Earn Data Trust for Pharmaceutical and Build it into Strategy

It has never been more important to stand out in the pharmaceutical market – and now that the world is facing COVID-19, all brands face the challenge of this shockwave in refreshing their customer understanding.

Earn Data Trust for Pharmaceutical and Build it into Strategy
Earn Data Trust for Pharmaceutical and Build it into Strategy

Failure to do so is a failure to respect this new customer reality, and this is where the importance of “data trust” remains unparalleled. It is first-, second- and third-party data that will enable brands and organizations to better serve people – especially as digital communication accelerates. It’s all about ethical data, unified and used in ethical ways to do good.

Now, more than ever is the time to build “data trust” through exceptional data-driven marketing. It is critical to brand trust and gives people not only the marketing that’s relevant to them but the products and services they want and the experiences they deserve.

What’s in this article:

  • The Data Trust Gap
  • The Six Convictions of Data Trust
  • Cracks in The Data Stack
  • The New Data Trust Stack
  • Data Trust In Action

Content Summary

Data Trust and COVID-19
Data Trust – A New Covenant Between The Consumer and You Brand
The Data Trust Opportunity
A New Brands Dynamic
The Problem: Data As A Four-Letter Word
Closing The Data Trust Gap
Introduction Data Trust – A Believe Based on Six Convictions
The Six Convictions of Data Trust
Data Trust Fuels Brand Trust – And Vice Versa
The Data Trust Dividend – Way Beyond Targeting
5As: The Shift Is Real
Cracks In The Data Stack – Way You Brand’s Data Ecosystem Is Broken
The Data Divide
The New Data Trust Stack: 5 Imperatives for Building an Infrastructure of Trust
The Open Garden
Data Trust In Action: When You Earn Data Trust, Great Things are Possible
A Data Trust Roadmap
Conclusion – Data Trust: The Tipping Point

Data Trust and COVID-19

This article initially launched just before the world faced COVID-19. This updated section addresses the fact that the pandemic will leave the world changed in many ways. Most important of all, of course, being a serious, direct impact on people’s lives. That matters above all else.

As with every crisis, people yearn and work hard to return to more normal living. People’s everyday lives and the economy are inextricably linked; people have needs, businesses serve them and the “world goes round.” However, while it is easy to see how the crisis has affected some industries more than others, the reality is, everyone is likely to emerge changed, to a greater or lesser extent, in needs, attitudes, and spending priorities. Some may rush to rebook their “holiday of a lifetime” whereas others may instead choose to create a savings account, “for a rainy day.”

All brands and organizations face the challenge of this shockwave through their customer and prospect base; everyone faces the challenge of refreshing their customer understanding, to tune into the new customer, and that new customers’ needs and priorities. Failure to do so is a failure to respect this new customer reality, and this is where the importance of “data trust” remains unparalleled. It is first-, second- and third-party data that will enable brands and organizations to better serve people. It’s all about ethical data, unified and used in ethical ways to do good.

Now, more than ever is the time to build “data trust” through exceptional data-driven marketing and give people not only the marketing that’s relevant to them but the products and services they want and the experiences they deserve.

Data Trust – A New Covenant Between The Consumer and You Brand

This is about a new kind of trust.

This is about data trust: the belief by people that you will use their data to do valuable things for them.

And that you will do it wisely and securely, sensitively and ethically. As a brand steward, you’ve never had to earn this kind of trust before.

But now you do.

And if you do, you’ll open up a new landscape of opportunities that will be slammed shut to brands who shrink from the challenge.

The Data Trust Opportunity

Trust is the invisible currency of commerce. No business can create value without it.

Brands exist to signal trustworthiness and they die when that signal fails.

That’s why companies spend tens of millions of building, promoting, and defending their brands.

Today, even the most trusted brands in the world are facing a new kind of trust—data trust—and it brings with it a new set of challenges, threats, and opportunities.

Data trust is the individual’s feeling that your brand will use their data to deliver value—and will do so ethically and intelligently.

When you earn data trust, consumers not only accept the idea that you’re collecting data, they value it. They want you to know more about them because they know they will benefit.

We’ll drill down into this new kind of trust in a moment.

But first, it’s critical to understand that data trust is already under attack.

There’s an undeniable Data Trust Crisis—and it’s not ‘coming soon’ … it’s here now.

A New Brands Dynamic

The statement, “I trust Coke (or Canon or Converse),” used to mean, “I trust this product will perform as expected, with a consistent level of quality and safety.”

Today, it must also mean, “I trust Coke (or Canon or Converse) to use what it knows about me wisely, ethically and in my best interest.” And this trust (or lack of it) is amplified in the social sphere, as consumers share their experiences across social platforms and ratings and review sites.

That’s a new dynamic and, given the stakes, a critical new imperative for every brand.

“Only 56% of the population trust businesses.” – Edelman Trust Barometer, 2019

The Problem: Data As A Four-Letter Word

You’d never know it from the news reports, but data is an enormous force for good.

Those of us who work with it every day know that data has already dramatically improved everything from healthcare, science and humanitarian work to travel, hospitality, software, shoes, and showerheads.

Every discipline in every industry is being transformed by the evidence-led approach that data makes possible.

But this story has been swamped by the other data story: a story of data abuse, data leaks, and unethical, manipulative scams. The resulting backlash—from regulators, politicians, and commentators—should come as no surprise.

But it should trigger concern. Because if society equates data with dirty dealing, everybody loses.

Closing The Data Trust Gap

As they must, regulators are moving in to protect people from data abuse. GDPR, CCPA, and the next wave of legislation are positive steps towards rebuilding data trust.

But legislation can lead to some unintended consequences despite the best of intentions, made worse by inaccurate or inflammatory media coverage:

It signals that data is a toxic substance – creating or reinforcing suspicions.

It elicits a ‘compliance mindset’ in brands – in which simply complying with regulations becomes the goal, instead of creating a trust-based advantage for consumers.

One thing is becoming clear: the most successful brands in this new era will be those who actively seek to close the data trust gap for themselves rather than wait for the regulators to do it.

“80% of consumers want businesses to be transparent about how data is collected and used.” – ‘Understanding Attitudes to Data’, a global study, Foresight Factory, 2019

Introduction Data Trust – A Believe Based on Six Convictions

Earning data trust— a subset of brand trust—must be a major priority for every brand today, especially the brands investing in understanding their customers and delivering valued experiences.

So it’s important to unpack the concept of data trust and examine its components.

Data trust means that customers and prospects not only accept that you’re collecting data about them, they explicitly want you to.

Achieving that depends on convincing consumers that six specific things are true.

The Six Convictions of Data Trust

Your brand has earned data trust when people believe that:

  1. Your intentions are good. You want data for good reasons and have no hidden agendas.
  2. The data you collect is clear and sensible. You’re only collecting data they’d expect you to collect.
  3. You will use their data to deliver value. To improve your products, services, processes, experiences, and offers.
  4. You will be transparent. You’ll be transparent, with processes that honor people’s choices and changes—and open about how the data will add value.
  5. You won’t misuse their data. You’ll use data in a balanced way. You won’t sell or share it without the right to or collect data you don’t need.
  6. You will keep their data secure. Protecting them from data leaks and identity theft.

Critically, people will only believe these six things if they’re true.

Data trust must be earned, not simply claimed, requested, or assumed.

And that means getting your house in order.

The hard news: it won’t be easy. The good news: it’s worth all the time, money, and resources you can throw at it.

“83% of consumers want a clear link between the data they share and the benefit provided.” – ‘Understanding Attitudes to Data’, a global study, Foresight Factory, 2019

Data Trust Fuels Brand Trust – And Vice Versa

Brand trust remains at the core of all marketing and customer experience. It increasingly sits on the balance sheet as a strategic asset, contributing to the company valuation and share price.

As data becomes more and more critical to every aspect of the brand experience, data trust becomes a critical contributor to overall brand trust. It’s all about being authentic, consistent, reliable, respectful, and responsive while offering good value (driven by the insights that data brings).

In short, data is now at the heart of almost everything a brand does for each customer and prospect. So earning data trust is arguably the single highest priority for brands focused on delivering relevant marketing and great customer experiences.

The Data Trust Dividend – Way Beyond Targeting

The big stories in data tend to focus on targeting. On helping marketers develop more precise audiences so they can reach the right people more efficiently.

That’s a massive benefit but it’s only a small part of the value of data and a fraction of the data trust dividend.

When you earn data trust, you create a strategic asset for your entire business:

The advantages of a customer-obsessed brand:

  • Improve all customer-facing disciplines Marketing, sales, and customer service all dramatically improve when you understand the interests and preferences of each customer and prospect. Relevance, Personalization, Anticipation
  • Make all decisions customer-fixated From product, pricing, and distribution to creative and media… People-based, Dynamic, Connecting, Optimizing
  • Enrich and empower all customer engagements Online, offline, omnichannel, and two-way: uniting adtech and martech. Recommendations, Offers, Experiences
  • Extend and deepen customer relationships By consistently delivering transparent value in every interaction. Loyalty, Lifetime Value, CSAT

It’s about doing things for and with the customer, not to and at them.

In short, brands that get this right—that earn data trust and activate it intelligently—are positioned to run circles around brands that don’t.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. But very few brands appear to be prepared for this new competitive arena.

5As: The Shift Is Real

For many brands, the traditional ‘AIDA’ framework (Attention/Interest/Decision/Action) is giving way to a much more nuanced approach, as pioneered by Philip Kotler in his book Marketing 4.0.

The 5As Framework (Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, Advocate) is a response to the changes in consumer behavior and the new opportunities presented by digital engagement and new technologies. Reading this excellent book with a ‘data trust lens’ brings a whole new mindset into focus.

Cracks In The Data Stack – Way You Brand’s Data Ecosystem Is Broken

Data trust starts with a unified view of each customer, built on sound data management and stewardship—all guided by a clear, customer-first data strategy.

But the data ecosystems behind most brands today aren’t helping. They erode the value of data and make data trust extremely hard to earn.

  • Data is fragmented across dozens of apps, channels, platforms, and systems of record and engagement.
  • Identity is obscured: forcing brands from a people-based approach to a device- or cookie-based one.
  • Processes are broken: preventing insight creation and deployment at any kind of scale.
  • Privacy is at risk: because siloed and uncoordinated data means it’s harder to apply rules, processes, and permissions that reflect people’s choices.

Earning data trust with this kind of infrastructure is all but impossible. Indeed, disjointed experiences frustrate people and erode trust as people question a brand’s competence in data stewardship.

“58% of consumers globally believe they can’t prevent companies from sharing their personal data with third parties.” – ‘Understanding Attitudes to Data’, a global study, Foresight Factory, 2019

A unified data trust stack helps brands understand the customer and curate better experiences. But it can also guide campaign creative and media strategies. So creative and media agencies can leverage the deeper customer understanding that data trust enables closing another divide—the one created by marketing silos.

With unified data, creativity, media, and strategy all work together to serve the customer.

The Data Divide

One of the most damaging disconnects for brands is the divide between offline and online activities—as reflected in the separation of adtech and martech.

The high-value brand experiences that feed data trust depend on a unified view of each customer: knowing that the customer in the shop (or on the phone) right now is the same person that abandoned a shopping basket or interacted with your online ads. It sounds simple, but it demands a new layer of the marketing stack.

The New Data Trust Stack: 5 Imperatives for Building an Infrastructure of Trust

The new data trust stack is an ecosystem that’s optimized for data leverage; for earning data trust, then leveraging it to deliver consistent value to people, everywhere you meet them.

Here are the five core principles:

A unified data layer: The essential foundation

The most important contributor to data trust is a single, unified data layer that’s informed by and informs all systems of engagement. It’s where adtech and martech come together in the service of the customer. And where data, creative and media combine in one integrated strategy.

A privacy-first architecture: Privacy by design and default

Recent regulations have caused brands to scrabble together privacy protections that lives at the edge of the data stack. That can’t scale. With a unified data layer, privacy can be designed into the fabric of the data stack, so every channel and process is privacy-safe.

Dynamic identity resolution: Bringing people and data together

Being able to accurately attach data to an individual—not just a device or browser—is a critical function for data trust and data leverage. And, again, the unified data layer makes it possible.

Transparency: The face of trust

People must always feel they’re in control, with full visibility of their data, why the company wants it, how it will be used, and how they’ll deliver value from it. Transparent permission —and the processes that support it—must be baked into any data trust architecture. With it, everyone in the company knows exactly what data they can use.

Data governance rails: Actively managing trust

When customer data is scattered across many platforms and apps, data governance is a constant struggle. With a unified data layer and standardized data sets, active data governance becomes organic. So you always know where customer data lives, how and why it’s being used, how well you’re applying permissions and rules, and how well it’s secured.

All of these principles are readily available to any brand that recognizes the primacy of data trust. And they can all be achieved from where you are today: preserving any tech investments and embracing the processes and applications people are already using.

The Open Garden

In the absence of their unified data layer, brands have had little option other than to follow the rules of the so-called ‘walled gardens’ for access to their audiences.

The Open Garden movement is about letting brands own their customer relationships. It’s essentially the data trust stack in a marketing context and it’s changing the way brands think about customer data.

The Unified Data Layer is the key to the Open Garden. It brings data from every channel together, resolves identity and drives smarter, more relevant interactions everywhere.

Data Trust In Action: When You Earn Data Trust, Great Things are Possible

Today, most brands are still struggling with the basics of consumer data: finding audiences for offers and measuring impact to improve ROI.

But brands that have earned data trust are already doing amazing things—from delivering exciting new customer experiences people value, to disrupting whole markets with entirely new business models. A few examples:

Uber and Airbnb as data trust plays

The undeniably disruptive unicorns of urban transport and hospitality could only exist because people, drivers, and homeowners all trusted them with huge amounts of data, some sensitive (real-time location, destinations, travel plans, bank details…).

This trust wasn’t given for free: it was earned by delivering new value and explicitly connecting that value to the data exchange.

Uber and Airbnb run on unified data layers—not a loosely-coupled stack of data silos.

Heathrow airport and the data trust dividend

Heathrow—one of the world’s busiest airports—earned the data trust of travelers and turned it into mutual value. They united the data from the airport, parking, train services and retail operations to improve journeys and dramatically increase Rewards membership, engagement, and ultimately spend.

“Customers see Heathrow as one entity,” said Simon Chatfield in his role as Head of eBusiness and CRM, “If they interact with one part of the business, they expect the other parts to know who they are and what they need.”

Trust and value from a unified data layer and transparent opt-in, with privacy built-in. Drill down for more.

Second-party data partnerships

Brands that are trusted by their people—and each other—can come together to generate even more value for people.

An example: A theme park and entertainment brand, an international airline, and a global car rental brand might have millions of customers in common. With data trust (and a trusted haven or clean room) they can now combine their insights to deliver a whole new kind of customer journey; a journey that crosses brands to deliver extraordinary experiences when and where the customer would value the most.

Investing in data trust is preparing for this kind of high-value data exchange.

A Data Trust Roadmap

For most brands, the data trust journey will progress in three stages:

  1. Foundation Building: Unifying the data layer and resolving identity to drive uplift across all adtech and martech.
  2. Extending: Going beyond marketing to inform and improve all customer-facing disciplines.
  3. Revolutionizing: With new customer experiences and models that are multi-channel, multi-geography, cross-department, and multi-brand.

Conclusion – Data Trust: The Tipping Point

Your company’s brands are core strategic assets built on consumer trust.

As valuable as that is, it isn’t good enough anymore.

Today, you also need to earn people’s data trust: the belief that you’ll use their data to deliver value to them and you’ll do it openly, safely, and ethically.

We’re at a tipping point for the entire industry and your specific brand.

You can either let the data trust crisis run its course, erecting a wall between you and your customers, or you can earn their data trust, triggering a virtuous cycle of value:

More trust > Earns more data > Generating more value > Which earns more trust… (repeat until rich and famous).

To unleash this cycle, you need to get your house in order:

  • To unify your data layer.
  • Build privacy into everything you do.
  • Resolve identity everywhere.
  • Obtain and manage permissions in a transparent way.
  • Demonstrate how data drives value.
  • And govern customer data responsibly.

That’s how you earn data trust.

And once you’ve earned it, you’ve also created a strategic asset for many years.

Data trust improves all interactions across all channels and geographies; informs all departments and disciplines; and can even create opportunities for multi-brand journeys and experiences built from shared data.

But only if people trust you with their data.

Whether they make that choice is in your hands.

Source: Acxiom USA