You are reading part 1 of a 3-part privacy playbook. Jump to section 2. Ensure your measurement remains accurate and actionable or 3. Drive performance by keeping your ads relevant.
Strengthen your customer relationships with the right value exchange
Whenever people visit your website, use your app, call directly, or purchase from one of your stores, it’s an opportunity to learn more about who they are, what they care about, and how you can meet their needs.
When your customers choose to share data during these direct interactions, it’s called first-party data. Unlike third-party data, the data your customers share with you is unique to your business, and it provides deep insights to help you understand and serve your customers better.
It’s worth noting that when people see concrete value in their relationships with brands, they’re more likely to share their data — and that data will make future exchanges even more valuable. When managed properly, first-party data creates a feedback loop that benefits customers and brands alike.
Source: BCG, Responsible Marketing With First-Party Data, May 18, 2020.
So consider different ways to offer people value in exchange for permission to learn from their information.
- Curate content or product recommendations based on how users browse or engage with your website and app.
- Provide convenience to potential customers who provide their contact information, such as notifying them when a favorite item is back in stock.
- Offer special deals when people agree to provide their email address or phone number and receive your marketing communications.
- Invite people to register for your loyalty program so they can receive rewards or exclusive benefits and content.
Walmart launched Walmart+, a new kind of membership that gives loyal shoppers benefits, including a scan-and-go mobile checkout experience in retail stores and fast, free shipping on eligible purchases. In addition, Walmart began offering larger-scale “brand gestures,” such as hosting drive-in movies in store parking lots, to foster customer relationships.
Walmart’s efforts contributed to a 37% growth in online sales and a 6% total sales growth in the U.S. for Q1 of their fiscal 2021.
PepsiCo invites customers to join its loyalty programs to better understand them and optimize offers based on their preferences. This enables PepsiCo to deliver the right value exchange for each of its loyalty members, which in turn drives retention. This intelligence also helps ensure that consumers see the products they love most on the channels they frequent most often.
PepsiCo’s customer-centric, data-led approach has increased media efficiency and, for some campaigns, resulted in 3X ROI improvement.
Communicate the benefits of your privacy practice to your customers
The goal of getting customer information is to deliver better experiences to those very customers. So you need to be clear with users about what data is being used, what value they’ll get back when granting data permissions, and how they can change those permissions whenever they want.
- Make it memorable
Create clear privacy policies and help users feel in control of their data decisions when they’re interacting with your brand.
People who consciously agree to share their data are more positive about ads presented to them and find them more relevant.1
- Make it meaningful
When people see value in an exchange, they are more likely to engage and share the data that brands need to make future exchanges more valuable.
Globally, 9 in 10 adults say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.2
- Make it manageable
Users should be given full control of settings and features so they can decide how their information is used and when it’s deleted. And once a user has made a choice, it absolutely must be honored. Also, in case they choose to make changes, make it easy to find privacy settings.
People are 3X more likely to react positively to advertising when they feel in control of their data.3
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy requires iOS developers to ask for permission when they use certain information from other companies’ apps and websites for advertising purposes, even if they already have user consent. Optimize your ATT by experimenting with different explanatory or primer messaging to increase customers’ understanding of how data is used.
Build insightful first-party data from your customer relationships
It’s important that you have the tools in place — and permission where required — to generate insightful and actionable first-party data when direct interactions take place. Here’s where you can build your first-party data.
Site visitors: Investing in a strong tagging infrastructure, or sitewide tagging, is a key step toward building a privacy-safe measurement strategy. It’ll be required for all future Google Ads measurement solutions and will allow you to make the most of the data by setting first-party cookies to measure conversions.
You can set up sitewide tagging with any of the following:
- Google tag for Google Ads and Google Analytics 4
- Google Tag Manager for all Google and non-Google tags
- Advanced: server-side tagging available through Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 so you can place third-party tags in a secure cloud server
App users: Add a software development kit (SDK) to your mobile app. This will enable you to gather information from the actions people take when they download and engage with your mobile app. You can do this with the Google Analytics for Firebase SDK, which is available for your Android and iOS apps.
In an internal test, the median campaign that switched to using Google Analytics for Firebase conversions for bidding saw a 13% increase in installs and a 20% increase in in-app events with no significant change to cost per conversion.4
Offline touchpoints: Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help you collect and organize the information that’s shared by people during offline interactions like meetings or phone calls. Then, import your offline conversions to measure campaign performance with Google’s advertising and measurement tools including Google Ads, Google Analytics, Campaign Manager 360, and Search Ads 360.
LähiTapiola, a major insurance provider in Finland, was looking to expand its digital acquisition strategy while maintaining efficiency. LähiTapiola partnered with Google and its agency team, OIKIO, to implement global site tagging across LähiTapiola’s entire website. This enabled the company to use first-party data with its ad campaigns.
With the help of improved measurement and more accurate data for decision-making, LähiTapiola saw a 37% increase in conversions and a 7% decrease in cost per conversion.
Grupo Financiero Actinver, an investment bank in Mexico, traditionally relied on personal relationships to grow its clientele. In 2018, Grupo Financiero Actinver began exploring new ways to attract young professionals. It opted to build an app for the digitally native audience. Once built, Grupo Financiero Actinver looked to Google to help engage with first-time investors and grow its consumer base.
The focus was an App campaign, using machine learning to optimize for the users most likely to become consumers. By implementing Google Analytics for Firebase, Grupo Financiero Actinver’s new app, DINN, was able to learn about its new consumers and monitor performance. These insights helped it understand the user journey, update its strategy to reduce churn, and improve functionality within its app.
Using App campaigns, DINN was able to more than double its user base month over month and saw a 300% increase in conversions. Google Analytics for Firebase provided DINN with insights into why consumers churn, allowing the team to develop targeted messages to bring them back to the app.
Sometimes it can be challenging to form direct relationships with customers, especially if your business has historically relied on mass distribution or broad communication channels to connect with audiences.
If going direct-to-consumer may not be viable, consider working with partners who can help you connect directly and build up your first-party data.
There are several ways brands have done this:
- One American food company goes direct-to-consumer by partnering with home meal kit makers to develop recipes using its food brands.
- A multinational brewing company launched a mobile app for both retailers and consumers to place orders, and where the purchase data — whether from consumer or reseller — flows back to one consolidated database.
- A different beverage company went direct-to-consumer by acquiring an at-home soda maker brand that could offer a way for consumers to connect directly with the beverage company’s soda brands.
Explore the series
Chapter 1. Build direct relationships with your customers