Martech Interview with Brian Mullin, founder and CEO of Karlsgate

Brian Mullin sheds light on the importance of customer data shaping business. He focuses on personalization, targeted campaigns being utilized in the past.

Evolving privacy regulations, shifts in the technology landscape, and heightened awareness over consumer privacy rights are all driving change within the digital marketing space.

1. How is customer data occurring across the Web?
The current state of customer-oriented data on the web is tracked through “cookies.” These cookies represent a small packet of data left behind by a previous visit to a website. By recovering these packets on each subsequent visit, consumers can be recognized, and their browsing patterns tracked. Much of the digital advertising ecosystem has been built upon trading the opportunity to store cookies by third parties such advertising networks and marketing platforms. However, this constant tracking by unknown parties has rightly raised privacy concerns and backlash on the use of third-party cookies. Google and Apple have announced plans to curb this practice at the browser or device level.

2. How are marketers impacted?

Evolving privacy regulations, shifts in the technology landscape, and heightened awareness over consumer privacy rights are all driving change within the digital marketing space.

The last thing a marketer needs is to incur compliance penalty and the associated bad press. Therefore, marketing and data science organizations need new solutions to leverage the power of data to increase new customer acquisition and improve the consumer experience. There is an emerging trend to focus on first-party data assets such as CRM systems to develop a compliant and longitudinal view of their customers.

3. Is there a better answer?
A new approach to data collaboration has been long overdue. Marketers must re-imagine their data operations and design processes that protect consumers’ privacy rights, enabling the personalized, targeted campaigns they utilized in the past. The current process that brands use to share data with second and third parties is too costly and complex. It is common for a data sharing project to take anywhere from six weeks to six months and involve technical and legal gymnastics. For companies in regulated industries, it can take up to a year to onboard a new data partner before the data of interest can even be evaluated. These inefficiencies have existed for decades. Ironically, the new data privacy regulations may provide just the incentive needed to force the industry to rethink how the process of protecting data should work.

4. How does identity management fit?
Improved clarity on restrictions and enforcement norms will aid advertising and marketing activities. Platforms, data processors, and data sharing arrangements will all come into better alignment with regulations or disappear from the market.
Safer, more compliant mechanisms will be given fertile ground to innovate and grow. As identity management shifts to first-party data, and specifically to authentic data owners, the onus will shift to organizations that have a legitimate relationship with the data subject and data elements that support legitimate interests. This transformation will forever change the way businesses collect, manage and market identities. This starts with prioritizing the protection of first party customer data.

5. What is the role of cryptography and secure data exchanges?
A secure data exchange can be a critical component of a modern and compliant data collaboration architecture. Two essential tenets of privacy protection need to be addressed in next-gen solution. First is that personal data is not disclosed during the sharing of data.
Cryptography can be an effective technique to block exposure of sensitive data. Second, and historically more challenging, is that re-identification needs to be prevented. What this means is you need to communicate information about shared identities but block partners acquiring identifying information they did not already have. Propagation of consumer identity outside of consent has been plaguing the industry for decades.
Cryptoidentity is new technique to stop re-identification by utilizing a blinded facilitator to match identities. Using this approach enables sharing activities without the unintended side-effects. Whichever tools are employed, the data-driven marketing ecosystem will be stronger with these advancements in place and will achieve better alignment between business and consumer interests.

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Brian Mullin is a technologist with experience in building scalable and reliable systems that can change an industry. He is a lifelong leader who understands the power of an engaged and inspired team. He is an entrepreneur of 20 years with multiple profitable product launches.
He has held executive leadership positions at startups, medium-sized, and Fortune 1000 companies. He has pioneered peer-to-peer file transfer services and non-disclosure matching systems. He has architected major operational systems for Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Dun & Bradstreet, GEICO, Bausch + Lomb, Acxiom, and Experian.

Karlsgate enables secure data sharing in a privacy-by-design platform.

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