If you think back to your time in physics class, you may remember what is known as Newton's law of action and reaction. Stated simply: With any interaction, a collision results in a force being applied to the two colliding objects.

Though the law of action and reaction applies to physical forces, one could argue (physics majors may cringe) that something similar is occurring within marketing departments worldwide: The need to gain better insights on customers is colliding head-on with data privacy laws.

The chief marketing officer today has one main overriding mandate, to better understand customer behaviors and motivations with the goal of tailoring propositions, engagements, and interactions that most effectively reach their customers. All, of course, with the expectation of future revenue.

That lofty goal requires companies to store customer data, to have a customer intelligence platform to manage the customer life cycle, and to use analytics to help predict customer behavior. The companies that don't use data, and the insights that come from it, could soon join the Blockbusters of the world: replaced by competitors that saw the value in knowing more about their customers and, in turn, providing a service or offering that was more appealing based on data analysis.

Specific tasks like collecting data at the individual customer level on Web metrics (time on page, bounce rate, view rate, etc.) has helped marketers understand the "who" and "why" of customers and their navigational behaviors. That kind of insight has helped them more effectively model, report, and, ultimately, target customer offers. And that's just one example of customer analytics that companies can perform.

As a result, CMOs know more about their customers today and their future buying behavior than ever before.

Enter the Age of Data Privacy

All great, right? Well, not if you ask the customer.

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image of Todd Wright

Todd Wright is head of customer experience and data privacy solutions at SAS. He's particularly interested in the intersection of customer experience and data privacy and what that means for the CMO.

LinkedIn: Todd Wright

Twitter: @toddwright_GDPR