Published on November 8, 2023, 11:35 pm

A recent survey conducted by Gartner, a leading research and advisory firm, has shed light on the challenges faced by marketing leaders in collecting first-party customer data while maintaining an appropriate balance between customer value exchange and privacy. According to the survey, 60% of marketing leaders believe that this task will become even more challenging in 2023.

The survey, which included responses from 400 marketing leaders, also revealed some interesting insights into the current state of data management and privacy. While 85% of respondents claimed to have implemented a formal policy to manage customer data, privacy remains an ongoing challenge for many. Despite this, marketers are increasingly leaning towards personalization, with 42% of respondents executing one-to-one personalized messages to customers.

However, due to the depreciation of third-party cookies, sources of data are disappearing. As a result, marketers are facing difficulties in enhancing their first-party data strategy. Ant Duffin, senior director analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, emphasizes the need for marketers to adapt by leveraging new sources of data to fuel personalization and build deep customer relationships.

In response to growing consumer awareness about data privacy, 78% of marketing leaders empower their customers to manage their own data. This not only aligns with customer expectations but also helps organizations build trust and loyalty. Furthermore, 82% of respondents indicate that their organizations prioritize first-party data as a means to create immediate value for customers.

The importance of prioritizing first-party data is highlighted by the fact that almost a third of survey respondents admitted abandoning an agency or channel partner over the past year due to concerns regarding customer trust or privacy. It is clear that maintaining strong customer relationships relies on effective data management practices.

Marketing leaders who place significant emphasis on first-party data achieve remarkable results. More than half of those who prioritize its use reported exceeding their customer retention expectations. Interestingly, organizations that pursue multichannel strategies benefit greatly from prioritizing first-party data. Despite conventional wisdom suggesting that managing fewer marketing channels would make it easier to pivot towards first-party data, the survey found the opposite to be true.

Organizations that manage 11 or more marketing channels are more likely to increase their first-party customer data collection compared with those managing 10 or fewer channels. Moreover, these organizations are also more likely to drive growth through new experiences and service channels, as well as leverage AI to deliver personalized customer engagements.

In conclusion, the issue of data privacy is not going away anytime soon. It is crucial for digital marketing leaders to build strategies that secure the necessary data while keeping the needs of customers at the forefront. By prioritizing and effectively managing first-party data, marketers can exceed customer retention expectations and drive growth in a privacy-conscious landscape.

(Note: This article is an original piece based on information from Gartner’s survey findings.)

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