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Consumer Privacy and Marketo

Change has already come to the online marketing space. International law such as the GDPR and Canada’s CASL already affects the way online marketers are forced to operate. While the United States has yet to enact any similar legislation, the passage of California’s CCPA shows that individual states may be willing to experiment with their own versions of legislation addressing consumer privacy.

Meanwhile, outside of government regulation, companies such as Apple and Google are implementing their own changes that are making marketers rethink their strategies. These new options for the public have begun to impact metrics and the way they should be evaluated. For instance, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection means companies relying heavily on email opens will need to pivot to new strategies. When Google Chrome phases out third-party cookies, even more changes will be coming to the world of online marketing.

Reacting to the New Normal

All of these changes restrict what online marketers can see and do with consumer data. There is really no getting around that these particular changes will be difficult for anyone comfortable with the status quo. From a work-process standpoint, online marketers will need to literally perform more work to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Even trickier, from a brand perspective, the new normal is going to require building even more trust in the relationship with target audiences.

Building and maintaining trust in the relationship between brand and consumer is a difficult problem to solve, and it will never be solved permanently. Your communications and calls to action need to encourage the kinds of behaviors that can still be tracked and measured. Future calls to action should incorporate ways to have your audience volunteer information to you.

While not a direct substitution for the loss of tracking cookies, information willingly given feels less invasive when leveraged. However, keep in mind that frequent calls to action need to be balanced against annoying the audience. Balancing the need to get audiences to interact against overwhelming them with noise will be a stunt worthy of a circus acrobat.

Create Trust with a Preference Center

One of the key elements in a trustworthy relationship is not feeling bombarded with unimportant communications. Using a preference center helps ensure that people in your database only receive emails they want to receive. This is a simple way to have audiences volunteer their interests, valuable information under any circumstance. A successful preference center will be carefully considered so the variety of options presented represents a useful array of distinctions to help categorize audiences while not overwhelming people with perceived minutiae. Yes, thought should be put into building trust at all levels of this undertaking.

As an additional bonus, a preference center can potentially save a record from unsubscribing in a couple of ways. First, if someone has stated they want to receive emails about a topic, they are much less likely to be annoyed at seeing an email they do not care about and unsubscribe on a whim. Second, if someone does want to unsubscribe and is instead presented with a well-designed preference center (which should include the option to totally unsubscribe), they may instead opt to update their communication preferences potentially turning what was going to be a person lost forever into volunteered information.

Once your audience has volunteered their interests to you, make sure to respect them. After a preference center is up and running, consider which subset of your overall audience would care about the new content. Imagine the sense of betrayal a consumer would feel if they took the time to fill out their preferences stating they only want to hear about certain content, and you do not filter out anything after they do so. No one likes wasted effort.

Making the most of Marketo

By building out best practice programs, Marketo can ensure you comply with all the pertinent laws and regulations. Fortunately, doing this work is a one-time investment. Build the campaign, test it, set it, and forget it. Until regulations change, assuming the programs built satisfy all the necessary requirements, Marketo will continue to meet those requirements in perpetuity.

That’s not the end of Marketo’s usefulness for building trust. Use Marketo reporting to determine when your audience’s still measurable behavior is shifting. This means decisions should be based more on trends than any one particular action. Guide your decisions by following the data.

Finally, one of the most concrete and impactful actions to start building trust in this new era is the implementation of a clear, concise preference center. You can of course build out a fully customized preference center using Marketo.

As a smart man once said, “The only constant in life is change.” This change is already underway and is still evolving. There will surely be a period of transition as consumers gain more privacy protections. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. The average MQL should increase in value because their interest in the product will be more demonstrable. Additionally, since consumers will be voluntarily receiving solicitations and submitting personal information, the confidence level in leads should increase.

Leadous can help make sure Marketo Engage is doing all the work it can for your company.

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