Marketers are obsessed with statistics. Over the last decade, customer data collection, usage, and regulation have evolved dramatically. Customer data appears to be a complete solution at first glance.
It allows marketers to personalize campaigns and communications to the individual customer. Benefits also include accurate attribution of marketing expenditure to outcomes. This is termed data-driven marketing, and it won’t be possible without a wealth of data.
However, there is a negative side to data availability that marketers are increasingly being forced to confront: data privacy. Companies are changing how they gather and manage customer data as a result of new laws, regulations, and efforts designed to protect user data and adhere to local data laws.
Digital platforms including websites and even performance popular apps understand that consumer opinion is responsible for the heightened focus on data privacy and security. Consumers have become increasingly interested in how their personal information is used and how much of it they are willing to divulge.
As consumers become more aware of data collection methods, their concerns are becoming more pronounced. Anyone who surfs the digital space feels some level of anxiety about access to their personal information.
This growing trend in the user’s fear of data collection and use looks set to change the face of marketing.
What is Data Privacy?
Data privacy refers to the secure management and utilization of user data. There are three major data security issues that data privacy addresses: how entities collect and store user data; if they share user data with third parties; and regulatory privacy laws.
Privacy represents the user’s right to control data usage by the entities they interact with. Data collected could be:
- Personal info such as name, phone number, gender, home address, and email address.
- ID info such as date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, and IP address.
- Financial info such as credit card numbers and bank account numbers.
- Web usage info such as website tracking, website cookies, and prior visits.
While this is a basic list of the various elements contained in digital privacy, it gives you a decent understanding of the types of data that your organization is likely already using for marketing analytics.
How Has Data Privacy Affected Marketing Today?
All the latest reforms in data privacy have had a largely negative impact on marketing teams. Privacy compliance is a primary concern for marketers across all marketing channels.
Part of this process is ensuring that the proper procedures and protocols are observed to keep customers advised of how their sensitive data is managed.
It’s easy to see why: a marketer’s capacity to collect and draw insights quickly is harmed by this heightened attention on privacy, which even makes some of their past marketing technology applications obsolete.
Analytics, on the other hand, is only half of the equation. Marketers are the trustees and caretakers of a company’s brand image, and disregarding privacy concerns, whether by choice or circumstance, could harm the company’s brand value.
Mishandling consumer data can have serious ramifications for businesses. Marketers have the unenviable job of trying to balance user opinions and data analytical efforts.
Although data privacy and data security are intricately related, they are not synonymous. While data security is concerned with preventing data breaches, data privacy is concerned with the collecting of data and the management of large datasets with data warehouse software such as Apache hive.
This should concern marketers not simply because it is unlawful to mishandle user data, but also because breaching user privacy is bad for business. Collecting more information than is required can undermine a company’s reputation.
Data privacy is concerned with acquiring proper consent as well as fully expressing what data will be gathered and how it will be used.
Let’s highlight the role of specific data privacy restrictions in today’s marketing landscape.
What is the Role of Data Privacy Laws in Marketing?
As more consumers become concerned about the unlawful usage of personal information by digital marketers, laws and regulations governing usage are becoming more prevalent.
As a result, marketing professionals need to be conscious of their actions in terms of protecting personal information.
There are two important data privacy legislation that you must consider: the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act).
Both of these regulations govern how businesses acquire data and provide people the option to opt-out.
They were the first to provide guidelines for how site owners should treat users from specific geographic areas, such as the state of California or the European Union.
These regulations made it mandatory for everyone to comply with best practices in some way, which was a game-changer.
However, they aren’t the only regulations available. As more people become worried about how their data is used, local and international legislation is beginning to emerge.
This is why it’s critical to stay up to date on the latest developments in data privacy. Keep your finger on the pulse of the situation to adapt your methods within the law.
Managing Privacy in Digital Marketing: How Can Marketers Cope?
After discussing what digital privacy is and how its evolution is changing the face of marketing, it’s time to consider how advertisers should adapt.
While there are a variety of ways to accomplish this, including maximizing data, marketers must realize that the days of personal data abundance are long gone.
Here are some ideas to help you cope with the new wave of data privacy concerns:
1. Improve the frequency of communication
Raise advert and communication frequency for a more robust strategy rather than relying solely on a standalone message that gets to the core of your target audience instantly. Orchestration can help data teams easily handle complicated workflows and tasks.
2. Place more emphasis on quality content
Marketers’ main focus has been on matching content to certain KPIs up until now. This is where a shift to a greater emphasis on quality content becomes critical.
Instead of trying to appeal to a variety of smaller demographics, you need advertising and creative media that appeal to a large number of people at once.
4. Practice compliance and transparency
It’s critical to integrate openness and compliance in your data collection approach, as we’ve seen since the GDPR’s implementation.
While you may not always have control over certain aspects of your website, such as Apple and Facebook adverts, you do have some control over others.
Make sure your privacy policies and other policies are easily available on your website. Another good step is to make it easy for people to opt-in or out of certain things, such as email campaigns.
The more transparent you are about these activities, the less your chances of facing user complaints or fines.
The Future Of Digital Marketing And Privacy
Digital advertising is evolving from what it was just a few years ago. New approaches like affiliate marketing without a website have altered the marketing landscape in recent years.
It’s vital to keep in mind that consumer behavior hasn’t changed drastically in general. People continue to purchase items to meet a need or engage with businesses they trust.
Instead of depending solely on analytics to make all of your marketing plans, it’s time to take a closer look at your target audience and figure out how to create the best experiences for them.
So, what could advertisers expect in terms of digital marketing and privacy in the future? Here are some expectations to watch out for:
Consumers will have more options
This may seem self-evident, but when it comes to personal privacy, there will be a greater emphasis on giving consumers more choices.
This means that brands must be prepared to offer a variety of opt-in and opt-out options to ensure that users are happy with the entire data collection process.
It’s also a good idea to plan for future legislation that makes all of this mandatory.
As additional jurisdictions begin to implement regulations such as GDPR, your website and marketing channels must be prepared to change as needed.
Transparency will become more important
As more territories implement data privacy legislation, process transparency will become more important.
This means that marketers must be willing to give customers a behind-the-scenes look and clearly explain how particular sorts of data are used. This may be both a blessing and a curse for marketers in fiercely-competitive niches.
Fewer third-party sales of digital data
Consumers are aware of the need for personal data when they’re interacting with a certain brand, and they usually approve of that brand’s use of their data.
Their attitude changes when such information is shared with a third party.
As a result, marketers should expect less digital data to be sold to third parties in the future. There will likely be a specific opt-in approach that allows consumers to dictate their preferences.
AI and behavioral activities will be used more frequently
The good news is that technology is advancing to keep up with demand. Hadoop and other similar tools make it easier to handle data processing and storage for large data applications.
As Google moves away from cookies, alternative solutions for giving marketers comparable data sets to operate with are emerging.
In reality, many of the latest data-driven marketing solutions integrate versions of AI (artificial intelligence) to analyze customer behavior more effectively.
This would mean better data analytics than we had in the past.
Marketing and Data Privacy are Connected
Establishing a transparent, permission-based connection with customers with a clear value proposition can help companies create trust. Companies who invest in these aspects of data relationship management have the chance to assume a leading position regarding data privacy, which could pay off in the long run.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pohan Lin Senior Web Marketing and Localizations Manager, Databricks
Pohan Lin is the Senior Web Marketing and Localizations Manager at Databricks, a global PySpark and AI provider connecting the features of data warehouses and data lakes to create lakehouse architecture. With over 18 years of experience in web marketing, online SaaS business, and ecommerce growth. Pohan is passionate about innovation and is dedicated to communicating the significant impact data has in marketing.