I'm just back from two weeks in Hong Kong, where I'd been invited to give a keynote at the 10th anniversary conference of the Business Information Industry Association. Since I was there, I took the time to meet with some fantastic Forrester clients in industries ranging from travel to insurance to retail to consulting. In nearly every discussion, whether I was speaking to a BT or a marketing exec, we eventually got to the topic of the "privacy-personalization paradox."

This is an issue I've explored extensively, and have written about before. It's a challenge that marketers in the US dabble with when they're considering investments in tools like retail beacons and cross-device identity resolution. But it was enlightening to hear about the challenges that firms in APAC face: antiquated privacy laws, a dearth of third-party consumer data, and even the incredible difficulty of compiling a single customer view across their own first party data. Interestingly, though, the solution in both markets is similar: preference management

I've just published a report about enterprise preference management, which Forrester defines as:

The business practice of systematically collecting, managing, and utilizing explicit customer preferences — about frequency, channel, content, interests, and intent — in outbound communications.

Why is preference management so powerful? Because it builds customer trust — that you will use her personal information equitably and fairly — while providing the kind of insights that no traditional data source can. Preference can tell you:

  • What type of content and communication your customer wants:
    Sale emails?
    Hyper-personalized transaction confirmations?
  • The channels your customer prefers being communicated with in:
    App notifications?
  • How frequently your customer wants to hear from you:
    Daily sale emails?
    Weekly new-product announcements?
    Text messages anytime she's near your store?
  • Your customer's intentions with respect to your products and services
    Is she looking for a commuter car in the next 30 days, or is she window-shopping to replace her lease at Christmas?
    Is he a first-time homebuyer looking for budget appliances, or is he doing a full kitchen renovation and upgrade?
    Is she graduating from college and looking for a career wardrobe, or does she need to replace her old suits because they no longer fit?

Today's empowered customers are opting out of irrelevant and undesireable marketing communications — witness the rise of adblocking as proof. Preference management is a powerful tool that lets customer insights (CI) professionals combine analytical insights with explicitly shared customer needs and interests to deliver on the promise of "right place, right time, right message" communications.

I encourage you to read the report to discover the key attributes and benefits of successful, forward-looking enterprise preference management. As always, please feel free to schedule an inquiry to learn more, or to find out how Forrester can help you on your preference management journey.