3 ways brands can build trust with privacy-concerned consumers

Wendy Werve and Jim Clark explain how to better understand customers, with video highlights from The MarTech Conference.

3 ways brands can build trust with privacy-concerned consumers

Digital marketers are facing an increasingly regulated environment when it comes to reaching the right customer at the right time. And this new environment exists for a reason — consumers value their privacy.

A recent study by marketing automation company Marigold and digital marketing consultancy Econsultancy took a closer look at how consumers feel about marketers’ messages and tactics. These insights point to ways forward for how marketers can build trust and connect more deeply with customers.

Several winning strategies emerged when the study was discussed at The MarTech Conference (free registration to view the entire program on-demand). Here are some of the study’s findings and key takeaways from the discussion.

Findings about consumer behaviors and preferences

The 2024 Global Consumer Trends Index surveyed over 10,000 consumers globally. Here’s what consumers said about specific marketing channels and practices.

  • 50% of consumers made a purchase from an email in the last year.
  • 84% find personalized birthday offers to be “cool.”
  • 63% will pay more to shop with brands they’re loyal to.
  • 85% say their favorite brand treats them like an individual.
  • 65% will travel out of their way to visit their favorite brand’s location.

This is all positive feedback. However, consumers also expressed some drawbacks.

  • 51% of consumers said they were frustrated by irrelevant content or offers in messages.
  • 61% find ads based on indirect tracking tools like third-party cookies are a creepy marketing tactic.
  • 63% of consumers don’t trust the advertising they see on social media

The study also found a strong connection between data privacy and customer loyalty. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said data privacy is important in maintaining brand loyalty.

Mark sure customers feel they’re being seen and heard

As you can see above, most consumers appreciate birthday wishes from brands. But that just scratches the surface. Consumers want to feel like they’re being acknowledged by brands and understood by them. They want to be treated like individuals.

“There is clear desire among consumers for meaningful interactions with companies that go beyond the transactional,” said Wendy Werve, Marigold’s CMO.

Here’s what she had to say about the deeper meanings that go beyond birthday greetings.

Build relationships with customers around their data

Part of this deeper relationship with customers is about companies being attentive to consumers’ privacy concerns.

Customers have different preferences for the products they buy — marketers are aware of that. Customers also have different preferences for how personal brands get. 

A great way to avoid being perceived as “creepy” is to initiate a conversation with customers about privacy. When brands ask for specific information from their customers and offer value in exchange, the process is more transparent. It builds trust and reduces the potential of customers getting surprised with “creepy” messages using details they weren’t aware the brand knew.

Jim and Wendy discussed the “creepy” factor here and offered solutions.


Don’t abandon surveys, make them better

As we’ve seen already, customers are looking to be better understood by brands. In this context, a survey (a short one, that is) isn’t placing a burden on the customer — it’s providing an opening into a deeper engagement.

By approaching surveys as two-way conversations, customers will open up more and let brand messages in.

Wendy and Jim offered some great tips on keeping surveys fresh by switching up formats, testing them internally, and, of course, keeping them short.

Keeping this in mind, marketers can dive into meaningful conversations with their customers. By deepening the relationship, and by listening instead of blindly blasting messages, brand engagement will be more personal and profitable for both sides of the exchange.


The post 3 ways brands can build trust with privacy-concerned consumers appeared first on MarTech.


About the author

Chris Wood


Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.