[Free Guide] How to choose the right privacy management solution for your organization

The ins and outs of consent management platforms

An essential overview of consent management platforms.
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4 min read
November 12, 2023
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Data has long been a workhorse – serving a multitude of purposes across a single organization, ranging from tailored advertising to revenue generation. As a result, managing and complying with customer data preferences is often a nearly impossible task. This is where a consent management platform (CMP) can be your workhorse’s workhorse – providing the foundation to ensure data compliance based on evolving regulations.

In the face of mounting but patchwork privacy legislation across the United States and Europe, more companies than ever before are finding themselves in search of a consent and preference management (CPM) solution. Unsurprisingly, the market size of CPMs is exponentially growing. These platforms help businesses of all sizes remain compliant while they build a framework that delivers a consumer-centric experience based on trust. The effects can be powerful, and those who ignore the opportunities risk legal consequences and PR nightmares. 

Let’s cover the ins and outs of consent management platforms: answering the question "why is consent management important" before addressing how to find a platform that will work for you. 

Consent management platform requirements

When it comes to respecting privacy, consent is the first step. 

So, first things first — what is consent management? Consent management is the process or system that allows customers to determine what data they feel comfortable sharing with a business. For example, if your company uses third-party apps, you'll need the user to consent to cookies. 

Today's privacy regulations require you to obtain users' consent before collecting and using their data. Unfortunately, many businesses use outdated consent management platforms. These companies might think they are protecting themselves and their users. However, their cookie consent management system often no longer meets current requirements. 

Since it is your responsibility to remain compliant and up-to-date, understanding consent management platform requirements is essential. These platforms can help you with a range of content management use cases, ranging from the needs of financial companies to those in the manufacturing industry. 

Consent management platform requirements include:

  • The ability to capture insights into what customers want concerning the use of their data. Are they comfortable offering their data for analytics? Advertising? Both? A platform like Ketch can help you seamlessly sort through the noise, ensuring consent preferences are met based on purpose-specific data controls
  • The option to set privacy choices across all devices, interactions, and platforms.
  • The ability to enforce privacy choices across your data ecosystem.

Learn more: 3 requirements for effective consent management

Free consent management platform

If your website processes visitors' personal data, you need a consent management platform — but how do you choose between a paid vs. free option?

The answer depends less on the cost of the platform and more on the features provided. For example, does the platform offer cookie consent, policy management, mobile app consent, privacy requests, etc.? If so, it will give you the support you need from a privacy tool, especially when developed by a company that specializes in privacy compliance and management

Are you looking for a free consent management platform? Ketch Free offers comprehensive tools to help you respect consumers' rights to privacy and data dignity. When opting for this complimentary choice, you benefit from:

  • Future-proof data privacy compliance, including CCPA/CPRA, GDPR, etc. 
  • Access to a flexible preference center that maximizes customer control. 
  • Tools for creating pixel-perfect banners to deliver notices and disclosures across web and mobile applications while recording user consent. 
  • Quick, seamless deployments, thanks to templates and privacy language.

When you require more features, you can always opt for the next step up, benefiting from options designed for enterprises and developers

Read more: Explaining Ketch Free: a free consent management tool for privacy compliance

Consent management platform comparison

You'll want to run a consent management platform comparison when aiming to find the right consent management tool for your business. Which features matter most to your business based on your present and future goals?

When comparing, revert to the requirements listed above. Also, consider whether you want a standalone consent management platform or an integrated option. The latter helps businesses save time and money because everything is in one stack

Here are some options to consider.


As Ketch says, anyone can collect consent, but when leveraging its consent and preference management platform, you benefit from enforcement too. Unlike most consent capture platforms, Ketch helps protect your business from risk while building customer trust. Through the power of APIs and a coordinated set of applications, Ketch collects and implements privacy choices across all vendor and internal systems. 

This fast, easy-to-deploy privacy system includes everything needed to deploy responsive, identity-aware consent and personal preference management for your business.

Cost: $0 with Ketch Free


TrustArc will help you scale your global cookie compliance while personalizing customer experiences at scale. Like Ketch, it has some great features and focuses on GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy regulations. However, it does not offer APIs, reducing the level of integration and customization.

Cost: The basic version is free. For more features, you'll need to request a quote. 


With OneTrust, you can capture user consent to understand preferences better. This process will allow you to develop more effective campaigns based on personalization and segmentation. While this is a popular consent management platform, it won’t enforce consumer privacy choices in downstream systems which puts your compliance and your customers' privacy at risk. 

You can compare Ketch vs. OneTrust here

Cost: You can access a free trial and then build a paid plan based on your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the key differences between free and paid consent management platforms?

Free consent management platforms typically cater to simpler needs, offering basic compliance functionalities suitable for startups or small websites with straightforward consent collection requirements. However, businesses with more complex needs, such as those operating in multiple jurisdictions or handling sensitive data, might find these solutions lacking in robustness, customization, and support. Paid solutions, including Ketch, not only offer extensive customization and integration options but also provide advanced features like detailed analytics on consent patterns, support for multiple languages and legal jurisdictions, and dedicated customer support. This ensures that organizations can maintain compliance while also aligning with their specific operational and branding needs.

How does a consent management platform integrate with existing data management systems?

Integrating a consent management platform with existing data systems is crucial for ensuring compliance across all points of data collection usage, and retention. Many businesses stop after consent collection, believing that implementing a cookie banner across websites is enough to comply with privacy laws. However, modern laws like California's CCPA require business to enforce people's privacy choices across every business data system and application: everywhere sensitive and personal data lives in the business data ecosystem. These platforms typically require building integrations, such as via APIs and SDKs, allowing them to work within a variety of IT environments, from websites and mobile apps to in-house CRM systems. This integration ensures that consents are managed and respected across the entire data lifecycle, facilitating compliance with data protection laws and enhancing trust with users by respecting their privacy preferences across all platforms. Ketch software includes 1000+ pre-built integrations to common data systems and apps, saving businesses from having to complete development work in-house.

What specific regulations do consent management platforms help businesses comply with?

Consent management platforms are designed to help businesses navigate the complex landscape of global data privacy laws. By enabling organizations to manage user consents effectively, these platforms ensure compliance with key regulations such as the GDPR in Europe, which requires explicit consent for data processing, and the CCPA/CPRA in the United States, which allows consumers to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. Additionally, these platforms are updated to reflect changes in legislation, providing businesses with ongoing compliance support for emerging laws and regulations worldwide.

Can consent management platforms be customized to match a company's branding?

Customization is a significant feature of consent management platforms, allowing businesses to align the consent experience with their brand identity. This goes beyond mere aesthetic adjustments; it extends to customizing the wording of consent messages, the timing and manner in which consent requests are presented, and the overall user journey. Such customization ensures that consent requests are not only legally compliant but also resonate with the brand's voice, enhancing user engagement and trust. Platforms like Ketch offer deep customization options to ensure that consent dialogs and notifications fit seamlessly into the brand's digital presence, reinforcing brand consistency and user confidence.

How does Ketch's consent management platform handle data from minors or sensitive categories?

Managing consent for minors and sensitive data categories requires additional care and compliance measures. Ketch's platform addresses these needs by providing mechanisms for identifying and handling sensitive data categories, such as health information or financial details, with enhanced consent requirements. These features ensure that businesses can manage consents accurately and ethically, respecting user privacy and adhering to stringent legal standards for data protection.

Read time
4 min read
November 12, 2023
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