Why Your Brand Should Prioritize Security and Privacy as Part of its Customer Loyalty Strategy
Individuals expect to understand how, when and where their personal data is used and shared. But when the technical infrastructure safeguarding their data is an afterthought, the results can be damaging; consumers can have concerns over security or data use, or worse, sensitive customer information can be compromised.
We know the most effective consumer engagement tactics are frictionless and flexible. Proper security and data governance can follow these same tactics, allowing companies to operate at their best by maintaining end-to-end security as they add value through tailored, innovative and rewarding experiences. Beyond the ethical responsibility, prioritizing security and privacy is just good business. According to a 2020 Harvard Business Review study, 72 percent of consumers say they're paying attention to how companies collect and use their data.
Brands must be transparent about what data they’re collecting and how it will be used to benefit the consumer. It’s just as important to have established data principles in place as it is to have comprehensive data governance standards that unify how a company manages and activates data across functions. Consumers who don’t trust the security safeguards a company has in place, or feel skeptical or unclear of its intentions, will be less likely to provide them access to vital first-party data and more likely not to do business with the brand at all.
The most recent Business Innovators Index survey showed that 75 percent of consumers say that trust is important when buying a product or service, and 71 percent of executives agree that trust improves customer retention and loyalty. A simple but crucial component of building that trust is transparency — i.e., telling consumers how and when their data will be used.
With these building blocks in place, the data exchange between consumer and company unlocks a long and valuable relationship. However, without permissioned, secured data, brands risk weakening their consumer relationships; the less we know about a consumer, the less personalization there is to offer.
Building a Frictionless Experience
Security strategies shouldn't interfere with the consumer experience. In fact, the most effective retailers embed security as a mechanism that improves experience. For example, multifactor authentication and biometrics can provide an added layer of protection and provide additional peace of mind, while a clunky process will frustrate and disengage consumers who want to access account details or make purchases in an instant. Brands should turn to tools that eliminate points of friction to help them create simple, personalized shopping experiences without compromising privacy.
Ultimately, a mutual relationship between retailers and customers is built on trust and sustained with security. Ensuring customer information is used responsibly and treated with respect allows us to unlock the future of rewarding, personalized experiences. By taking a principled approach and establishing guardrails early on, retailers can ensure data is kept secure and personal information is only used to make customers’ lives easier and richer.
I challenge you to ask yourself: Is embedding privacy in the foundation of your loyalty program at the top of your 2023 strategy?
Kyle Clark serves as senior vice president of product management for SessionM, a Mastercard Company. Since joining Mastercard in 2013, Kyle has driven consumer loyalty innovation including the launch of the award-winning Pay with Rewards product.
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Kyle Clark serves as SVP of Product Management for SessionM, a Mastercard Company. Since joining Mastercard in 2013, Kyle has driven consumer loyalty innovation including the launch of the award-winning Pay with Rewards Product. Kyle has 15+ years of experience in the loyalty industry, ranging from product strategy to software development.
Prior to joining Mastercard, Kyle was with gamification startup, Bunchball, where he client technical services and implementations for consumer brands.
Kyle holds an MBA and Master of International Business from St. Louis University and a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Southeast Missouri State University.