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GDPR data fundamentals: Storing consumer data

An educational series on the EU's soon-to-be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR compliance means that companies can no longer collect consumer data and figure out what they intent to do with it later. Many companies, recognizing the inherent value in personal data, have long operated under the assumption that more is better as it affords them greater flexibility in campaign creation and personalization.

While this is already inadvisable, GDPR will make this approach downright foolish for companies communicating with EU citizens. Once implemented, GDPR will present companies with two challenges:

  • You must plan and declare your data usage intentions in advance, and
  • Your systems must be able to remove the data when you are done with it.


Taken together, these challenges will require companies to adopt a "privacy by design" approach to customer and prospect communications. That means a foundational recognition of the contact's right to privacy, a clear goal for all data collection and an efficient means for locating and destroying all data that directory or indirectly relates to a contact should the need arise.



For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

Moosejaw CMO Answers 4 Questions For Digital Innovators

Dan Pingree is the chief marketing officer of Moosejaw Mountaineering, where he oversees the outdoor retailer's marketing initiatives, including search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email, photo, video, graphic design, content production and publishing, social media, brick and mortar marketing, catalogs, direct mail, A/B testing, and data analytics.

Moosejaw combines his love of e-commerce with a passion for the outdoors, and admits to owning doubles and triples of basically every piece of climbing equipment. He has held previous digital marketing and e-commerce leadership roles at Drugstore.com (Walgreen's), Housevalues, and Microsoft and holds a Master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. When not at work, he enjoys climbing, skiing, and trips with his family, the most recent of which was a trip to Cuba.

Pingree recently participated in the "4 Questions for Marketing Innovators" series. His topic is very timely: experiential marketing.

1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
In today's retail environment where fierce competition abounds and continued retail bankruptcies dominate the business headlines, creating a notable, unique experience through various marketing activities has never been more important in defending against the assortment, convenience, and pricing pressures of Amazon. This is our focus every single day at Moosejaw.

We define "experiential marketing" as a series of marketing events or interactions that are unique and memorable to the customer and help him or her feel understood. This includes all touch points that a customer can have with Moosejaw, from initial introduction, site experience, emails, product recommendations, customer support, and even order packaging.

One of the key attributes of surviving and thriving retailers over the next five to 10 years will be their ability to effectively and consistently deliver those unique and memorable interactions to customers.

2. Why is this so important?
Consolidation within retail is happening at a rapid rate. Amazon continues to put smaller pure plays out of business and is no doubt directly responsible for mall closures and big-box retailer downsizing. Amazon's strength is within the transaction—that is, their assortment, aggressive pricing, and world-class logistics and delivery capabilities.

Retailers would do well not to attempt to "out-Amazon" Amazon but rather seek to build unique, notable experiences for their customers—experiences which help customers feel understood and valued at every touch point. Experiences that are consistent and unique, which other retailers—including Amazon—are not offering.

At Moosejaw, we sell outdoor clothing and gear, most of which is available at other retailers. Because of this, we have to constantly ask ourselves, "Why would somebody buy from Moosejaw?" The answer, of course, is because of the unique and notable experience Moosejaw offers its customers.

As we are successful with our experiential marketing efforts, I have no doubt that Moosejaw will be a strong, healthy retailer in the years to come, Amazon's meteoric rise notwithstanding.

3. How can this improve the customer experience?
Experiential marketing enhances the customer experience because you're creating interactions where you are demonstrating a clear understanding of who the customer is and what she wants. If it is known, based on your previous and current site browsing and past purchase history, that you like the Canada Goose brand, it doesn't make any sense to show you promotions related to backpacks and climbing ropes. If you do, you may lose this customer forever because they feel misunderstood.

Every customer is an individual with unique tastes and preferences, and our marketing efforts must treat you as such. On the other hand, if the site experience involves changing the home page, search slots, navigation, and product detail pages by exposing the kinds of brands, categories, and offers that we know you like based on the data we've collected about you, we can create an experience that is welcoming, engaging, and worthy of your time.

Doing this well creates a differentiated experience versus every other retailer since nobody has truly cracked the code—yet. For all retailers big and small, there is a huge opportunity to win in this area. The slog is hard, long, and expensive, but ultimately those who figure it out will have a defensible position against the retail headwinds caused by Amazon.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Dollars spent on experiential marketing simply perform better than generic marketing. We've seen it repeatedly in our results in areas such as time spent on site, add-to-cart rates, conversion rates, open rates, click-through rates, and many others.

The challenge is that the upfront investment costs in technology and people—not to mention the time required to test and learn which experiences are most meaningful—are huge barriers to most companies. But those who stay committed to experiential marketing will find the reward to be well worth the investment.

Bonus Question: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
One of my favorite activities is alpine mountaineering. I love being outside, on high mountains, in beautiful and remote locations. I've been working on climbing the highest mountains of the seven continents, of which I've managed to climb three so far. I hope to complete them all before too long, including Mount Everest.



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

Companies That Thrive During Tough Times Share These Traits

In the same economy and same consumer market in which thousands of retailers and brands are struggling, others are thriving and growing. Why? What drives the outcome of "something went wrong" versus "things are going great"?

Their "secrets" become apparent by understanding who they are, who they serve, and how they connect with customers in a value-driven, sustainable way. It all starts at the very top.

"CEOs must create a culture where the key measure of success is the success of your customers," said Serge Saxonov, CEO of biotechnology company 10x Genomics. "To achieve that, the company must constantly seek unbiased, unadulterated, and blunt feedback from customers and prospects. That will keep the company from creating its own version of 'marketplace reality.'"

Employees also factor into the equation. "CEOs must ensure that every employee cares passionately about the success of customers and make decisions based on ensuring that customers succeed," Saxonov told me. "This will drive the sustainable success and growth of the company."

Here's a look at three success traits traits driving success at a trio of top brands.

Success Factor #1: Meet A Clearly Defined Need
According to the Accenture study "Technology Trends 2017" (PDF), relationships are no longer about keeping customers happy as the company guides them toward a goal. Relationships will be about walking with people on a path they define.

In the very competitive fitness sector, Orangetheory Fitness has received the workout world's attention with 600 studios across the country and $450 million in revenue. To differentiate itself from competitors, Orangetheory Fitness aimed to satisfy the needs of high-tech, fitness-oriented consumers with a technology-driven solution that participants monitor to pinpoint the effectiveness of each workout.

"Technology enables the consumer to ... work out better. ... I think the lack of technology made it very hard for people to hit their fitness goals," said CEO David Long.

Findings from 16,000-plus hours of VoC research interviews conducted by our firm, ERDM, make it evident that success depends, in large measure, on understanding what it takes to earn the customer relationship. Consider these representative quotes from the research:
  • "It's not just what we buy from you; it is the total experience that determines whether we buy from you again ... or go to the many other choices in your category."
  • "If you want to keep me as a customer, I expect what you market to me to reflect my individual interests and preferences."

Success Factor #2: Abandon The Ego Of 'That's How We Do It'
According to John Rand, senior vice president of retail insights for Kantar Retail, "As a response to the many obvious challenges to the traditional business ... seek to differentiate, adopt new practices, and reconsider the brand and shopper focus."

A few years ago, Lego's CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp told colleagues, "We are on a burning platform ... [and] likely won't survive." Recently, however, the company announced the highest revenues in its 85-year history. What made the difference? Perhaps Julia Goldin, Lego's chief marketing officer, has the answer: "Every year [we] recruit every child again and make the brand exciting for them."

Two key strategies that keep Lego ahead of the game are:
  • It cut its losses and outsourced ventures that were outside of its core expertise: According to Simon Cotterrell of analytics firm Interbrand, what has made Lego successful comes from knowing what it is good at. "That's a very brave thing to do, and it's where a lot of companies go wrong," he said. "They don't understand that sometimes it's better to let go than to hang on."
  • The company found new ways to listen to its customers: Anne Flemmert Jensen, senior director of Lego's Global Insights group, noted, "My team spends all our time travelling around the world, talking to kids and their families, and participating in their daily lives." The company also rolled out Lego Life, a social network for kids.

Success Factor #3: Don't Just Market--Understand And Communicate 
Urban Outfitters has experienced an 146% increase in revenue and 75% gain in conversions through the use of new, personalized marketing opportunities and innovative use of tools, such as very targeted location data.

"Our goal is to provide better experiences for our audience in this competitive landscape," said Andrew Rauch, senior director of global digital marketing at Urban Outfitters. Additionally, Trish Donnelly, CEO of Urban Outfitters Group, commented on the brand's use of social to connect: "This channel has given us yet another relevant way to connect with our customers and engage in two-way conversations."

In summary, a combination of clarity of vision and focus, agility, and strategies that stress connections and relationships that evolve over time with customers is what separates companies that still thrive in a landscape of tough times versus those that don't. This final quote from the VoC research says it all: "The brands that earn my loyalty are those that make the effort to understand me and help me over time. The brands that sell and disappear haven't done anything to earn my loyalty and dollars."



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

GDPR data fundamentals: Do you know where your customer data goes?

An educational series on the EU's soon-to-be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Many marketers are concerned about GDPR because of its stringent consent requirements. Others are focusing on use requirements and their ability to quickly "forget" a consumer if requested to do. These and other aspects of the regulation revolve around one key variable – do you actually know where all your consumer data goes?

Unfortunately for many marketers, the answer is often no. That's because data collection often occurs through separate, disparate systems such ESPs, marketing automation software, CRM systems and more. The picture gets blurrier when you factor in brand, department, language or regional differences that add yet another layer of separation.

The net effect of all these data siloes is an insuperable obstacle to GDPR compliance. Companies that lack a central repository of customer and prospect information should address their data storage and access challenges before worrying too much about collection best practices.

After all, if you can't locate all of it or offer specific evidence of how you are using it, it doesn't much matter how you got it in the first place. You will already be in violation and facing severe penalties.



For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR data fundamentals: Definition of customer data

As marketers and customer experience professionals around the world prepare for the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), many want to dig deeper into the regulation to ensure compliance and best practices are in place.

With that in mind, we're kicking off a series of posts designed to ground readers in in GDPR's data fundamentals, the building blocks of the regulatory framework. And we'll begin in a pretty obvious place: what is customer data?

It's a simple question with a scary answer.

Under the regulation, "customer data" is anything that can directly or indirectly trace back to a EU consumer. Ordinarily, we think of customer data as a name, email address or other direct information. GDPR's definition includes a consumer's IP address, cookies used to track their web browsing and other records that exist outside the traditional database server.



Consider the consequences of this definition on a request to be forgotten. While you may be able to easily delete primary information from your database, this broader interpretation of personal data requires you to scour outside sources and aggregators to fully (and provably) cleanse your systems.

In other words – sound storage and data management are a must once GDPR goes into effect next year.

For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR 101: How GDPR Impacts Marketing

An educational series on the EU's soon-to- be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Most marketers think about customer data in terms of its potential use. Personal data fuels campaigns, tailors landing pages and drives bottom line results. How can they be effective under GDPR?

To begin, they need to think about the basis of their efforts. Does it begin with consent tied to specific use? Or was this data obtained by other means?

Secondly, do you have the capability to prove that consent, answer consumer questions about it and, if necessary, completely erase a contact if a consumer requests to be forgotten?

These factors undoubtedly lessen marketers' freedom to use data for outreach. But it doesn't completely bar them from sound, effective interaction and loyalty cultivation so long as they are supplied with the technology and data governance needed to succeed in a GDPR world.



For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR 101: Clear and Conspicuous Consent

An educational series on the EU's soon-to-be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Under GDPR, companies must earn unambiguous consent in order to communicate with an EU consumer or collect data from them. However, this consent cannot be hidden in the terms and conditions language or tied to a condition of service.

Instead, consent must be clear and conspicuous. So what does that mean?

On a web page, consent language should be prominently featured immediately above or below the "submit" button where a user would request or volunteer information.

For some marketers, this will mean a fundamental reconsideration of page design and conversion opportunities. It will likely lead to a new design approval processes as companies pivot to GDPR risk mitigation strategies. Regardless, it demands that anyone collecting info from EU consumers consider the definition of "unambiguous" and re-orient sales, marketing, support and billing communications accordingly.



For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR 101: Controllers and Processors

An educational series on the EU's soon-to-be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Understanding your company's GDPR risk exposure is essential. To this, it is often helpful to identify how regulators would categorize your company.

In other words, are you a controller or a processor?

A "controller" is the party that ultimately owns the relationship with the consumer and determines what happens with their data. A "processor" is the party contracted by the controller to execute its decisions with regard to consumer data.

For example, imagine an insurance company that represents EU citizens. It collects information from its customers and emails them from time to time. To do this, the insurance company uses an Email Service Provider (ESP). The insurance company is the controller and the ESP is the processor.

Under GDPR, most of the regulatory onus is on the controller. But there are some obligations that processors must meet as well.

In many cases, controllers are liable for the actions of their processors. Companies must ensure compliance across all vendor relationships that manage data in and out of EU sources.

In turn, processors can get their clients (and themselves) into very hot water with GDPR violations. They must understand their responsibilities and in fact can gain a competitive advantage by demonstrating their GDPR preparedness as full implementation of the rule approaches.



For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR 101: Specific Use Requirement

An educational series on the EU's soon-to-be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR will govern more than just permission to communicate with EU consumers. It will also influence how companies use data collected from EU citizens and limit their ability to use personal data for multi-channel marketing.

Simply put, GDPR requires companies to clearly identify the "specific use" a piece of information will serve. While the exact definitions around specific use are still gray, experts recommend that companies select and declare specific uses for any and all data collection.

For example, student loan provider might request an email address specifically for loan payment reminders. A financial services company might seek a birth date in order to make an investor aware of change-of-life effects to insurance or other financial products.

Regardless, GDPR prohibits the collection of personal data for one purpose (loan payment reminders) and its use in other purposes (email marketing).



Specific use definitions will likely be clarified in court as early challenges and violations come to light. In the meantime, consider your intended uses and declare them clearly at the point of collection.

For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

GDPR 101: Right to Know?

An educational series on the EU's soon-to- be-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR doesn't just limit the rights of companies. It empowers consumers to hold greater leverage against the companies that collect and use their personal data.

Once implemented in May 2018, GDPR will enable EU citizens to request explanations from companies about the personal data they have, the uses they intend for it, how long they plan to keep it and more.

Experts suggest that companies will likely face 30-day deadlines to comply with such requests and if they want to file an extension, they should be prepared to demonstrate very convincing reasons for needing more time.

What's unclear is how consumers will react to this newfound power. Will they bombard companies with requests, questions and objections? Or largely ignore their right to know out of indifference or trust in the companies that serve them?



Regardless, any company communicating with EU citizens must be prepared to answer right to know requests accurately and in a timely fashion.

For more informative videos about GDPR, click here, or to view a full webinar on GDPR and consent capture best practices, click here.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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