How Retailers Leverage the Value Exchange Economy
Today’s consumers are abandoning the creepiness of third-party data. Many retail marketers bought lists of third-party data to guide marketing decisions in the past. What worked before, however, will not produce similar results in the future.
As consumers better understand their data, they’ve realized how much value it has. Their personal data has a price, and they expect compensation for sharing it with brands.
The transaction between retailers and customers forms the basis for the value exchange economy. Guiding the change is zero-party data: the personal information consumers choose to give you. Self-reported preference data lets customers start a relationship with a brand on their terms.
As retail marketers pivot from third-party to zero-party data, there are three concepts they should consider to rise above the noise and show they’re committed to customer relationships.
Build Mutual Relationships
Like any relationship, a brand’s relationship with its customers goes both ways. It takes an investment of attention made over time to build something meaningful with customers. Your customers have plenty of options for buying retail products, so you should make efforts to create recurring opportunities for value exchanges that are meaningful for your customers.
Authentic conversations matter in these relationships. Brands should have two-way communication with customers to show their interest. User-generated content opens a unique and engaging channel to your customers. Under Armour did this with Wide Open Spaces, a social hub for anglers. Customers posted their biggest catches of the day to compete in photo contests. The content was authentic both for Under Armour and its customers, which led to the company creating mutual relationships that lasted beyond the initial contest.
For many marketers, the first thing that comes to mind for a value exchange is dollars. Coupons and discount codes are popular ways for brands to gather customer information — e.g., share your name and email, and you’ll get 20 percent off your first purchase.
While coupons and giveaways are common, that doesn’t mean brands should stick to only those options. Consider what’s special about the products you sell and tailor exchange opportunities around the unique elements.
Quizzes and polls are fun and interactive ways for your customers to engage with your brand. Women’s fashion brand Windsor merged a giveaway with a New Year’s Eve quiz. Participants answered questions about their preferred party style — a unique part of Windsor’s brand identity — and provided their email addresses to get the results. Windsor collected valuable preference data for their marketing initiatives while customers got quiz results and the chance to win prizes.
Try Multiple Offerings
Your relationships with customers will be complex. That means you should be thinking of multiple ways to engage them, as every channel offers different kinds of zero-party data to gather. A multipronged approach with several paths will meet customers where they are and provide a bigger value exchange.
This is especially important for retailers supporting multiple brand lines. New Zealand-based retailer The Warehouse Group launched simultaneous campaigns across four brand lines. While the campaigns shared similarities, each one was tailored to the brand line. For example, Warehouse Stationery created a thank-you e-card that students could send to their teachers before nominating them for a Teacher of the Year award. The Warehouse Group gathered zero-party data for multiple preference sets specific to each brand line, deepening the relationships built with customers.
With more companies speaking up against the use of “Walled Gardens” and third-party data, marketers must utilize new strategies to gather insights on customers that are transparent and not creepy. Incorporating value exchange marketing allows brands to not only gather zero-party data, but also create moments of value at every touchpoint with their customers, building emotional loyalty and trust for years to come.
Richard Jones is the chief marketing officer at Cheetah Digital, a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider for the modern marketer.
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Richard Jones is the CMO at Cheetah Digital, a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider for the modern marketer. He oversees a global team that is responsible for all aspects of the brand, demand generation, digital marketing, corporate communications, and sales development. With more than 20 years of marketing, sales and strategy experience, Jones was previously the CEO of Wayin, a global leader in zero-party data collection and activation. There, he helped many of the world’s leading brands such as Daily Mail Group, NHL, Bauer Media, Vodafone, Priceline.com, Reckitt Benckiser, Air New Zealand, and Manchester City FC create zero-party data strategies.