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Why Wayin Greeted GDPR With Glee, And What It Can Change for You

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Heightened worries about data safety are about to change the way we interact with customers. Wayin believes that change is for the better.

Facebook and Google are being called before Congress and the EU. GDPR has drastically changed disclosure of how data is used. Several US states are starting to explore enacting their own data protections.

And Wayin’s Rich Jones couldn’t be more excited about it all.

“As marketers, it’s going to make us better.”

His session, presented in conjunction with Bauer Media Group, posed a provocative question: “Can Privacy and Personalization Co-Exist?” As you may have guessed, he believes they can. The secret? Where the data we employ comes from- and crucially, who gives it to us. Jones believes we’re moving away from a third party data economy, into a first party data economy…but we are moving into a zero party economy. In this model of data gathering, we need not worry about having to stealthily steal data, nor should we worry about seeming creepy as we try to infer it. We can just ask. We should just ask.

Ask, And Then Act

According to Forrester’s Fatemah Khatibloo, “Zero party data is data a customer intentionally and proactively shares with your brand.” Khatibloo’s firm predicts that by this time next year, 15% of global firms will rely on this strategy to gather information and customize experiences accordingly.

Bauer Media Group’s Maria Reyes admitted to sharing this data with brands when asked, but also to being disappointed when it wasn’t used as she’d hoped. She used birthdays as an example: we often share our birthdays when asked, even when optional, in hopes of getting an incentive or discount during our birthday month. When she doesn’t get those things, she wonders: why ask?

Zero Party Personalization in Action

Reyes’ coworker Chris Rutherford shared a number of examples where the brand has had success in creating value for customers that prompts them to share their personal data. Airwick let people customize their own air-freshening products in exchange for basic demographic data. Kraft-Heinz let people share that data in exchange for meals donated to charity. And Hays Travel created a Santa tracker that would move Father Christmas closer and closer to his final destination with the volunteering of this information.

In all of these cases, customers or prospective customers were offered some value in exchange for their data, and they shared it voluntarily. And Reyes was adamant that this works under the right circumstances. “People will give you their data, if the value exchange is there. Once you have the data, it’s up to us marketers to use that data in a tailored way.” If they don’t, the negative results are swift and visible. Think about the unsubscribe numbers you see after people were opted into something they didn’t ask for.

Let the Value Match the Ask

What should that level of value be? That will depend on the brand, the circumstances, and the data you need, the panel says. Jones recalled a time, shortly after the release of an iPad, where iPads were the prize for everything—whether it made sense or not. “We have to get sophisticated as an industry,” he insisted. What incentive, discount, or need can your call include to compel people to share their data? Thinking intentionally about that question will, as he says, make us all better marketers. And if you don’t think it over? People can say no. “Fundamentally, consumers need to have protection over their own data.”

In some ways, the stage is already set for this type of industry transformation: 50% of consumers, by one survey’s estimate, want Stories from brands that come with offers baked in. They acknowledge the need to provide data in exchange for it, and they’re ready to do so. How will you proceed?

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