. What makes you special that stands out from the rest?”

Daniels recommended marketers emphasize the problems they’re seeking to solve as clearly as possible in their marketing and ad copy. Whether it’s a call-to-action, sign-up form, or, most importantly, a data consent notice, the message needs to give customers a reason to trust you — both in your ability to address their issue and handle their personal information with care.

Customers want to know if you’re going to deliver a great product or service, but they also want to know what you’re doing with their data. Marketers should make sure customers know if their data is being captured, collected, or shared.

ID Res MIR Cover 24

Identity resolution is not only critical to marketing success but is essential for compliance with consumer privacy laws such as CCPA and GDPR. Explore the platforms essential to identity resolution in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

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Challenge #3: Communicating with customers throughout the lifecycle

“One of the things that we’re seeing is the ability or the need to communicate with customers or potential customers throughout the lifecycle — where you know that individual and you continue a relationship with them,” said Kristina Podnar, digital policy advisor at NativeTrust Consulting, LLC. “So, it’s not a one and done event where you can sell something and then go dark again.”

“It’s an ongoing relationship and it’s about how you treat the individual throughout that relationship,” she added.

As in any good relationship, a marketer for a brand needs to communicate well and often. Don’t leave customers out to dry — make sure they know vital information at each step of their buying journey, assuring them you’re always available as a resource. And above all, make it clear what you’re doing with their data as they move through each stage of the sales cycle.

“We see over and over again that consumers are more than happy to give up information, including very private information, as long as it’s used for convenience purposes,” said Podnar.

She added, “Have respect [for customers] throughout the life cycle, and make sure that data is always protected and you put the consumer first.”

Identity resolution platforms: A snapshot

What it is. Identity resolution is the science of connecting the growing volume of consumer identifiers to one individual as he or she interacts across channels and devices.

What the tools do. Identity resolution technology connects those identifiers to one individual. It draws this valuable data from the various channels and devices customers interact with, such as connected speakers, home management solutions, smart TVs, and wearable devices. It’s an important tool as the number of devices connected to IP networks is expected to climb to more than three times the global population by 2023, according to the Cisco Annual Internet Report.

Why it’s hot now. More people expect relevant brand experiences across each stage of their buying journeys. One-size-fits-all marketing doesn’t work; buyers know what information sellers should have and how they should use it. Also, inaccurate targeting wastes campaign spending and fails to generate results.

This is why investment in identity resolution programs is growing among brand marketers. These technologies also ensure their activities stay in line with privacy regulations.

Why we care. The most successful digital marketing strategies rely on knowing your potential customer. Knowing what they’re interested in, what they’ve purchased before — even what demographic group they belong to — is essential.

Dig deeper: What is identity resolution and how are platforms adapting to privacy changes?

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Corey Patterson
Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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