Margaret Jobling, NatWest: “We have the ability to make an impact”

“We have the ability to make an impact”

Trust is a fascinating thing - hard to earn and easy to lose. This is why it is so important for each and every company to act now. Consumers are no longer blind to the industry collecting and using their data for marketing and advertising purposes. Now is the time to show them that their trust in your organizationis well-founded.

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum's Director, Customer Success, Amy Tranter, sat down with Margaret Jobling, CMO at NatWest, to discuss trust, privacy, value exchange, and more.

“One of the biggest challenges in our industry is trust. [...] Transparency in the industry is one of the things that we really need to fix. [...] We all have the same ambition. How do we work together to solve what's right for the customer because ultimately, that is the person where it all comes together and the reason we exist as a brand is to help our customers thrive and the reasons those tech platforms exist are advertiser-funded to help their customers fly and you know the unlocker of all of that is data and I think it's a real differentiator for brands if they manage it well and treat it as what I think is a differentiating capability.”

Margaret hit on an important first step in building an advertising and marketing ecosystem that works better for all parties - collaboration. However, that can feel like a daunting task, so how can we as an industry come together to create a better future? In her role as ISBA President, Margaret has a unique perspective:

“There is a willingness as an industry to work together, particularly on some of the big challenges [...] We share the problems as an industry that we're all trying to solve and then again it's all done in service of making things better for customers. So how do we partner with the tech platforms, how do we get consistent measurement across the industry that allows you to make choices around how you're spending your money, allows you to optimally optimize your campaigns in a dynamic way, allows you to stop overserving customers and bombarding them with communication. How do we, as an industry, drive hard for transparency - where's my money going, how is it allocated, what's happening with the publishers? How do we match impact with spend? How do we work with the government?”

We could not agree more. We need to come together as an industry and work together and include the consumers as well. For the new privacy-aware consumer, handing over their personal data is becoming a more conscious decision, where they weigh the benefit against the risk. But ultimately, this consumer choice may come down to trust. 

“Customers will give you their data if they think you're going to use it in their best interests, and businesses can then act on that and how do you share and use it responsibly. But our ability to identify the customer starts from their willingness to want to be identified and they're only going to want to be identified if they trust what we're trying to do and why we're trying to do it. And trust is hard-earned, and very quickly destroyed and therefore, we need to work very hard to make sure that we are doing the right thing and operating in the right way with the right governance around it because if you lose it, it's very very hard to rebuild.”

One of the reasons consumers are more privacy-conscious has been the greater awareness of the now infamous third-party cookie. This tracking tool, which provided consumers will little control and transparency, has been slowly deprecated, with a final expiration data set for 2024. So, how is NatWest preparing for the cookieless future?

“We are doing a huge amount of work which starts with the customer. We've done a lot on what do customers currently understand, what do customers expect in terms of value exchange, what's important to them. So what we've seen is, interestingly in banking, there's an implicit level of trust, so a high percentage of customers said I would give you my data because I think there's an implicit exchange around services so we can serve up better interest rates and give you products that really help you save money. So we're doing a lot of work around, how do you simplify the language, where do you serve up the choices, how do we get people to then select and think about channels of choice.”

In the end, it all comes down to the consumer and the value exchange - what do companies offer consumers in exchange for their data? And you need to be very clear about that.

"We have to engineer ourselves and organize ourselves to deliver what our customers need from us at the right time and be part of the solution for their worlds and as brands unless we do that we're going to be extinct. And therefore, our job is to make sure we really understand the people we serve, and we're doing the right thing for them. [...] We're in a very privileged place where we have the ability to make an impact. We need to use that carefully and responsibly."

Thanks, Margaret, for the chat!