This sponsored post is produced by Rachel Serpa at Gigya.

With all the buzz around the NSA and GCHQ scandals, consumer privacy has never been more closely scrutinized. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about data security as they connect and share information with businesses across a wider breadth of channels and devices than ever before. Of course, with this cross-channel connectivity comes an onslaught of marketing messages in all shapes and forms, causing consumers to demand more relevant and personalized experiences that cut through the noise.

While 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant (Digital Trends), over half worry about their information being compromised every time they login to a business website. Marketers today are struggling to walk the line between privacy and personalization, not realizing that these goals don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Here are 3 ways to build consumer trust with permission.

Focus on First-Party Data

57% of online shoppers are comfortable sharing information as long as it is for their benefit – and being unknowingly followed across the Internet by unknown brands is hardly a benefit (Get Elastic). 71% of consumers state that they are very concerned about online companies selling or sharing information about them without their permission (ConsumerReports), causing more and more marketers to make the transition from traditional third-party cookie retargeting to first-party data.

Cookies are becoming increasingly unreliable as customers interact with brands across multiple devices and 65% of U.S. consumers delete their cookies on a regular basis (MediaPost). Not only does first-party data give brands more control over the security of their customers’ information, it also provides more comprehensive data to build more relevant and timely marketing campaigns.

Offer Social Login

29% of consumers have abandoned logging in or buying on a website due to the fear of their information being compromised (1&1). Social Login gives marketers permission-based access to users’ valuable social data by allowing them to register for and login to their sites or apps using their existing social media accounts. Upon logging in, users are requested to share specific data points, such as their interests, connections, or emails, and are provided the option to refuse access.

By granting access to specific data points, consumers are participating in a “digital handshake,” giving brands permission to leverage these insights in their marketing activities. Marketers can then use this intelligence to create the types of highly personalized experiences connected consumers crave, including tailored content recommendations, product showcases, discounts, and more.

Be 100% Transparent

77% of online shoppers would trust businesses more if they explained how they use their personal information (Get Elastic). We’ve already established that consumers are willing to share information when it benefits them, so why don’t more brands tell consumers up front what providing access to their data will do for them? Clearly display text that informs consumers exactly how their data is being used and the extra benefits they will receive by sharing.

In addition to providing an explanation of how their data is being used, 88% of consumers think that companies should give them the flexibility to control how this data is being used to personalize their shopping experiences (Digital Trends). Go beyond transparency and give your customers the power to consistently control and edit what information they are sharing with your business – it will pay off in brand loyalty and repeat conversions.

Thanks to permission, privacy and personalization are no longer polar opposites. They are two halves of the same goal – consumer trust – that marketers must successfully leverage to establish authentic consumer relationships and lifetime customer value.

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