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Why is managing customer preferences so complicated? Is it the fault of the IT system?

Published on August 14, 2020 by Romain Gauthier

Updated on May 27, 2022 by Romain Gauthier

With the GDPR, notions of consent and preference have become central to company organization. As CEO of Didomi, I was recently invited to speak on the subject of GDPR during a webinar organized by the Club Urba-EA. This gave me the chance to take a closer look at how important it is for companies to set up a Preference Center as well as at the opportunities in terms of customer relations generated by a better management of consent and preferences. Here are the key elements of my presentation:






See the replay of the webinar (in French) here :  



Consent and Preferences : two essential concepts 


Consent is a legal matter that has come to light with the GDPR and that cuts across the entire field of consent expressed by the user. Such consent must comply with a number of criteria to be valid, including the fact that it can be easily withdrawn, the presence of a certain amount of information at the time of collection, and finally the notion of proof from the point of view of both the customer and the data protection authorities.  


At the company level, I believe that consent raises three central issues:

  • How do I obtain valid consent under the GDPR? 
  • How do I store this consent and turn it into something useful for my business? 
  • How do I distribute this signal of consent and ensure that it is respected in all of the company's IT systems?


These three aspects have given rise to solutions such as Didomi, which assists companies in the management and processing of consent in the broadest sense.


But beyond the strictly regulatory aspect, companies and brands increasingly expect consent to help them achieve customer relationship objectives. This is what we have defined by the notion of preferences.


This means, for example, asking customers about their preferences in terms of contact channels, frequency, or interest in a particular product category. In the long term, this creates trust that will enrich the customer relationship.



Businesses must deal with an ever-changing landscape


While the two main texts that frame the notion of consent are the GDPR (2018) and the e-Privacy Directive (2002), companies must - in order to remain compliant - deal with a constantly evolving legal framework. This is a challenge. 


Discover Didomi for Compliance


I take as an example the guidelines issued in the summer of 2019 by the CNIL on the notion of cookies and tracers that impact the collection of consent. It is precisely Didomi's role to help our clients navigate between changing regulatory requirements.


⚠  Updated October 2020 : Didomi recently published an article on the new recommendations of the CNIL. Discover our article on this topic here. Or, contact us to organise a free demo and ensure compliance. 

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The notion of consent can also evolve according to local differences, which can be a factor of uncertainty for companies. It becomes a challenge for them to take into account the right notion of consent, collect it correctly, ensure its proof and make sure it is respected internally and with subcontractors. 


The Preference Center, a solution to consent and preference challenges within a company


Companies today operate with rich and diverse IT systems, among which it is often tricky to take into account consent and preferences. A Preference Center helps companies that want to consolidate and centralize consent and preference from many different channels: web, mobile applications, or even offline contact points.


On the user side, a Preference Center offers complete transparency. The idea is to be able to have a space where users can access their consents and preferences. In fact, we are moving from a system where the customer has little or no control over their personal data to a system where they take control over their data. They will be instantly aware of consent and preference and be able to act on it, unsubscribe, change their mind and thus enrich experience.


Discover our Preference Management Platform


Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group streamlines customer opt-in across multiple countries and languages. They generate user trust by providing a better preference management experience. Want to find out how they did it?


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The Preference Center, an ROI tool


This change for the user is accompanied by business opportunities for companies. Increasing the consent rate is good for customer relations as well as for your company's revenue. Through the Preference Center's ability to get more positive responses from your users and generate trust, you improve the re-engagement of your user base as well as your business metrics.


The link between consent and commercial issues is particularly important in certain sectors such as media groups where targeted advertising is an essential source of revenue. In this case, all it takes is for a user not to accept cookies and you can lose 50% of your income on their visit.


Discover Didomi for AdTech


The Preference Center aims to reduce the friction that exists in the customer journey, while improving the consent rate, minimising churn and increasing your visits and income. To measure this performance, Didomi offers its customers a benefit measurement model that directly links their consent issues with increased revenue. 


Discover our Preference Management Platform


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The implementation of a Preference Center, a collective process 


The development of a Preference Center in your company is a collective effort. Since it is a new way of managing customer relations, it is implemented gradually, focusing initially on the elements that are at the heart of existing problems, and then extending to improving customer relations.


Didomi is here to accompany you in the development of a Preference Center adapted to your needs. For a tailor-made Preference Center and advice on its implementation, do not hesitate to contact us!


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avatar Romain Gauthier

Romain Gauthier

Optimistic entrepreneur, privacy enthusiast and happy father in the age of data.

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