Interact Preference

Preference management: Why marketers need to take a smarter approach

A topic that we’re happy to see gaining momentum is Enterprise Preference Management, which enables marketers to more easily and efficiently gather and manage customer permissions and preferences throughout the entire organization.

As a customer, one of the most frustrating experiences I face is when a brand that I love doesn’t effectively listen to the information I share with them.  I’m happy to engage with a company, but I expect the relationship to be a two way street. If I’m going to do business with you, I expect that you understand who I am and I expect you to use the information you have about me to personalize my experience. Preference management is a critical component of making this a reality for both marketers and consumers.

What do we mean when we say marketers need to better manage preferences? We mean that marketers need to:

  • Listen to when customers opt-in and out of messaging – across every channel
  • Give customers control over marketing frequency
  • Listen not just to opt-ins and opt-outs, but to the type of messaging customers want to receive
  • Give customers the ability to manage preferences not just on the website, but wherever they interact with your brand
  • Ensure that the preference data marketers have is in a single place and is always up to date

How does this help marketers?

First, let’s touch on marketing compliance. Compliance is at the root of enterprise preference management. At a bare minimum, companies need to comply with marketing regulations like CAN-SPAM for email and the TCPA for mobile marketing. These laws require customer consent for marketing – and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.  New laws are being passed every day both in the US and internationally.

But, beyond ensuring compliance, there is huge value for marketers in giving their customers a voice. In fact, Forrester Research shows that 77% of consumers say they should be able to decide how, when, and where marketers communicate with them. And, preferences give marketers a consistent view into long-term interests and affinities – giving marketers a more complete picture of the customer.

Marketers that have employed an effective preference management strategy are getting results:

  • 89% report higher customer satisfaction
  • 80%  report better campaign results
  • 80% report higher customer retention
  • 78% report higher marketing ROI

We’re seeing results like this across our customer base, which includes leading brands like Thomson Reuters, American Family Insurance and Lenovo, and the recognition that this is a critical component of a sound marketing strategy only continues to grow.

We’ll be exploring the issues and best practices around customer engagement and preference management at our annual Customer Engagement Forum, which is taking place in Atlanta this week. I’m excited that Scott Olrich, Responsys’s President of Marketing and Platform, will be joining an impressive line-up of speakers, including marketing leaders from Comcast, Lenovo, Chick-fil-A, Thomson Reuters and Lexis Nexis. To follow the conversation during the event, check out the #cemsummit hashtag on Twitter.

Want to learn more about why preference management is critical for today’s marketers? Download the report here.

Scott Frey is President & CEO of PossibleNOW, a leading provider of customer experience and preference management solutions. Follow Scott on Twitter at @ScottFreyPN

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