Thought Leadership: Bring Your Own Data (BYOD) — How To Rethink Personalization With The Consumer In Mind

By Varun Gudiseva, VP of Commercialization, Tapad — Imagine a world where every piece of technology around you is always used to help make your life easier. Your phone captures all your daily habits to forecast what time is the best for you to wake up to make the 9 am meeting while looking at the traffic between your home and office. Consumers are more than willing to share their data as long as it helps them simplify their life.

That’s what we are all working towards in this industry — that ideal world where we truly know our consumer, to the point where we understand their wants, needs and issues and are able to provide solutions in a way that builds trust and loyalty and simplifies their life. It will be a long road, but we are steadily making progress.

As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned during his testimony in the Cambridge Analytica case, consumers are generally open to the advertising experience as long as it is personalized to their needs. Think about it: as consumers we give technology access to every aspect of our lives in order to get a more personalized experience in return.

Here are a few ways to improve the consumer experience now that will not only impact immediate campaigns but in the long-run open the door to a long-lasting relationship in the future.

Personalization Is The Cornerstone For Consumers To Share Their Data

Recent research from Accenture reveals that consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that treats them in a personalized manner, with 91% of consumers more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to marketers. If you know your consumer, your consumer is more willing to interact with you and your brand. So why are so many brands damaging their relationships with consumers by serving irrelevant content?

Consumers’ willingness to rely on technology, and provide personal insights that can customize behaviors on the devices that make their lives more convenient, creates an immense amount of data that marketers can analyze to truly identify a consumer. What marketers need to consider is how best to create an experience that respects consumers’ willingness to share that data without invading their space and making them feel like they are being taken advantage of.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Data) To Build A More Personalized Strategy To Connect With Your Consumer

Recently, Facebook announced the removal of third-party data usage because it felt third parties created segments that may or may not be accurate, but which brands were indiscriminately using to target users with the same message. This move is a step in the right direction for the industry. By removing the third-party resource, marketers are being challenged to think more creatively about the data they own, bringing their own data to the table versus activating a third-party segment. BYOD is an opening to rethink personalization itself. Mastering this creative outlet will allow brands to leverage their own information to create an experience their current customers welcome, and attract potential customers they know they are a fit for.

For example, say a retailer is looking to home in on male college students ahead of back-to-school season for new footwear they are promoting. As the retailer begins the campaign, they realize the segment size of male college student buyers is roughly five million. Traditionally, retail marketers would treat all of these men the same, serving them the message and offer across the same channels.

With BYOD, the retailer brings their own first-party data to the forefront and notices that of those five million male college students, 500K are not the direct consumer because their parents are purchasing for them, another 500K are shopping for shoes based on a specific style and 300K are within the retailer’s loyalty program and thus faithful to purchasing a brand (e.g. Jordans). Retail marketers can now rethink their approach to targeting this massive segment and can create three custom experiences — one for each audience within the larger segment.

Treat People Like People, Not A Measurement  

So at what point will brands be invited into an individual’s personal ecosystem and embedded into their daily routine? The key is personalization. There are tools being developed even as we speak to help build a single view of the consumer, so marketers can analyze all consumer touch points along their journey and take action appropriately based on the proper insights.

The only way we can get to this integrated point is if we empower brands to capitalize on consumers’ willingness to share data and the advantage of BYOD strategies, in the right way. This is something that we need to move forward with as an industry — marketers, technology providers and consumers. The marketing world is still in flux when it comes to consumer trust and needs to prove it won’t take advantage of people for its own gain. This starts with the implementation of highly personalized campaigns that leverage the power of first-party data to uncover each individual’s behaviors, lifestyle, intent and purpose for conversion.

(This article originally posted on Retail Touchpoints