Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction. However, they don’t trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. This is the dilemma companies everywhere are currently facing, according to new data from Twilio

The third annual State of Personalisation Report 2022 is based on two international surveys conducted in April and May of this year. A consumer survey targeted adults who purchased something online in the past six months. A business survey targeted B2B and B2C business managers and above who are familiar with their company’s customer experience, marketing tech, or customer data strategies. 

Twilio’s report shows lack of trust is increasingly affecting consumer buying decisions. 60% of consumers say trustworthiness and transparency are the most important traits of a brand. This is a statistic up from 55% in 2021. 

The personalisation vs privacy paradox

Delivering personalised experiences requires personal data. Therefore, changing consumer attitudes towards sharing information online creates a paradox for businesses. 

First-party data, or data collected directly from customers with their consent, is optimal for privacy. According to the Twilio report, 63% of consumers say they are fine with personalisation. This is only if brands are using their own data, and not that which is from third parties.

Consumer privacy is a generational challenge; and an opportunity

Half of the companies Twilio surveyed said recent changes to data privacy regulations have made personalisation more difficult. But with Google set to join Firefox and Safari in banning third-party cookies by the end of 2023, the shift to first-party data is no longer optional.

Many companies are already responding to these changes in consumer preferences, regulations, and technology. 43% of business leaders embrace first-party data because it provides better privacy for customers.  

Data and technology hurdles to personalisation at scale

Twilio’s report shows most businesses are still struggling to achieve omnichannel personalisation. This is despite 6 out of 10 respondents reporting increased investment in personalisation in 2022. The most common barriers include lack of technology, unclear ROI, lack of accurate data, and organisational impediments. 

Customer data platforms collect first-party data at every customer touchpoint to create a single, unified view of the customer. Business leaders are embracing such technologies, with 53% investing in better technology to manage customer data. These companies are equipped to build deeper customer relationships. 

Twilio’s conclusions

Brands using data is an important aspect for the personalisation consumers crave. But these findings are highlighting how vulnerable consumers are about their data. It is time for a change in strategy and mindset.   

“This research points to how recent changes in data privacy regulations has made the personalisation increasingly important and challenging; as customers are sceptical of how brands are handling their data”, says Samantha Richardson, Principal Visioneering Consultant at Twilio.

“With the end of third-party cookies coming to fruition next year, brands need to put a strategy in place. They need to rebuild trust with consumers and move away from legacy advertising approaches towards a more authentic kind of engagement. To use consensually offered first party data, applying that to learn who your customer is, and what they really want, is a critical first step here.” 

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