Form strategy and marketing performance

5 Unexpected Reasons a Great Form Strategy Will Improve Marketing Performance

According to Forrester, a new kind of company is emerging.  The insights-driven business.  Growing at an average of more than 30% annually and on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021. These “customer obsessed” firms symptomatically harness insights across their business and implement them to create competitive advantage. 

These businesses create closed-loop insights to optimize every customer engagement, to continuously improve outcomes.  The value of data insights has literally never been more important for businesses trying to stay ahead of their competition. 

There are vast areas of opportunity for insight data, this blog is exploring just one, and that’s the impact of a form strategy on lead generation and marketing performance.  In depth data insights are how businesses will remain competitive and grow market share.  This level of insight is particularly important when it comes to global enterprise organizations because just shifting the dial by 1% can result in a significant uplift in sales and a significant impact on revenue. 

Forms are forms.  They’re not something most businesses focus too much attention on.  But at GatedContent.com we’re quite the opposite.  We’re obsessed with the power and impact that good, cleverly considered forms have on buyer behaviour; lead nurture and revenue.  Here we’re going to explore five ways a solid form infrastructure and strategy will save you money and enable agile activity, positively impacting marketing performance. 

1. Increase Speed to Market

One of the challenges with the traditional approach to inbound marketing campaigns is the lack of autonomy marketing professionals have to change and A/B test different tactics.  Often the marketing team will need to rely on a web dev professional to deploy changes to forms or landing pages which can take time.  Building a form infrastructure that enables marketers to be in full control of technical changes means marketers are able to test, deploy, review and adjust all inbound activity quickly.

2. Reduce Costly Developer Time

For marketing and sales, the solution to developing a robust compliance strategy is a cloud-based consent process that covers all digital assets.  This must work in tandem with a cross-regulatory compliance strategy that has predetermined how the data privacy regulations relevant to your business overlap, in order to synergize compliance efforts throughout your organization. 

3. Redistribution of Spend in the Sales and Marketing Funnel

In most organizations marketing investment focuses on top of funnel awareness activity.  PPC; SEO; free trials; content strategy etc. this makes sense when generating the volume of leads required to meet revenue targets.  But what happens when you have high volumes of leads coming into the funnel, but there’s room for improvement on lead quality and bottom of the funnel conversion? 

This is where investment in technology and insights to fine-tune your conversion rates can have a big impact.  If you can improve conversion rates by even 1 or 2 percent that’s a significant boost to the bottom line.  Testing and tweaking form types; time of day; opt in; progressive profiling and pre-population through technology like GatedContent.com is an arguably more effective investment than top of funnel activity. 

Marketing funnel form strategy

4. Data Enrichment

Simply put, data enrichment refers to tools and processes that enhance, refine, or otherwise improve raw data. With several data-points feeding into your CRM, you’ll have a more robust profile of every contact. This allows you to improve your lead scoring and account scoring models and find the right talking points for every customer interaction, improving your overall customer engagement and ultimately conversion.  Using form strategies like progressive profiling and multi-step forms allows businesses to gradually build an accurate profile of the prospect over time, meaning you can target them with increasingly personalized content over time.

5. Reduction in Friction

A major hinderance to web conversion is friction.  Would you be able to quickly evaluate high friction forms vs. low friction forms and the impact this has on conversion rates?  Are all of your forms asking for similar volumes of information?  Do you know the percentage impact two fields vs. five fields has on performance?  These are all questions you should be able to answer if you’re taking a strategic approach to gating your content and form building.

Using multi-step and progressive profiling can reduce friction because you’re asking for a low level of commitment every time someone downloads a piece of content, making it far more likely they’ll complete the action. 

Use our web conversion optimization calculator and find out how, by analyzing your current web conversion rates and optimization practices, GatedContent.com can estimate your projected uplift in leads. 

GatedContent.com is the world’s number one enterprise web form and content gating platform. Providing global data governance whilst scaling inbound lead capture for marketing automation.  

Marketing Performance Benchmark Report

2020 GatedContent.com Benchmark Report

When it comes to making decisions based on marketing performance insights, access to your own data is critical. However, more data equals better decision making. GatedContent.com anonymize visitor data to gain insights into conversion behaviour covering multiple industries and buyer personas to identify global trends in marketing performance data that will supercharge your decision making.

This page is a summary of the analysis we undertook across the full spectrum of data we have available to us. Sectors ranging from manufacturing, technology, FinTech and business services. The data provides detailed insight into different aspects of marketing performance analysis from upwards of a million form submissions taken over the past 12 months.

Global data privacy and marketing performance

Using Global Data Privacy Compliance to Maximize Marketing Performance

We are in a new era of data privacy. Before the internet became a foundational part of everyday life for the majority of the global population, the definition of privacy was more straightforward. It was up to the consumer to choose what to share, when to share it, and with whom. But the internet complicated the way consumers share and receive information and in turn, how organizations manage and utilize this data responsibly.

 

Questions have been raised about whether major data breaches and increased discussion surrounding our personal data is impacting consumer anxiety over how their information is used and managed. Research undertaken by the Global Alliance of Data Driven Marketing Associations (GDMA) has good news.  In their 2018 research paper – Global Data Privacy: What the Consumer Really Thinks they found that consumer attitudes to data are changing in a positive way, making way for responsible organizations to utilize consumer data to their advantage, with full consent from the consumer. 

  • The majority of people (51%) surveyed across the globe were ‘Data pragmatists’ who will decide whether to share their personal information on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the benefits.
  • One in four consumers (26%) are described as ‘Data unconcerned’ having little concern about how their data is collected and used
  • Just 23% are unwilling to provide their personal information, even in return for service enhancement, they call these ‘Data fundamentalists’.

Despite differences across the 10 countries involved in this study, the overall trend towards a pragmatic approach to data is resounding.  Consumers increasingly understand that data has a big part to play in their lives.  

The caveat to that is 88% of those consumers surveyed cited transparency as the key to trusting organisations. This very reasonable expectation is further compounded by the fear generated from recent high profile data scandals including Cambridge Analytica and Capital One not to mention the increasing risk of cyber security breaches as technology continues to develop at light speed, putting further pressure on Governments and businesses to respond with even more robust security policies.

You only have to run a quick google search to find a long list of serious data breaches over the past ten years from high profile companies whose brand trust and reputations have faced significant long term damage. 

In principle it’s simple.  A healthy data economy relies on improving transparency and control for consumers which will help companies move into a much stronger position to utilise that data for continued innovation and growth, providing increasing value to their customers.

Implementation however is less straightforward. According to CIODive.com data breaches and cyber security are the number one concern for CEOs, over and above recession. 

The Data Challenge for Businesses

Whether you’re a start-up or a global enterprise, reliance on the internet and cloud based technologies mean data privacy needs to be at the top of your agenda.  The scale of the challenge obviously differs between SMEs and large corporations but the fundamental problem remains consistent. 

For the purposes of this post we’ll be focused on the challenges faced by global enterprise organizations. 

The facts: 

  • 87% of leads became unmarketable post GDPR 
  • Salespeople and regional marketers are increasingly going rogue and ‘doing their own thing’ making firm wide privacy compliance very difficult 
  • As the world becomes ever increasingly digitally driven and data reliant, your reputation and trust becomes more exposed to risk 
  • There’s a distinct lack of discipline around consent and lead capture 

GDPR wasn’t the beginning and it certainly won’t be the end of the introduction of data privacy regulations with serious consequences for businesses who fail to meet the standards. Strict data privacy legislation is appearing in more and more economies across the globe.  

Below are 9 examples of countries who have adopted, or are close to adopting comparable data privacy laws:  

  • Brazil’s LGPD is nearly identical to GDPR in terms of scope and applicability 
  • Australia’s Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches)
  • In the USA there is currently no federal privacy law, but every state has its own. The strictest among them is the recent California Consumer Privacy ACt (CPPA)
  • Japan’s Act on Protection of Personal Information applies to both foreign and domestic companies that process the data of Japanese citizens.
  • South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act has included many GDPR-like provisions
  • The Thailand Personal Data Protection Act is similar to GDPR but with penalties more complex than GDPR
  • Chile’s constitution was amended in 2018 to include data privacy as a human right 
  • New Zealand’s amendments to their 1993 Privacy Act are due to come into effect in December 2020 
  • India’s Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) was introduced to Parliament in December 2019 and is likely to pass in 2020

It’s clear that organizations operating globally have no choice but to adopt a cross-regulatory compliance strategy.  In this case, GatedContent.com primarily focus on data compliance from the marketing and sales side of an organization, which is arguably one of the highest risk areas for a business as that’s the point at which the majority of consumer data is captured. Failure to comply doesn’t just expose the organization to reputational risk, but it significantly impedes the effectiveness of marketing investment.  

The Solution

For marketing and sales, the solution to developing a robust compliance strategy is a cloud-based consent process that covers all digital assets.  This must work in tandem with a cross-regulatory compliance strategy that has predetermined how the data privacy regulations relevant to your business overlap, in order to synergize compliance efforts throughout your organization. 

  • Moving to a dynamic consent strategy will enable you to convert more high quality leads
  • Prioritizing data privacy makes contact and consumer lists more marketable 
  • Managing the global governance of web conversion and data acquisition 
  • Universal adoption of firm wide data privacy policies avoids breaches from localized marketing and sales teams and provides an audit trail 
  • Driving innovation in what consumer consent looks like will allow marketing teams to do more and be more agile 

Global Privacy Strategy - Sage Case Study

GatedContent.com have been working with global technology provider Sage who operate across 80+ countries.  This short case study outlines how the global privacy strategy we helped implement impacted their marketing performance.

After initial consultancy to build a data strategy, GatedContent.com determined the consent requirements per user based on existing data and user location.  This data was then used to provide dynamic privacy messaging which changes according to the users current location.  This framework was rolled out to ensure content capture policies were universally adopted across the business, removing the problem of unregulated localized activity and providing an accessible audit trail.

Sage saw a 69% uplift in marketable contacts and global data privacy compliance firm-wide. 

This is what Sage had to say: 

“We started using GatedContent.com over a year ago and I’m so glad we did. GatedContent.com ensures that we’re collecting all required fields, including those for GDPR and other regional legislation. The form submissions come into our database standardized so it reduces the need for data cleansing. It also ensures that all of our forms have the same look and feel across hundreds of branded webpages. We’ve had a number of changes during the last year and GatedContent.com support is impeccable”. 

What's Next for your Organization?

There’s only one solution to the privacy challenge, and that is to invest in the right tech stack that works together seamlessly and the engagement of data experts to ensure you’re compliant in every jurisdiction you operate in.  Beyond that, you need to be 100% transparent about your approach. 

This requires companies to consider the impact on privacy and the risks posed to their customers before doing anything with their data, striving to achieve a balance between privacy and innovation.  If your product or service creates real benefits for people by using their data, then you should adopt honest and open lines of communication, in return consumers will reward you with their trust and their custom.

GatedContent.com is the world’s number one enterprise web form and content gating platform. Providing global data governance whilst scaling inbound lead capture for marketing automation.  

5 Things you Didn’t Know you Could do with GatedContent.com

The GatedContent.com platform makes it easy to deploy optimised web forms at scale and it helps ensure your data governance. But is capable of even more. Here are the top 5 features and applications of GatedContent.com that will take your web forms to the next level. 

1. Block Personal Email Domains

For B2B marketing there are several benefits to obtaining a business email rather than a personal one. Firstly, your email is likely to reach them at the office during work hours. Secondly, it may be possible to utilise data enrichment services like DemandBase. 

Setting up email validation in GatedContent.com is easy, simply use the regular expression from our knowledge base.


Say goodbye to junk email addresses

Block personal email domains

2. Dynamic Dropdowns

The length of  the list of options on your dropdown will have an impact on your conversion rate. Make your forms as user friendly as possible by doing some of the work form them. For example, once a user has selected a country you can narrow down the options for the state field. 


I want Smart Dropdowns

Smart DropDown

3. Using Query Strings to Set Default Values

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use information from a query string (product id for example) and have it set the default for a field? Well you can do just that. This can be great for helping users by completing aspects of the form for them or passing useful information to your sales and marketing teams though a hidden field. 

Query String

Let’s set up some default values

4. Show a Gate on Page Load

Normally, modal forms will appear when the user clicks a button. In some cases, you may want the form to appear as the page loads, with no action from the user. 


Show me how

5. Gate an Entire Page

Having your content on a page rather than hidden in a PDF download is good for your SEO, but what if you still want to restrict access to the content. Page locks give you a variety of options for gating your on-page content. You can gate the whole page, have the form appear after a certain amount of time or scroll, and even hide and reveal specific elements.


Show me how to lock it down

Discover More in the Knowledge Base

So that’s our top 5 things you didn’t know you could do with GatedContent.com, if you want to learn more check out the Knowledge Base

GDPR COVID-19

Say goodbye to Data Protection during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Scientists, politicians, tech firms…organisations everywhere are joining forces to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic around the world. Funds are being released in a seemingly endless nature and the majority of the world’s population is being asked to stay home, lockdown and self-isolate. But how has this impacted GDPR and digital marketing?

It’s completely unprecedented and unlike any other global crisis we have dealt with in our modern, digital era. So, what does this mean for data? Data governance and data protection are key guides to how our tech responses navigate through the unchartered territory that is this Pandemic. Under usual circumstances, it is data privacy law that guides how and when organisations can contact people.

Well what about GDPR now? Do Data Protection laws go lax during a pandemic?

With specialist units being set up across the country, and between five to ten different incidents of privacy violations online being tackled daily, we wonder how GDPR is managing data protection during such an unparalleled time. 

The UK government has announced that it’s cracking down on misinformation being spread about Coronavirus online. In a recent article, the government noted that specialist units are operating to combat misinformation about coronavirus and five to ten incidents are being identified and tackled each day. 

This includes phishing emails being sent asking for personal details and payment for police “fines” for going outside during lockdown. The question is, as a result of the overload, how many GDPR violations will also be taking place? Or perhaps more of a concern, have the appropriate government bodies and the NHS been able to reach people when they needed to?

The Information Commissioner’s Office has released the following statement in support of digital outreach during the Coronavirus Pandemic: 

“Data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop Government, the NHS or any other health professionals from sending public health messages to people, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing. Nor does it stop them using the latest technology to facilitate safe and speedy consultations and diagnoses. Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.” – ICO

We all can appreciate that the above does mean that the appropriate government bodies will be able to reach people regardless of the GDPR restrictions. Yet, it’s slightly unnerving for many people who will see this as a lax on the law – for example, could private health firms use this argument? Although they are not in the public sector, might we see a time when private sector firms are acting within the best interest of the public sector?

Letting go of data privacy and GDPR for health support

An example of this comes from the US. California has only recently implemented it’s CCPA data governance law in January. However, details of the law are still being finalised. Last week, 33 different organisations approached the State of California to delay the implementation of the CCPA data law as the pandemic is such a shock to every area of the economy. The implementation of this law is causing an overwhelming concern from businesses about the sustainability of such strict data governance rolling out during this crisis. 

Who cares about relaxing this law for a few months in the face of a global pandemic? Well, interestingly, we all should. Tech giant, Google and its sister company, Verily, have launched a new Coronavirus testing capability in the state of California. The process is fairly straightforward: The site runs users through a series of screening questions via the company’s Project Baseline health data collection platform. Depending on if the system deems them eligible, they’re allowed to make an appointment for a much-coveted coronavirus test.

What’s the catch? Well in order to use the screening tool, users must have a Google account. And they must agree to a number of data privacy clauses. Ultimately users are exchanging their health information for a potentially life-saving test. Who would say no? Should we be worried? Whether you should or shouldn’t be worried, you are officially sharing your personal data with Google, Verily and anyone else you’ve agreed can know about you. Google is effectively forcing you to share data for a test that you may or may not need. 

Data governance becomes data coercion. And in this case, it’s also extremely experimental. Rolled out with very little testing, we are unsure how successful the Verily system will be. As Foreign Policy magazine putis it, ‘The coronavirus pandemic may—if tech companies and surveillance-curious governments get their way—extend this type of tech-driven experimentation to just about everyone.’

Getting back to normal: Looking beyond the Pandemic

Of course, any type of government-approved surveillance program, however well-intentioned, raises serious questions. For most of us the question is: how is our sensitive data being used? And how do we go back to not providing it after the pandemic is over? 

If these were ordinary circumstances, data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA would protect people from data governance violations. And one would hope that these laws are still in practice for most organisations. Taking our private health data and exposing it to private companies, even in the interest of public health, is a source of concern because these records hold significant commercial value (Weforum.org). 

Only time will tell how our data is used beyond this pandemic. There are simply no rules on how the current situation will pan out as it’s so unprecedented. But data protection must be protected. We should hold the government accountable as to how it’s planning on using data, who will ultimately have access to our health information and for how long. We will see the end of this pandemic crisis. The questions will remain around data governance. We should continue to question information required during the pandemic and challenge it’s usage in the days, months and years to come. 

Here are five ways you can manage your own personal data and cultivate data during the pandemic:

  1. This is not a time to panic – the law exists for a reason. Use the guidance outlined by the ICO to determine your eligibility for collecting information (from a business perspective) and be diligent with your own. 
  2. Health information is sensitive data:  Ask yourself why are you are collecting it and for how long you will require it. Be transparent in your privacy policy and terms and conditions.  
  3. Keep your information accurate. Data quality is absolutely king during a time such as this. Work with a third-party to ensure data quality is maintained, especially if you are scaling data requests globally.
  4. Delete what you don’t need. This isn’t a time to hoard information. If you can’t justify why you are collecting it, just don’t.
  5. Does this mean that I can’t collect information about coronavirus to help guide my business through the crisis? Not at all, just be sure to use these tips to make sure you are in keeping with the law. 

Ultimately businesses should have the correct policies in place for collecting data. Data governance may be flexing slightly in the face of this global pandemic but as businesses, we can do everything we can to ensure we are supporting laws and applying the necessary compliance. Only time will tell if other businesses and government bodies are maintaining data integrity in the same fashion.

Get in touch with GatedContent.com if you have specific queries about data collection and data governance. 

Useful Tip: If you are planning on collecting data as a result of Covid-19, The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), has also reported its own FAQs for handling personal information. 

Stay well during these unique and unparalleled times.

zero party data

Zero Party Data is more than a new marketing buzzword

Zero Party: Strategy, Implementation and Benefits

Zero Party data may sound like the next big thing in a long line of “must haves” when it comes to marketing buzzwords. The recently coined phrase, was first seen in a Forrester report, last year. What is it exactly? Do you really need to be thinking about it? And, if so, how quickly can you start capturing ZPD? This article looks at Zero Party data and how it fits within your data strategy. The good news is, you might already be gathering it.

What is Zero Party data?

Let’s start with the basics. Buyers hold more and more control when it comes to the types of data we hold. Privacy concerns are growing daily and restrictions like GDPR are increasingly limiting. Enter Zero Party Data (ZPD), which builds trust with your buyers and creates a certain level of emotional connection. Thus encouraging your leads to part with more of their data voluntarily.

Think about First Party data. It used to be defined as preference data, as it’s down to your lead or buyer to provide this information. Different from third party data, which is provided as a purchased list or as data that has been approved for distribution by a “third party”. First Party data used to be the big player – in order to gain it, organizations usually need a content value exchange. In the world of data, people rarely give it away for free.

ZPD is closely linked to first party data, but more personal, more preference-driven and obtained in a voluntary way. In a recent Forrester report, zero-party data (ZPD) is data a customer shares with a brand in an intentional and proactive manner. It might include first party data but it also includes purchase intentions and ultimately how a person wants to be recognized by a brand.

The difference between first party and zero party data is that first party data is closely linked to inferred purchase intention based on behavioural data (like number of clicks through from an email campaign) and ZPD is linked to direct intentions as it comes from a customer’s willingness to share data as a result of company interest.

Tim Bohn, Head of Product at GatedContent.com, states “ZPD is the type of data that a brand asks customers for – and that customers feel they want to share with the brand.”

How to gather Zero Party Data

To put ZPD into context, think about types of data that organisations directly request through content gating. customer surveys, competitions and questionnaires, for example. The feedback received by customer surveys is data that a customer wants to share. By using this data appropriately, companies can tailor their products and services to the wants and needs of consumers.

Although ZPD as a phrase was only coined in 2018, it’s application is not necessarily new. What ZPD is, is personal. It’s a quirky poll, a social media quiz, an interactive ad. It speaks directly to your customer and asks them to share their information by offering a high value exchange: a piece of content, a chance to win a prize or even recognition on a social channel.

Our customers want to be engaged, dazzled and enticed to share their data. With this in mind, innovative uses of ZPD include digital experiences with the option to opt-in, conduct market research and create unique user experiences which encourage people to act and engage with your brand.

ZPD is best suited to marketers who aim to be digital disruptors. Gaining traction through social channels by offering a unique experience will only help encourage more activity from audiences. However, this is not the only way to gain traction. Companies are gathering ZPD through a question in an Ad campaign or even through a gated content form on their website. The idea behind ZPD is to be personal, direct and open about your clients needs. The way you interact with your potential customers should be personal but not invasive.

Data Governance

ZPD is collected using social surveys, ad campaigns and gated website content (including questionnaires and competitions). Large global companies will have a multitude of languages, privacy policies and data quality guidelines to conform to. It can become extremely difficult and costly to manage and scale this level of gated content.

GatedContent.com is able to discuss your company’s data governance and gated content requirements on a small, medium or global scale. Zero Party data is a direct conversation with your potential customers. Don’t lose a precious opportunity to find out more about your users. Speak with us today to find out how you can benefit from a Zero Party data strategy.