Personalize the consumer experience

Build consumer trust by focusing on data privacy

Consumers want a highly personalized, omnichannel, authentic, engaging experience — delivered in real time. TMT companies using consumer data to develop and deliver products or services can deliver that experience — while also respecting consumer expectations for privacy. And complying with fast-changing regulations.

The result will not only make compliance more proactive and cost-effective, it will also enhance access to ever-more refined data for ultra-personalized products, services and experiences. Nurture trust by providing the privacy experience consumers seek.

What is the consumer privacy experience?

Technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies have historically minimized privacy communication with consumers, believing it could complicate the relationship while offering little upside in return. However, the vast majority of consumers — 70% — told PwC that the benefits of sharing their data outweigh the risks. The benefits they seek: a highly personalized, omnichannel, authentic, engaging consumer experience, delivered in real time.

And while a scant one-third of consumers told PwC that they are willing to share more data for a more personalized experience, that finding serves to reinforce the opportunity for TMT companies to educate consumers about what they will receive in return for sharing their data.

Carefully consider the overall consumer privacy experience that you will offer (or help your business customers offer their consumers) in exchange for consumer data, then communicate the value of that experience. Begin by determining consumer preferences, the data you have and the data you need. Then choose and implement the privacy stance that matches the type of consumer privacy experience you want to provide.

Ultimately, four forces are at play: regulatory compliance; consumer preferences; enterprise readiness; and products, services and capabilities. We will illustrate how each of these forces plays a role as companies strive to provide the optimal consumer privacy experience.

Nurture trust by providing a highly personalized, omnichannel, authentic, engaging consumer experience, delivered in real time.

The solution to privacy fatigue

TMT companies — both B2B and B2C — are encountering “privacy fatigue.” They are concurrently addressing evolving consumer privacy preferences as well as a raft of regulations across multiple jurisdictions. They are also navigating shifts in industry practices, such as the move toward first-party data. Adapting to this ever-changing environment requires substantial funding, human capital and executive attention — while creating friction with business goals.

Meanwhile, regulations are increasingly requiring companies to give consumers more choice and control over their data. In the wake of COVID-19, TMT companies have become increasingly more essential to the day-to-day lives of consumers. As more scrutiny follows, even more privacy challenges are likely to arise, as the chart illustrates.

Rather than reacting to each privacy challenge as it emerges, proactively determine and create the privacy experience that consumers want, in accordance with the regulatory environment, the needs of the business and your own capabilities. The result will help safeguard
speed-to-market, enable expansion into new regulatory jurisdictions, reduce compliance costs, and increase confidence in compliance.

For many TMT companies, whether or not they brand themselves as privacy leaders, this focus on consumer privacy preferences also offers a competitive differentiator. Almost 85% of consumers told PwC they want more control over their own data. And more than 80% said that they would willingly share data with a company they trust.

Meanwhile, TMT companies are seeking direct customer relationships to replace third-party data. They are also building new business models based on ultra-customized products, services and experiences — eventually targeting a segment of one. In this context, greater access to data will be critical for business growth.

“Adults ages 18-34 spend more time today streaming TV than watching traditional TV. Streaming platforms need to take a streamer-first approach to product design for optimal content, consumer and advertiser experiences.”

Louqman Parampath, VP, Product, Roku

Guide to privacy

Determine which privacy stance will provide the optimal consumer privacy experience — one that delights customers, supports your data strategies, aligns with your enterprise readiness and provides cost-effective compliance.


  • Indirect consumer relationships
  • Often small companies with large data footprints
  • Risk of increased third-party diligence performed by enterprise customers

Reactive compliance

  • Focuses on legal mandate of new regulations
  • Creates substantial friction with the business
  • Not a proactive approach

Agile privacy practices

  • Agile privacy capabilities beyond baseline compliance
  • Proactive, not reactive
  • Adapts to change quickly
  • Pursues problem-solving privacy platforms instead of point solutions
  • Prioritizes solutions complementary to data strategy
  • Evaluates privacy consumer experiences to safeguard consent

Leading privacy practices

  • Builds resilient privacy platforms, anticipates continued change
  • Privacy as competitive differentiator
  • Track leading indicators; monitor and adapt to inflection points
  • Articulate compelling value exchange for innovative privacy consumer experiences

Branded leading privacy practices

  • Brand-defining go-to-market privacy practices
  • Differentiate from less-trusted competitors
  • Meet consumers where they want to be
  • Not optimal for all companies

  • How much value does consumer data provide for our business?
  • How much value will the consumer gain from a more personalized experience?
  • How much friction is our current privacy program causing the business?
  • What risks do our data operations face?
  • How diverse are our data operations and in how many jurisdictions do we operate?
  • How concerned are our consumers (or our customers’ consumers) with privacy?
  • How many consumers are opting out?
  • How many consumers see privacy as a differentiator in purchasing decisions? 
  • How much privacy is our competition offering?

Your north star for privacy: Consumers

Within the ever-changing privacy environment, one north star remains constant: consumers. A focus on the experiences they prefer offers the clearest path to keep them coming back. It also prepares your company to meet ever-evolving compliance requirements, including regulations that require companies to offer consumers ever greater control over their data.

For the many TMT companies that depend on ongoing access to consumer data, this approach to privacy offers a competitive edge. If you offer experiences and value that win consumers’ trust by giving them reasons to want to share data, you will safeguard your access to that data. Start gradually: Win trust by offering enhanced experiences and value-for-data programs in limited parts of the business. Assess results before expanding to other parts of the business.

Your company’s optimal privacy posture today may also change tomorrow, especially if customers begin making more purchasing decisions based on privacy. A trusted privacy program will provide the foundation you need to thrive, one in which consumers willingly offer consent to share their data.

“As consumers become more aware of how their data is collected and used, companies have a responsibility to ensure that privacy by design is the starting point for any new products and services, reinforcing the trust factor that is critical in a mutually beneficial customer-company relationship. Complementary to a well-defined privacy by design strategy is an approachable privacy customer experience and strong assurance program, so consumers can be confident that a company is periodically reviewing the compliance and effectiveness of its privacy program, and living up to its privacy principles.”

Tom Moore, Chief Privacy Officer and Senior Vice President-Compliance, AT&T

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Toby Spry

Toby Spry

Principal, Cybersecurity, Privacy and Forensics, PwC US

Phil Regnault

Phil Regnault

Principal, CMO Advisory, Adobe Alliance Leader, PwC US

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