For consumers, sharing first-party data has long been a tricky subject. Nobody likes feeling as if a brand has been eavesdropping. But at the same time, most people do like to be heard by the companies they shop with to receive the best customer experience possible.

Simply put: every interaction your brand is a part of needs to provide value without feeling intrusive.

As more and more consumers turn to digital shopping options, it also seems that many are starting to realize that companies collect customer data in order to provide better service. And according to a new report by MediaPost, it seems that concerns about sharing first-party data and privacy are giving way as consumers want simpler, seamless interactions online.

However, this shift also means that your buyers know they should get something in return for sharing their first-party data. So, for any digital marketer looking to drive results and grow audience engagement, how you use collected customer data to improve customer experiences is crucial.

Fortunately, deep personalization can help you collect customer data. Here’s how marketing leaders are already using it to grow customer engagement and loyalty across every channel:

It’s time to think about deep personalization 

When it comes to personal info, customers are increasingly comfortable sharing specific insights whenever it leads to a more personal experience. For example, 60% of consumers surveyed say they’re happy to share their satisfaction metrics with a favorite brand, and almost half are okay with these companies having access to their purchase history for more relevant future promotions and recommendations.

But just because part of your audience is okay with sharing their data doesn’t mean everyone on your email list should be hounded with a list of questions as soon as they engage.

In order to collect this information in a safe and buyer-friendly manner that allows you to maximize its potential value, your business needs to be comfortable with deep personalization. And that requires both optimizing any touchpoint throughout your customer journey that collects personal customer info and breaking down traditional data silos to elevate your entire customer experience across all channels and departments — from marketing to sales to customer service.

Begin your dive into deep personalization by prioritizing first-party data from your first interaction with new customers, personalizing conversion opportunities based on acquisition source, and building more transparent data collection algorithms. That way, your data is positioned to grow in value as individual engagement increases and customer relationships mature. 

Build personal relationships using first-party data

As you become more adept at collecting each bit of info individual buyers share, it’s increasingly important to make your brand aware of any existing pain points personalization can help your company overcome across each customer journey. If you’re constantly looking for ways to make your customer experience more seamless and rewarding, it won’t take people long to notice. Or open their wallets and routinely engage with your marketing messages.

In the MediaPost survey mentioned above, half of respondents said that allowing brands access to their data “helps me discover things that interest me.” Making shared first-party data one of the best tools for any business looking to build the curated, individualized experiences customers crave. 

When The Atlantic wanted to evolve its email subscriber model to collect customer data, for example, it took its audience’s preferences seriously. After using Marigold Engage by Sailthru’s deep personalization capabilities to track which stories subscribers interacted with most, The Atlantic was able to deliver a customized newsletter experience tailored to every subscriber’s interests, story preferences, and daily habits — driving lifetime subscriber loyalty and value instead of one-off clicks and meaningless conversions.

collect customer data

In addition to craving personalized content, your shoppers also want to feel less overwhelmed by choice. In fact, more than one-third of customers surveyed say that giving companies their personal info “makes navigating the internet easier.” Confirming that simple, streamlined experiences are the ones most likely to drive maximum engagement from any buyer feeling fatigued by too many choices. 

When Food52 wanted to connect its content, like great recipes and food writing, with its ecommerce program, the brand managed to seamlessly combine both experiences using the data its loyal followers shared across every interaction. As a result, new purchase preferences, favorite products, and personal consumption habits were brought to light — making it possible for Food52 to drive results and elevate every customer experience through deeply personalized messages, email subject lines, and offers that incorporate live feedback loops for continuous improvement.

collect customer data

As customers feel more and more comfortable sharing their first-party data, it’s the organizations that ask — and then put the answers to practical use — that shall truly receive the benefits and reap the ROI rewards.