Data-Driven Marketing in a Privacy-First World

socialcode logoPeople are more aware than ever of how their data is being used, and in recent memory, there’s been a number of high-profile data breaches that have contributed to a lack of consumer trust around data sharing. From fast-food giant Wendy’s to dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, the world has seen countless companies carelessly manage their most precious data. As a result, they’ve justifiably grown wary of sharing it for the risk that it will end up in the wrong hands.

With consumer trust at an all-time low, data remains a cornerstone of modern marketing, especially in the digital ecosystem. It’s how brands bring value to their consumers and how they serve them relevant content. So, despite all of the risks that data sharing brings, it has become an essential part of how marketers engage with their consumers and smart marketers won’t give that up.

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This brings us to the privacy paradox. With data here to stay, how can brands better guard their customers’ privacy and data closely, while also providing more tailored experiences as a result of that data? Brands that are able to navigate this paradox can still benefit from the power of data-driven marketing across their digital efforts. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, there are some general guidelines that brands should  implement moving forward.

  • Own your data — Data is the most valuable asset any company has today. As such, you don’t want to rely exclusively on third parties to manage your brand’s data. When possible, it is best to utilize your own first-party data, as it is most effective at driving returns, and you’ll know whether or not it is in compliance with consumer privacy laws.
  • Security is key — Data breaches cause a massive upheaval when they happen because of the implications they have on consumers and companies alike. Take the necessary steps to ensure your data and your customers’ data is secure and protected at all times, so it is never compromised. And when sharing data, make sure that you are working with companies that hold the right certifications (e.g. SOC II Type 2) and take the highest level of care in handling your customers’ data.
  • Act on your data quickly — While data is valuable, it’s only as relevant as it is timely. If you’re not activating against fresh data, you’re not optimizing your campaign to its fullest extent. The faster you can activate your customer data and run your campaign, the more effective your results will be.

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At the end of the day, nothing is more valuable to a marketer than loyal consumers who willingly share their data in exchange for something they value. Whether that’s better, more tailored advertising or better in-store experiences, all marketers should strive for this consumer agreement in which individuals agree to share their data with the understanding that marketers will manage it securely and provide them with a better experience as a result.

If marketers can do this, then they can create fruitful consumer relationships and master the privacy paradox.

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