This blog, “How to Design an Ongoing Data Collection Strategy, in Five Parts,” is an excerpt from our latest eBook, “In Data We Trust: A Guide for Establishing Customer Trust Though Privacy.”

Customers are tired of being asked for permission and the fatigue from being constantly asked to provide privacy preferences when visiting websites is real. According to Pew Research, 80% of American adults claim they get asked to agree to a privacy policy at least once a month. Another 25% claim that this happens almost daily. Of Americans who get the privacy agreement, 32% say they see one around once per week

With all these consent requests coming at your customers from all corners of the internet, you must be really strategic about how you are asking for consent. Consent should be approached as an ongoing relationship with your customers that includes an opt-in request and a value exchange strategy that keeps the customer coming back for more instead of taking their data and running. This is also why marketers can’t just leave this to the privacy, data, and IT departments. 

How you collect your customer data is as important as what data you’re asking for. 

How to Design an Ongoing Data Collection Strategy

1. Be transparent about your transparency.

Your privacy policy doesn’t just apply to your most well-read, tech-savvy customers. Customers are starving for companies to explain their practices in concise, straightforward language. Doing so will bolster your company’s reputation as trustworthy — the clearer your policies, the less it appears you’re hiding something. Don’t gloss over the realities of how you’ll use the data or try to trick customers into providing information. Complicated legalese is not only a turnoff, it’s a turn-away. Keep it simple, keep it clear, keep it honest.

2. Design a Value Exchange where and when it matters.

“Thinking about how we’re going to segment our customers requires us to gather data on them and the key for that is to build trust, have a strong value exchange, and understand that the common consumer today knows that nothing is free. If you’re filling out a form, you’re giving some data and you expect something in return, so it’s on us to make sure that value exchange is clear and also that we deliver on what we say we’re going to do.” 


Jetta Hansen, Senior Data Analyst at Nav Inc.

Rather than keeping data collection in the background, turn your data collection strategy into a handshake with your customers. When people arrive at your digital properties, it’s important to treat it as the first step in a mutually beneficial relationship. A privacy banner with appealing aesthetics and clear language will be your brand’s first impression and should communicate the importance that your company places on the currency of data. And it shouldn’t stop there, the Value Exchange should continue beyond the First Party data and PII. Zero Party data exchanges where your brand asks a customer for their opinions and insights in the form of surveys and feedback should happen at the moment in a journey where it makes sense. This brings the Value Exchange into a continuous greeting between the customer and your business, where the relationship can deepen and expand over time.

3. Turn your request for data into a CX of its own.

It’s an exercise in honesty that shores up customers’ trust in your brand and helps explain why you need their data. The savviest organizations turn the data collection experience into a critical point in the value exchange. Tell your customers explicitly how you will use the data you’re requesting to constantly improve individualized experiences, with specific examples based on your own offerings. Do you sell clothes? Let them know you’ll use their data to give them discounts on their favorite jeans. Make the data exchange experience exciting!

4. Make data access crystal clear.

Enabling your customers to have control over the data you collected will foster a trusted relationship. This would include allowing your customers to access their personal data, correct their data, have their data deleted, or take it to another provider. This should not only be possible, but easily done. The added benefit here is that if your customers are maintaining their own data, your data quality will improve, which in turn makes your personalization efforts more successful. In order to empower your customers to manage their own data, you need the right technology in your stack to do this at scale, across all channels in a cohesive way, and in real-time.

5. Bake in future flexibility.

The type of data companies can collect is evolving on a constant basis and it’s impossible to guess what your company’s policy will need to include in five years. Allow room for changes to be made that reflect politics, customer demand, and new technologies. Also, apply a universal approach to the way you handle your entire company’s data set. While a pop-up window is an option for today, it could be banned a few years down the road, or all your forms may eventually require double opt-in. Consider all possibilities when building out systems and investing in technologies that help you collect and manage customer data. 

Bonus tip: Keep it consistent. 

Applying strict, clear language around consent requirements, access rights, and security protections will go a long way toward eliminating confusion, both internally and with your customers.

In Data We Trust Promo Image

Customers may now provide less data, but at the same time expect your organization to deliver relevant and personalized experiences. This is a challenge for all businesses: to have a benefit-driven conversation with customers, led by privacy. Having a strong, well-thought-out, and ongoing data collection strategy will ensure you can gain consent, and keep it. The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is the main enabler for this privacy-driven personalization.

Check out the full “Guide for Establishing Customer Trust Through Privacy” ebook and discover:

  • The costs to organizations if trust is not established and maintained
  • How privacy can be done by organizations at scale
  • 3 key recommendations for using data to build trust
  • 5 ways a Customer Data Platform (CDP) establishes trust in data with customers

Download your free copy here today!

Post Author

Hilary Noonan
Hilary is Director of Content at Tealium.

Sign Up for Our Blog

By submitting this form, you agree to Tealium's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Back to Blog

Want a CDP that works with your tech stack?

Talk to a CDP expert and see if Tealium is the right fit to help drive ROI for your business.

Get a Demo