In a new era of data privacy, brands need to rethink their approach to data collection before crafting a sophisticated targeting campaign. Given recent breaches and concerns about third-party liability, brands have few fool-proof data sources at their disposal. Best-in-class brands use their own site portals as the primary method of collection to maintain control over their customer datasets and enable customers to consent to usage.

Overall, 92% of brands analyzed in Gartner L2’s Data & Targeting report collected some type of segmentation data on their sites in 2018 through newsletters, account sign-up, or account customization. Brands have pared back collection of phone numbers and ZIP codes. Instead, they have ramped up collection of other data points, including birthday, gender and age, on their sites.

Broad differences exist by sector. For instance, 82% of fashion brands collect gender, compared to just 24% of big box brands. Furthermore, 87% of brands collect data via third parties with retargeting tags that enable targeting on other sites, despite the privacy risks.

Winning brands use creative ways to bring new customers into the fold while collecting key data points. Beauty brands, which tend to collect a large amount of data on their consumers, offer varying sign-up tactics. For example, Tarte uses gamification to drive newsletter sign-ups. Customers are shown a spinning wheel that can be clicked to generate a randomized offer. Even if a customer opts out, the customized offer is anchored to the top of the homepage with a 30-minute countdown, incentivizing follow-through.

Meanwhile, Bobbi Brown showcases effective tactics at the account sign-up stage. The brand gives customers the option to enter their birthdays, with the site explicitly stating that the data will be used to send a birthday gift, alleviating potential concerns.

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