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Preferences Center: the future hub of the advertising experience

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Privacy is not the only subject of contractualization between a brand and its audience. The time has come to consider a much more global management of user preferences. To take care of the advertising experience as well as the first party data.

On the user preference management front, the experience reveals a strange paradox that we have all experienced - or rather suffered - as we browse the web.

On the one hand, successive notifications are imposed on visitors as if they had to pass through a gateway to access content: acceptance or refusal of the various categories of cookies, push notifications in the browser, newsletter registration, etc. Sometimes you have to be highly motivated to access a site.

On the other hand, a Privacy Center that is often limited to a detailed view of the different categories of cookies to be accepted or rejected, or to the (un)subscription of the proposed newsletters. In short, this page is primarily seen as a point of management of privacy settings. A bit short considering what digital has become in 2020...

From Privacy Center to Preferences Center

The devices have multiplied, but also and above all the communication channels: SMS, messaging applications such as WhatsApp, social networks, email, without forgetting the call via a call center or the mailing of a paper catalog. As a result, a brand today has an embarrassment of riches to choose from to converse with its audiences. And you have to be smart to identify which channel is best for an individual, and also very agile to act in accordance with this preference.

That's why it's high time to reinvent the Privacy Center and see it more as a Preferences Center. A cockpit in which the user can determine the personal data that he allows the company to collect, but also his preferred communication channels and - let's go to the end of the process - the content or services that he prefers.

How far should the user be allowed to set preferences?

The purpose of this Preferences Center is obvious: to control the spam of the different notifications, thus reducing the massive refusals and the use of adblocks, while de-siloing the management of preferences. If the intention is easy to understand, it brings two very... concrete questions.

First question: what level of detail should the user be offered? For example, is it up to the user to choose the types of messages that could justify retargeting on social networks? Or to set the capping of advertising campaigns? We would like to answer here: "It's up to each brand to determine the granularity of these preferences." Except that, as experience shows, user adherence is bound to be greater if this granularity becomes standardized...

What scenario for the Preferences Center?

Second question: where to manage (and store) these preferences? Today, each type of preference is managed in a specific tool, whereas the Preferences Center draws a repository, a base in which all user preferences will be stored. The nature of this repository needs to be determined. Is it an outsourced third-party, multi-brand solution? At a time when the RGPD is only partially applied, this path seems to lead straight to a gas factory...

Another option is the internalized solution (provided by a third party, but housed within the company's "walls"), and therefore single-brand. Let's be frank, at Commanders Act, this path seems more pragmatic to us, for at least 2 reasons.

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Why choose the internalized, single-brand route

#1 A technical reason

Since the purpose of the Preferences Center is to provide the user with a unique place to contractualize his interactions with the brand, the preferences repository is a base that must irrigate the entire information system. A major change: with privacy, information remains attached to the browser via cookies ; with global preference management, information must circulate.

Customer Data PlatformAll the components likely to interact with prospects and customers must be able to communicate with this repository in order to draw their rights with respect to a user. This integration is necessarily technical and sensitive (given the data involved), and is therefore easier to manage with a dedicated and internalized repository. This is why Commanders Act has taken care to offer a battery of APIs around TrustCommanderits CMP (Consent Management Platform). Our objective is clear: to facilitate integration with a user preference repository.

#2 A Reason for Sovereignty

In our opinion, technology is not the only good reason to opt for an internalized and dedicated solution. The Preferences Center, in order to complete its proposal, leads to the identification and logging of the users. This identification and the resulting knowledge represent a fundamental asset of the brand. First party data that must be jealously guarded...

That's why it's in the brand's best interest to be as explicit as possible about the "contract" it offers via the Preferences Center. The objective is to give the user an exhaustive and global view of the data collected and of the interaction modalities in exchange for the brand's commitment to make a respectful use of it. In other words: a coherent and legitimate use with the brand's field of action and the needs of its audiences.

The Preferences Center is not just an extension of the Privacy Center. It is the hub of the advertising experience and the guardian angel of our precious data.

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