4 Ways Your Brand Can Optimize the Customer Experience

By Scott Wilkerson

Marketers currently face a daunting paradox: 91% of US consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide personalized offers and recommendations; meanwhile, 81% of consumers say the potential risks of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. In our recent executive panel discussion with ARF, we uncovered how marketers can align personalization and data privacy efforts to optimize the customer experience. Our executive marketing panel featured Alexandra Morehouse (CMO, Banner Health), Adrian Hurditch (Former Product Leader at Amazon Alexa), and Scott Wilkerson (Partner at HawkPartners) each sharing their thoughts on best practices in providing consumers with a personalized experience while ensuring their data is used responsibly.

Four key takeaways from the discussion include

1) The Bar for Personalized Marketing is High, so It’s Imperative that the Brand Delivers

Consumers now realize that their personal data, in many cases, becomes a product . Therefore, when asking consumers for their personal information, brands must deliver commensurate value, else they risk a strong backlash. Delivering this value early and consistently can be a challenge – particularly when rushing to get a product to market quickly, navigating regulatory requirements, and facing limitations in technology. Another noted challenge is the difficulty of communicating this potentially complex value proposition on the limited real estate of a mobile device screen. The key advice from our Marketing Executive panel: take the time to make it right by utilizing pilots and a test-and-learn approach to smooth out the bumps before full launch. Once a consumer’s trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to regain.

2) Give Consumers Control in Terms of Determining What They Want to Share

Brands that take consumer privacy concerns seriously realize that they must offer consumers the choice in setting their level of personalization vs. privacy. Our panel discussed the value of looking both inside and outside the tech industry for best practices in this area – with Apple being noted as a leader. For example, Apple is now requiring that all apps sold in the app store include a “Privacy Nutrition Label” – which essentially discloses data collection practices in a consistent and easy-to-compare format – a great first step in raising a consumer’s awareness before they even decide to download an app.

3) Provide Clear and Transparent Privacy Policies

The New York Times recently conducted an analysis in which they scanned the data privacy policies of the 150 most popular websites and apps, putting them through software that measures a text’s complexity based on factors like sentence length and the difficulty of vocabulary.  The analysis revealed that most privacy policies exceeded the college reading level, and some even went beyond the graduate degree literacy level.  Our expert Marketer panel suggested that brands summarize the key points of their data privacy policies in very easy-to-understand consumer language – and keep this language separate from the more technical terms and conditions that are mandated by their Legal departments.

4) Assess and Optimize your Brand’s Personal Data strategy

As a starting point, it is critical to understand how important personal data is to your brand’s overall business model, value proposition, and how integral it is to the customer experience itself.   From there, consumer feedback can help guide you to making necessary changes. HawkPartners has developed an integrated framework for assessing and optimizing your brand’s personal data strategy and CX.

Strategic Assessment

Key Business Questions

  • How important is personal data to our business model? And integral to the CX?
  • What are our key regulatory/legal risks?
  • What are our customer needs, preferences, and frustrations?
  • How do we stand relative to competitors and best-in-class?

Key Stakeholders

BU Heads
Chief Legal Counsel

Operational Assessment

Key Business Questions

  • Which specific data are we collecting today? How secure is that data?
  • What are our data storage and sharing policies?
  • How are we communicating these policies to customers?
  • What kinds of training is needed/required?

Key Stakeholders

Brand/Product Managers
Engineering/Data Scientists
Data Privacy Team
Training & Development


Key Business Questions

  • What changes to our policies and communications are needed?
  • What new technologies are needed?
  • How well do customers understand new/revised privacy features and policies?
  • What is the likely impact of these potential changes on the brand and CX?

Key Stakeholders

Brand/Product Managers
Data Privacy Team
Market Readiness

If you’d like to explore how to optimize the customer experience for your brand, HawkPartners can help! Click here to initiate a conversation with one of our experts.

You can find these key takeaways and much more from the executive panel discussion in our highlight video.

See below for full panel

Read more about HawkPartners Personalization Vs Privacy Survey to gather the insights behind these strategies to optimize the customer experience while maintaining data privacy and personalization.

Connect with Scott Wilkerson about your brand’s personal data strategy.