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New data from Twilio confirms that people have come to expect hyper-personalization during every single brand interaction. But there’s a catch, as the majority of consumers don’t trust brands to keep their personal data secure.

Twilio’s third annual State of Personalization Report unpacks this personalization vs. privacy paradox that businesses everywhere are facing. Sweeping privacy regulations at the federal and corporate levels, on top of changing consumer attitudes toward sharing data online, have made delivering personalization more difficult for half of the companies Twilio surveyed.

This is a generational challenge, but also an opportunity. Businesses have traditionally “rented” customer relationships from advertisers and social media platforms, which gather third-party data and then resell it as targetable audiences. Now, businesses need to shift from renting to owning their customer relationships directly with first-party data, or data collected directly from customers with their consent.

This shift is not an easy one, but with Google set to phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2023, it’s no longer optional. Many companies are already pivoting, with 43% of business leaders implementing first-party data because it is optimal for privacy.

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Even with a first-party data strategy, technology remains an obstacle to personalization. While tech leaders have teams of data scientists and billion-dollar budgets to deliver personalization at scale, Twilio’s report found that the majority of companies are unable to deliver omnichannel personalization. 

The missing link? Technologies like customer data platforms, which collect first-party data at every customer interaction to offer a comprehensive look at the customer journey. 53% of companies are investing in new technologies to handle customer data better, and these companies are able to build deeper customer relationships.

Twilio’s report surveyed 3,450 business managers and consumers globally, to understand how personalization expectations and strategies have changed over the past year.

Read the full report by Twilio.

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