|Issue:||Europe II 2015|
|Topic:||Privacy can be bought, trust must be earned|
and security will be expected at all times
|Title:||VP Marketing EMEA|
Prelini Udayan-Chiechi serves as VP Marketing EMEA at Bazaarvoice, the world’s largest shopper network that connects people, products, brands and retailers at each stage of the buying journey, since February 2014. She oversees the strategy and execution of Bazaarvoice marketing efforts across the region.
Bringing nearly 20 years of experience from high growth companies, with a particular emphasis on Software and SaaS applications, Prelini has led marketing initiatives and practices for blue chip companies including Lotus Software, IBM, Adobe and Lithium Technologies, and is an expert leader in the field of marketing/program management, demand generation, brand/PR, communications, product marketing, partner and channel marketing. An accomplished public speaker and thought leader on social, marketing and customer experience, Prelini breaks the mould of a traditional marketer, constantly looking at new approaches, ideas and by leading change within the industry.
Prelini obtained a Master’s of Science in Marketing, also having completed her dissertation research in the area of customer experience management in 2010.
Earning customers’ trust is the key to a successful business- adopting a transparent communication approach that allows your customers and clients to provide feedback and input shows that you are not only listening to them, but also committing to meet their expectations.
The growth of digital technologies has transcended customer engagement and the way organisations are interacting with consumers. In this digitally connected era, Web 2.0 has enabled consumers to research, purchase, create a bonding with a brand or organisation, and have stronger voices than ever before. With this shift in consumer power, businesses are needing to enter a new level of engagement, one that shows a value exchange of information, a building of ongoing trust and ensuring data security is always being met.
Consumers’ expectations: exchange data for value
Consumers understand the significance of their data and companies must therefore consider what value they are delivering for the information they collect. Yet, consumers are still unclear on how companies use their data and for that reason, are reluctant to share it. Businesses have to find clever ways to encourage consumers to share their data, but most of all, show the value of this exchange. Collecting customers’ data provides companies with insights and a deeper customer understanding that will help them deliver a more personalised engagement experience. Consumers today are willing to trade data, like currency, for something that they’ll get in return. Think of airline memberships or loyalty programs– personal information is traded for a more personalised experience.
Eventually the idea of giving out personal data in return of product recommendations, promotional offers or other content offerings will continue to grow, as consumers find more meaningful interactions being delivered by a brand, retailer or organisation.
Consumers’ sentiment towards trust
In Edelman’s 2015 Trust Barometer research, trust as a forward facing metric of stakeholders’ expectation, continues to take the central stage. Being open and transparent with your consumers from the start, whether this is by displaying survey results or customer reviews, or in this instance, be transparent about the collection and use of their data, will mean that people are more receptive to new initiatives and more trusting of the content they are shown. Another study, by DBS Data, the Direct Marketing Association UK, and fast.MAP, reveals that trust in the brand/company and a clear and concise data protection policy, is what UK consumers want in order to share their private data with brands. One of the reasons UK internet users said they believe a brand will handle their data responsibly, is positive reviews about the brands and its products and services.
Empowering consumers with solutions to openly express their opinion, like rating, reviews, Q&A, sharing of photos and videos about their own purchase experience, and displaying this Consumer-Generated Content (CGC) in the most influential channels, provides brands deep insight specific to a consumer’s attitude about a business or its products. Ultimately, if businesses are able to demonstrate that CGC they collect, display and analyse is authentic and is used to improve their customer relationships and offering, customers will feel more trustful and enticed to share their data.
Communicating transparently to reassure consumers about the way businesses use their data is a first basic step towards data protection and building trusted relationships.
Establishing personalised relationships will lead to trust, which in turn will let consumers feel more comfortable with giving up a little bit of their privacy. It’s an education process for both businesses and consumers, a process mainly based on trust that only companies that put transparency at the forefront of their business will be able to gain.
Authenticity is key to winning trust and meeting security needs
As content has evolved, so has technology fraud detection systems. However, when it comes to content, technology fraud detection and moderation can only get you so far- content today is much richer with visual images such as photos and videos, requiring an entirely new process that involves human moderation to be combined with technology moderation.
Bazaarvoice conducted a survey in November 2013 of 1,500 adult consumers in the United Kingdom that showed consumers place a high value on user generated content, with 50% of respondents expressing concerns that one or more of reviews they may have read online is fake, and 53% of respondents stated that they believe companies remove negative feedback and content from their website.
Respondents also indicated how companies can reduce doubts regarding the authenticity of content they share: 84% per cent of consumers stated that they would feel more trusting of brand’s UGC if they know the content was screened for fraud, moderated, and displayed by a neutral, credible third party; 45% of respondents say they are more trusting if content had passed through a technology filter and human analysis, but only 14% of respondents say a technology filter alone is sufficient.
It is easy to lose trust and display in-authentic content; it’s a quick and fast way to do so. Ensuring security of data and content is therefore paramount, and building the right processes to filter and display this content becomes crucial.
Earning customers’ trust is the key to a successful business- adopting a transparent communication approach that allows your customers and clients to provide feedback and input shows that you are not only listening to them, but also committing to meet their expectations. However that’s not all- guarantee authenticity and security of data and content by setting up solid processes remains essential to build on trust. By following all these steps, businesses will be in a much better position to inspire customers to share data and provide them with a positive customer experience.