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Defining the Benefits of Preference Management - Part 2 of 5

A five-part series about making the case for preference management

The case for preference management is typically organized into two clear categories: A) strengthening compliance with privacy regulations and B) improving marketing ROI. Each would present a compelling case on its own. But considered together, addressing both with one solution offers a strong, evidence and return on investment-based position from which to move an organization towards the active collection, maintenance and distribution of preferences.

Stronger compliance and privacy protection


In their 2013 US Consumer Confidence Index, TRUSTe found that 89 percent of adults worry about their privacy online, 43 percent do not trust businesses with their personal information, and 89 percent avoid doing business with companies that do not take steps to protect their privacy.

In response, regulators and legislators around the globe are moving quickly to enhance privacy protections and address widespread consumer concerns about data and identity theft, unwanted communications and behavior tracking. For example, recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule changes require marketers to obtain "prior express written consent" to call or text consumer cell phones for solicitation purposes. If a company hasn’t earned that consent and has no means by which to gain it, it faces the daunting decision of either losing a contact due to privacy concerns or facing liability if the contact proves to be a mobile number.

"The typical terms of agreement that we check when we want to use the services of an Internet company invariably gives the company the right to redeploy our information for their own benefit. Some companies also give consumers the right to opt-out of that information-gathering, but it is usually a process that requires some effort. A far better approach would have customers opting in instead of opting out."

- Joe Nocera, New York Times

Preference collection represents a critical opportunity to earn consent and protect the right to interact with a consumer. Moreover, appropriate storage and maintenance of such data through an active preference management program protects its legal authority when challenged.

Improved marketing ROI


By reducing opt-outs and increasing opt-ins, the overall size of the marketable audience grows. With the implementation of a simple opt-down system – a component of a preference management solution accessed through an email unsubscribe link – PossibleNOW customers see an average of 60 percent fewer opt-outs.

In addition to preserving the pool of prospects, the ongoing collection of preferences reveals new opportunities will emerge that marketers can proactively leverage to their advantage. For a clothing retailer, understanding gender, product interest and channel of choice could result in a seasonal swimwear promotion via email instead of an expensive and marginally effective one-size-fits-all brochure or catalog.

Finally, preference management allows CMOs to shift staff time and budget dollars from guesswork to fact-based decision-making. A marketing team that only has access to purchase history and customer shipping addresses trend towards broad, one-size-fits-all campaigns, often with discouraging results. Preference data gives the customer a voice in the type of communications they want to receive and empowering niche campaigns that address stated needs at timely intervals.

Presented together, the broad compliance and marketing benefits of preference management offer a compelling case for consideration. Risk mitigation has become an important part of the CMO job description and preference management addresses a number of its critical challenges. It’s also the key to lasting customer engagement, real-time responsiveness and rich, marketable data that powers campaigns and delivers bottom-line results.



Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

Establishing the Need for Preference Management - Part 1 of 5



This is the first in a five-part series designed to help marketers and business leaders make the case for preference management - the internal justification necessary for budgeting, planning and investment.

According to a recent Accenture survey, more than 70 percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant. This should come as no surprise to anyone leading an enterprise-level company in the modern age. In survey after survey, study after study, consumers around the globe are demanding personalization, privacy and the power to control the conversation with the brands that serve them.

For many CMOs and CTOs, the challenge is not in proving or establishing the need to address privacy, personalization and increasing demands for interaction. Rather, the challenge lies in establishing the best method for achieving success.

"Businesses crave insight into the context in which consumers are using their products and consumers want businesses to deliver contextually relevant services."

- Fatemah Khatibloo, Forrester Research


The dilemma is further complicated by language used to define the relationship between consumer and company in the digital age. The line between customer engagement and customer experience is blurry at best, and neither priority holds a clear mandate over traditional corporate structure. Is the marketing department in charge of engagement? Is customer service in charge of experience? Is IT shared by both groups or managed according to an entirely separate structure and vision? 


A 2013 Oracle survey of more than 1,300 senior executives found that 97 percent agree that “customer experience” is critical to success and 93 percent indicated it was a top-three priority over the next two years. Yet fewer than 40 percent had so-called customer experience initiatives in progress and just 20 percent of those that did described them as sophisticated.

Why? The goal is too large, too vague and involves too many moving parts. The senior executives surveyed by Oracle know they need to listen to customers and engage them in meaningful, profitable relationships. But they haven’t figured out how to break customer experience or engagement down into actionable, pieces. Without a concrete plan, it becomes almost impossible to earn approval from IT, legal, investor relations or other stakeholders for many worthwhile initiatives.

The best starting point for an enterprise is preference management: the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication. Executed correctly, a robust preference management program can power the personalization, privacy and interactivity modern consumers demand. A preference management initiative is a tangible project with a specific action plan and set of goals to improve both experience and engagement.



Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Here's our roundup of recent news and views worth checking out:

Truilia Launches New App

Truilia has launched a mobile app to cater to homebuyers on the go. By building a platform that allows users to indicate their preferences, Truilia has created a more personalized experience. Newly listed homes that meet buyers’ specifications are automatically sent to their phones. This not only helps them in a cutthroat real estate market, it helps Truilia appeal to its app users. By simplifying the home search and making the information easily accessible, Truilia is sure to win fans. Click herefor full article.


Consumers have started to embrace the ways tracked data can enhance their shopping experience. When stores are transparent about the data they are looking to collect, and consumers immediately see the positive results from sharing, their natural reaction will be to provide more information. Opt-in retail tracking is broadening the conversation between retailers and consumers, creating an opportunity for a personalized shopping experience. Click herefor full article.


Consumers are inundated every day with emails they have no interest in opening. Recent studies show that win-back programs are beneficial when it comes to connecting with previous customers who have been unresponsive. To be successful with win-back programs, companies must first ask customers permission to send emails and then, if given the opportunity, must provide personalized messages and appealing visual elements as well. Click herefor full article.


Loyalty plans can be a lucrative way for companies to build relationships with their audience. Through recent efforts to “socialize” these loyalty plans, companies are looking to further enrich the ways consumers interact with their brand. New cross-channel networks are allowing consumers to share their brand loyalty in fun and engaging ways. By incentivizing the consumer to get involved and be an active participant in the conversation, companies are nurturing authentic relationships and reaping the rewards. Click herefor full article.


Recent studies have shown that while retailers admit cross-channel strategy is important, very few have gone as far as implementing it. Consumers have indicated they want a more personalized message from retailers and that they want to receive it across multiple platforms. If retailers do not take advantage of the variety of ways consumers interact with their brand, they are missing out on huge opportunities to engage their consumers. Click herefor full article.





Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda http://www.cemsummit2013.com

A Brief History of Consumer Engagement: Part 4

A four-part series chronicling the origins of today’s permission marketing landscape

Click here to see part 1, part 2, & part 3. 

Any serious conversation about consumer engagement in the digital age must begin with the acknowledgement that the one-way, interruption-based model of the past is gone forever. Technological advances have opened doors that cannot be shut, regardless of a company’s strategy, thought process or level of preparedness.

Simply put, it means that interaction is inevitable but engagement is optional. Consumers are talking to businesses (and to each other about businesses) without the need for anyone’s permission or invitation. They have unique preferences and are attempting to make the businesses they interact with aware of them. The only question for modern marketers is whether or not they have the ability to listen to consumers, join the conversation, learn from the ideas and feedback they hear and in doing so, earn loyalty and engagement.

The key to driving engagement in the modern era is letting the consumers themselves share ownership of the conversation based on their interests and preferences. It’s the natural continuation of the narrative that began when consumers were first liberated from the limitations of geography and basic availability of nearby vendors. Later, empowered by technology that globalized markets and broke down the barriers to direct communication, consumers demanded a voice in an engagement-based model that rewards responsiveness and personalization.

In order to compete, brands must consolidate the collection, management and reporting of consumer preferences from across the enterprise into a central system. This system should integrate with marketing databases and CRM systems in order to provide organizations with their customers' and prospects' legal contact status and marketing and account servicing preferences. Empowered by preference data, companies can improve campaign results, increase sales revenue and improve customer loyalty while satisfying privacy requirements at the same time.

Make no mistake – the conversation is taking place regardless. The only question is how businesses will react. Some are already embracing the new engagement paradigm and setting a new standard for customer service. It begins with preference management – the latest chapter in the story of engagement and the necessary foundation for listening to and learning from consumers. 



Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Here's our roundup of recent news and views worth checking out:



CMOs have access to more data than ever before, and it gives them the ability to optimize interactions across multi-channel marketing strategies. Consumers are aware that their personal information is being gathered, and they now expect to have every message and interaction personalized. If companies use consumer preferences to market to them more effectively, consumers will be more likely to continue sharing personal information. Click here for full article.



Over the last several years, online shopping has changed dramatically and become far more interactive. Social channels like Facebook and Pinterest allow consumers to share and promote products they’ve purchased, which gives them a greater voice in the marketplace. Companies like Amazon are taking advantage of this growing trend by pairing up with Twitter to change the buyer experience. Web browsing habits have changed, and companies will need to continue experimenting with ways to enhance the online shopping experience. Click here for full article.


The healthcare industry is accustomed to keeping up with new technology that can improve patient experience and streamline hospital protocol. When the overarching goal is to keep patients healthy, hospitals need to rely on technology that will speed processes up, not slow things down. From billing to personal data, hospitals are digitizing as much as they can. Now they must find new ways to be sure their systems meet compliance standards. Click here for full article.



Unless companies want to fall by the wayside, they must start reaching consumers through interactive marketing rather than interruptive marketing. To do this, marketing strategies must be reevaluated, and new practices must be implemented to keep up with the evolving market. CMOs must stay informed about new technologies to enhance customer experiences. Gone are the days of disruptive marketing, and for companies who personalize customer engagement, the rewards are greater brand loyalty and a higher ROI. Click here for full article.


Making the Most of Social Media

It’s no secret that there is an exorbitant amount of big data swirling out there for CMOs to sink their teeth into. The important thing now is deciphering the right data and using it effectively. By culling the most relative data and consumer preferences, companies will have greater success sending personalized messages that will resonate with their audiences. Companies have successfully amassed the information—now is the time to implement a marketing strategy that takes advantage of it. Click here for full article.



Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda http://www.cemsummit2013.com

A Brief History of Consumer Engagement: Part 3

A four-part series chronicling the origins of today’s permission marketing landscape

Click here to see part 1, part 2. 

As seen in part 1 and part 2, the relationship between company and consumer has progressed from a one to one geographic model to a one to many major media interruption model to a many to many multi-platform interaction model.

We now live in an opt-in world full of perpetually connected consumers who expect to be understood as individuals and whose behavior blurs the lines between sales, marketing, support and service. Not surprisingly, companies are pivoting quickly to embrace the future of customer engagement by delivering superior customer experiences. The key to this transition is preference management.

A recent Oracle survey of more than 1,300 senior executives found that 97 percent agree that customer experience is critical to success and 93 percent have made it a top-three priority over the next two years. Yet fewer than 40 percent have customer experience initiatives in progress and just 20 percent of those that do would describe them as sophisticated.1Why? Respondents pointed to siloed systems and fragmented customer data as one of the primary obstacles to advanced customer experience initiatives. When organizations can’t effectively share or collectively interpret full-spectrum customer data, they can’t implement customer experience programming with confidence.

The more complex the organization, the bigger the role that preference management plays. Preference management is about building and enhancing customer engagement:  letting the customer control the relationship by choosing the desired communication channels, the products or services of interest, and even the frequency of contact. It’s also about personalization and one-to-one communications that are relevant to the recipient. Although organizations may have CRMs, marketing automation and campaign management systems, chances are that none of these provide a complete, unified view of a customer’s preferences.

In order to engage consumers in the modern era, companies must embrace the interactive nature of the discourse. That means listening to and learning from consumers at every point of interaction.  






Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

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