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Balancing Personalization and Privacy in 2022

A new year is upon us and personalization is in focus for marketers, clearer than ever before. But as data privacy regulations continue to evolve, the delicate balance of creating the personalized experience users expect while considering data privacy continues to be an uncertain path.

Marketers are finding themselves trying to navigate a balancing act that has no end in sight. As they work across digital channels to prioritize ways to improve brand experience, retain customers, grow business and most importantly, give people what they have come to expect, marketers must be conscious to carefully capture and securely store the sensitive data that makes personalized content come to life. 

As we continue to move forward in this privacy-centric yet personalized world, successful marketers will need to focus on treating people as unique individuals rather than a collective audience. Doing so in a meaningful and intentional way not only fosters subscriber loyalty but also brand buy in, which is a win-win scenario. And most importantly, personalization equals happy customers and more business. 

Transparency creates trust

So what’s the key to being privacy conscious while also improving your customer profiles? Transparency. It’s not that people won’t share, it’s that they want to know why they are being asked to do so and it’s your job to illustrate the value exchange in plain language. Explaining your process—what you’re wanting to collect, how you plan to use it to benefit the audience, and most importantly, how your plan to protect personal information—will not only be appreciated but result in a stronger bond with your brand. 

Good marketers know that personalization is good for business. Customers want to feel like more than just more money contributing toward the bottom line. They want to be part of the process. And by taking the time to understand them and address them as individuals, you create trust which fosters a relationship that lasts beyond your last email or digital interaction. Carefully curated messages also allow the opportunity to learn about your customers at every interaction, better informing marketing processes and business decisions. 

Creating dynamic email messaging based on details you know not only establishes a mutually beneficial relationship, but also makes the subscriber feel valued. The experience then naturally takes on a more personal approach, changing the messaging from making a sale to guiding a digital friend through a uniquely customized experience with your brand, one they will remember and refer to for future needs. 

Automation does the heavy lifting

One you’ve got the wheels in motion and have great insight about your audience, execution can still feel like that final stumbling block. Automation will be the name of the (personalization) game for 2022. Customizable solutions that allow you to update your messaging without the manual lift, can be a game changer.

Relying on automation opens up opportunities to reach people in new and different ways with tailored communication meant just for them. With the ability to tap into data feeds to show products based on current inventory and pricing available at the time the message is opened, you’ll be able to access the best solution for your audiences. This allows you to minimize unnecessary friction and maximize revenue. 

Personalization is here to stay

Personalization is here to stay and will continue to be a focus across marketing channels. The looming end of third-party cookies and increased privacy regulations should be viewed as a massive opportunity to work to customize your marketing and develop greater relationships with your customers. Taking the time to communicate with increased transparency and honesty will go a long way in creating customer loyalty. More importantly, being forthcoming about your intentions to benefit customers will be rewarded with loyalty and continued business down the road. 

Melissa Sargeant

Melissa Sargeant

Melissa Sargeant was the CMO at Litmus