william littman headshot Posted by William Littman November 09, 2020

How to win consumer trust and increase conversions through better data management

Chances are your company’s website is a little like an out-of-control high school party. The party started innocently enough, of course. After all, you had the best of intentions when you invited just a few trusted martech vendors onto your website and allowed them to collect your user data via tags. 

But, unbeknownst to you, these trusted vendors allowed some of their partners to piggyback on those tags and access your user data. And then those piggybacking vendors allowed still others to piggyback, so now the party on your website is much bigger than you ever intended — and your data is being accessed by third parties you don’t know or trust at all. 

This is in fact how one of Equifax’s much-publicized 2017 data breaches occurred: through a vulnerable piggyback tag used as a backdoor into Equifax’s data (also known as a “Supply Chain Attack”). 

The good news is that there’s a way to tame the free-for-all on your website and block unwanted guests at the door. Controlling who has access to your website is not only essential to prevent the risk of a data breach, but it is also key to optimizing site performance. By identifying and removing rogue tags that may be on your site, you improve the digital experience for your website visitors and customers. Moreover, when you take control of your data, you can also build a customized data privacy experience for your users that earns their goodwill.

We walked through this data safety and privacy solution in the second in our Data Privacy & Marketing webinars — The Tipping Point for Global Regulation and Risk?

The tipping point the title refers to is the Schrems II decision, which, when added to the already substantial body of local, national, and international data privacy laws and rulings, creates a critical mass. Rather than continuing to react to each new legal development, it’s now incumbent upon companies to proactively address their data privacy in a way that future-proofs them from the ever-shifting legal landscape.     

Joining me on the webinar were guest Zach Edwards, the founder of the analytics and optimization agency Victory Medium, and privacy experts from Crownpeak.

So, if you’re worried your company’s website could be slowed or looted by uninvited guests, read on for my key takeaways from the webinar:

To address data management problems, you must first see those problems

The first step to taking control of your data management is finding out who is on your website. Our first webinar guest, Jeff Wheeler, Crownpeak’s Head of Product, explained how Crownpeak’s Trackermap tool helps companies do exactly that: Trackermap shows exactly what vendors, including piggybacking third parties, are on each page of a website.

Crownpeak Trackermap

In addition to the above node map view, Trackermap provides a timeline/waterfall view, shown below, that enables junior auditors and non-technical members across an organization to easily identify vendors who are slowing down a page’s load time.

easily identify vendors

The X axis of this chart is time, and each colored bar is a vendor’s pixel firing. As you can see, most of the firing processes overlap, occurring simultaneously, but there is one process that occurs by itself and delays all of the subsequent processes. This process is the source of a page-loading delay (or latency in tech-speak).

Zach Edwards explained that it’s important to discover these latencies because they can cost a company consumer trust and possibly sales. At best, these delays will slow down page loads for the user and cause frustration. At worst, these latencies will prevent a page, such as a check-out page, from loading, costing a company a consumer transaction. 

Crownpeak empowers non-technical staff to immediately block problematic vendors 

Fixing both latency issues and data security risks can take time, with technical developers needing to investigate code, coordinate with partners, and devise a solution. During that process, which could take days or weeks, you wouldn’t want the latency or data vulnerability to remain in effect.

This is where Crownpeak’s TagControl comes in. TagControl empowers non-technical staff to block problematic tags with just one click. As a result, the tag is blocked and the latency issue resolved, while developers work on fixing the underlying issue.

In addition, your company can block uninvited guests right at the door. Crownpeak’s TagControl enables your company to create what is essentially a guest list: an approved list of vendor tags. If an unapproved vendor tries to piggyback on an approved vendor, the would-be piggybacker gets automatically blocked because it’s not on the approved tag list.

Gaining control of your data enables you to build consumer trust

Once a company has the ability to see problems, immediately address them, and prevent other problems from ever developing, it can confidently offer a more refined data privacy experience to website users. 

Crownpeak Global Partnerships and Alliances Lead Jason Breed described during the webinar what this superior data privacy experience involves. Instead of inadequate, one-size-fits-all, cookie consent banners, website owners can craft personalized, branded privacy consent opt-in forms — or even multi-media privacy microsites containing explainer videos or FAQs setting out how you use and protect your users’ data. You can see examples of personalized opt-in forms in the below slide:

cookier banners

In addition, privacy experiences can be localized to cater to individual markets with geolocation and language auto-detection. As a result, privacy experiences seamlessly adapt to meet regulatory requirements based on where the user is located. Thus, your users in the U.S. would see a different consent opt-in form than your users in France. 

Crownpeak’s Universal Content Platform provides these exact capabilities. It also automatically updates the privacy consent forms or privacy microsites in real time, so if your tags or vendors change, or regulations are updated, you don’t have to worry that your form or site will become non compliant or at risk. 

By providing tailored, specific messages to different users on the privacy experience you’re offering them, you build trust with consumers, which, of course, translates into increased consent-rates, which leads to increased revenue. 

Given the importance of the data privacy experience to an organization’s revenue and profits, organizations must not treat data privacy as merely a checkbox requirement that concerns only information technology staff and the legal department. Instead, staff stakeholders across multiple departments, including marketing, as well as outside partners, must coordinate their efforts to achieve a superior data privacy experience that balances legal compliance, website security, and effective marketing and sales. 

When the C-suite and Board of Directors support such an approach and deploy Crownpeak data privacy solutions, companies can avoid the kinds of cautionary tales we discussed in our first Data Privacy & Marketing webinar. Moreover, by treating customer data like the valuable, vulnerable resource that it is, companies will reaffirm that customer trust and healthy revenue go hand in hand.

Watch the webinar to learn more

In the last part of the webinar, we address three compelling questions about data privacy.Watch the webinar to check out the answers, including our experts’ take on data breach threats on the horizon.