Nic Travis, Lloyds Banking Group: “Do the right thing”

“Do the right thing”

While we have certainly seen a shift in the industry’s attitudes toward privacy, many organizations still view data privacy as a nuisance. We still have a long way to go. However, companies such as Lloyds Banking Group are ahead of the curve. It is fostering relationships built on trust and transparency, protecting customers’ data, educating them on why and how their data is being collected and used, and what they get in return. Not because they have to but because it is the right thing to do.

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum's Enterprise Sales Manager, Kate Blaxill, sat down with Nic Travis, Head of Paid Digital Marketing at Lloyds Banking Group, to discuss data privacy, data ethics, the value exchange, and more.

“It's ethically what should we be doing with customer data. Would a customer reasonably expect that with the consents that they've given us and the transparency for our current disclosures would they reasonably expect that we would use their data in this way. And I think there needs to be more focus in the industry around ethics, and organizations setting their own ethical standards of who do you want to work with, [do the] adtech partners reach your ethical standards. [...] Data Ethics is what keeps me awake at night, making sure that we do the right thing at all times with the trust that has been put in us by our customers.”

When it comes to transparency and industry standards, Lloyds Banking Group started preparing for the first-party data era early. 

“At Lloyd's, we are a very risk-averse business that has focused very much on making sure that we have proper consents and what we are doing is transparent, and that the users have an understanding of what it is and an ability to opt out of it. And therefore, our journey has been very much focused on building those appropriate consents into the correct part of the journey and making sure that the users are able to opt-in and out.”

Lloyds Banking Group recognized the need to start innovating in 2017 when they began to lose vital behavioral intelligence due to Apple's decision to end support for third-party cookies in Safari. 

“We lost all of our tracking. We could no longer see any conversions in Safari. [...] We've been having to try and innovate and to make sure that we've got the consent to make sure that we've got the server-to-server integrations and building cookieless solutions for the last few years in order to get our own house in order and get back to where we were.”

Lloyds Banking Group was early in the development of a first-party data strategy. This head start enabled it to overcome the various internal challenges that arose. It is now in the position to share those learningswith others facing similar hurdles on their own journey. 

“The most common one is consent. Lots of people [within organizations] were very comfortable with cookie notices and just popping them up. In many respects, I think lots of people were too comfortable with cookie notices, that they thought they covered them to do more things than they actually did. [...] That is the hardest bit. It was the bit we did first before we attempted anything. There are some advertisers who are still trying to just use cookie policies and privacy notices to kind of get around all of it.”

Thankfully, we are seeing fewer and fewer companies burying their heads in the sand, attempting to hold on to third-party cookies for as long as possible. Instead, more companies are leaning into data privacy and identifying it as a potential business advantage. 

“We've seen the strategic benefit in utilizing our first-party data, to create a great banking experience.”

At the center of an effective first-party data strategy must be a fair value exchange, with consumers fully aware of how and why their data is being collected and used. As an industry, we need to invest in educating consumers. 

“The internet is free for nearly most of all the content that's on it, but the reality is it's free because we all signed this kind of contract without knowing it that while you can use this for free, [...] you are going to see ads. The internet is funded by them. I’d rather see the ones that are aligned with my interest. And I do think that's where we need to get to a more honest discussion around how the internet works and also doing it through some sort of education centralization. But also appreciate that it is incredibly complicated.”

Absolutely. The first-party data era must be built on transparency; explaining to consumers how it works and what is happening with their data. With a clear value exchange in place and by prioritizing privacy, organizations can build trust with their audience, who will then be more likely to hand over their data - which organizations can then utilize to deliver better customer experiences.

“Ultimately, for me, this comes down to our data ethics. It's not our data. It's the customer's data. If you're guided by that, it makes you think about: What data am I capturing? Do I need to capture the data that I've captured? If I do need to capture it, would the customer agree that I need to capture it and how does utilizing this data benefit me or the customer? And if that benefits me more than the customer, is that right? [...] Let's collect the right data. Let's make sure that we can use it to actively make the customer experience better, and that doing so the customer would agree.”

Just as our Chairman and CEO Brian Lesser said in his article in The Trade Desk’s The Current, it’s about doing right by the consumer, not because it is required by regulations, but because it is the right thing to do. 

Thanks for the chat, Nic!