How Hershend Family Entertainment streamlined processes, ensured data privacy

  • by Nick White
  • last updated November 5, 2020
How Hershend Family Entertainment streamlined processes, ensured data privacy

About Herschend Family Entertainment

Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) creates, owns, operates and manages 23 family-oriented theme parks, water parks, aquariums and attractions across six U.S. states, making it the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. Silver Dollar City in Missouri and Dollywood in Tennessee are among their most recognized brands. With millions of guests visiting its properties and websites every year, the company constantly strives to deliver a great experience at every touchpoint.

The challenge: To manage complex data privacy requirements without sacrificing user experience

As a company focused on creating fun family experiences, HFE believes the safety and security of its guests extend to their data privacy when they visit any of the branded websites HFE operates. Privacy laws vary from state to state, and HFE found that ensuring each of its websites is compliant and provides guests with clear options on how to manage their personal data is complicated. “Privacy is way too complex of a topic and it’s only getting more so as new regulations are signed into law and existing ones change,” says Bryan Hardman, director of Marketing Technology at Herschend Family Entertainment. “Instead of trying to manage data privacy ourselves, we wanted to partner with a privacy expert to give us the confidence we were doing everything we needed to do for our guests.”

HFE wanted a solution that could meet its technical needs in a way that naturally fit with the look and feel of its websites to optimize the user experience. Most of the data privacy solutions HFE evaluated were difficult to implement and offered bolt-on capabilities that were unattractive and bulky. Automation was key, as HFE wanted to streamline data privacy efforts going forward with a solution that could scale as privacy laws evolve.   

Solution: A data privacy platform that practically runs itself

Hardman and his team chose Osano because, as Hardman puts it, “It was one of the only companies that could deliver what it promised.” The team categorizes and manages scripts and cookies in Osano’s Consent Manager, all without additional coding and development. Consent Manager is deployed on each of HFE’s branded sites and e-commerce sites, informing users about the information the company collects and tracks while they visit the site and giving them the freedom to control what data is tracked. 

“Consent Manager gives us the flexibility by brand and regulatory body to configure it to automatically provide the right disclosures and user controls,” says Hardman. “Osano saves us time and resources while reducing our risk.” 

After mapping the regulations, the Osano solution generates a checklist of to-dos, including a number of areas in data subject access requests and online privacy as far as cookies and scripts are concerned. “Osano helps us by creating an online framework that allows us to take in the user requests, validate they are who they say they are, then put the request into a ticketing system for our team to fulfill in parallel instead of in serial, enabling HFE to respond much faster to requests. Any request is honored across all HFE sites automatically.

As a partner, Osano works with the HFE team to solve unique issues, configuring the system to meet their specific needs. For instance, HFE desired to use TCF v2.0, the GDPR transparency and consent framework provided by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Osano stepped in to help implement the framework.

Hardman also leaned on Osano to help with Google Tag Manager. Because of how Osano is structured to work outside of Google Tag Manager, HFE only had to establish one set of rules so all of the scripts and cookies can be managed once. “As with all of the support we’ve received from Osano, the Google Tag Manager help makes everything so much less complex, and it saved us a ton of time,” says Hardman. “We don’t have to keep consent and tag managers matched up. We did it once in Osano and didn’t have to set anything in Google Tag Manager.”

Results: Customers who know HFE puts them first

All of HFE’s websites and e-commerce sites now have consistent, accurate data privacy notifications and request processes that align with the company’s values and brand image. While HFE says it hasn't had many requests from users yet, it knows it has the appropriate tool and workflow in place to respond quickly and in the right way when it receives them. “The most important thing to us is that our guests trust us with their data and the way that we are communicating with them in their digital space is not seen as intrusive,” says Hardman. “Osano gives us a cost-effective, streamlined way to deploy a comprehensive data privacy solution to meet our needs.”

Because data privacy is so complex, Hardman and his team appreciate the level of support Osano provides. The Osano team has done whatever it takes to deliver the most value to HFE. “Osano provides the support we need when we need it,” says Hardman. “The responsiveness to our precise needs has raised the bar for customer service.”

About The Author · Nick White

Nick White is Osano's VP of Marketing. Nick has more than a dozen years of marketing leadership experience, most recently leading Wealthsimple's marketing as it grew from a couple hundred to over a million clients. Nick lives in Seattle with his wife and puppy.