Preference and Consent Data Management Done Right: A Win-Win for Customers and Brands

At SAP Customer Experience Live in Barcelona, the SAP Customer Data Cloud from Gigya unveiled a staggering statistic:

Our solution has collected and stored 1.2 BILLION consent transactions since launching its enterprise preference and consent management product in November 2017.

Let’s dive into this massive number and show its real-world impact.

What Is a Consent Transaction?

SAP Customer Consent enables businesses to collect, store and manage consent and preference transactions in a single, central data vault. That means a business gets an accurate, up-to-date repository of every instance when a customer consents to:

  • Terms of service
  • Privacy policies
  • Cookies
  • Marketing communications (opt-in, opt-out, channel, and frequency)
  • Other permission-based activities

These instances are tracked, recorded, and attached to a data subject’s profile for the life of their relationship with the business. This includes versioning, so if a customer accepts an updated privacy policy, another transaction is counted.

Additionally, a transaction is recorded any time a customer exercises his or her data access rights through a self-service preference center created in SAP Customer Consent. Established by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), these are a customer’s right to:

  • Data erasure (to be forgotten)
  • Restrict data processing
  • Data portability
  • Object to data processing
  • Automated decision-making and profiling protections
  • Be informed
  • Data access
  • Data rectification

The number of transactions we’ve already recorded indicates the scope of the “consent data capture” issue. In today’s digital landscape, consent data is growing more pervasive every day. The amount of these kinds of records managed within our system is growing at a rate of over 100 million transactions per month. This means that, in the not-too-distant future, more consent transactions than the number of people on the planet will be managed by our solution!

The Meaning Behind the Statistic

There are multiple benefits of this exploding “consent data capture” trend from both the customer’s and brand’s point of view.

Three Wins for Customers

1) Transparency: A large enterprise often employs multiple customer engagement solutions, from e-mail service providers, to data management platforms, to personalization and recommendation engines, all of which generate a need to obtain consumers’ consent for processing their data. Smart businesses around the globe are going beyond mere “consent collection” to provide their customers with true transparency about what data is being collected and how that data is being used at every engagement.

2) Control: Through a self-service preference center that acts as the portal to their profile data, customers are put firmly in control of the relationship with a brand. From this single interface, they can manage their consent choices and preferences. Importantly, their choices can be bi-directionally synced with downstream applications and services, ensuring their wishes are consistently enforced across the enterprise.

3) Value for information: Businesses still need to collect and process customer data, they just have to work harder to gain explicit consent to do so. This extra work often translates into benefits for customers. To capture their valued first-party data, businesses are offering more promotions, exclusive content and perks. Best of all: it’s the customer’s decision whether or not to participate in the exchange.

Three Wins for Brands

1) Regulatory Risk Protection: The trend in global business clearly points toward more comprehensive consumer privacy and data protection laws and regulations. Led by the EU and GDPR, other regional governments around the globe are moving forward with their own consumer privacy and data protection laws. The businesses who are taking the time now to implement solutions for addressing key data privacy issues, such as enterprise preference and consent management, are better positioned to address new laws as they emerge.

2) More Customer Loyalty: SAP CEO Bill McDermott recently said that “consumer trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets.” Statistics prove his point: according to Accenture, 75% of consumers find many forms of marketing personalization “creepy”. By gaining permission for data collection and processing at every engagement, businesses can build relationships with customers and distance themselves from competitors sticking to their old ways.

3) Better Data Quality for Machine Learning Programs: Thorough consent data management has major implications for technologies that tap into AI and machine learning.

For example, stakeholders for the recently-announced Open Data Initiative between Adobe, Microsoft, and SAP can be confident the data fed into this program will not only be formatted correctly through a common data model, but it will also have the appropriate level of consent.

What Are the Implications for the Future?

As more companies join the movement and work to gather and manage customer consent, the amount of consent data will skyrocket even more than its current trajectory.

SAP Customer Experience is committed to helping smart businesses turn data privacy into a market advantage. Transparently capturing consent and preferences from customers, enforcing those choices across the business, and giving customers control over their personal data are key steps on the journey to achieve this market advantage.

To find out more steps to becoming a great data privacy organization, read this report by Forrester.