Data Privacy and Marketing: Experts Share How to Fix Customer Trust and Win Over Audiences


Stymied by data privacy and brand safety, marketers are looking for ways to reach audience and win customer trust today. Rightly so since data privacyOpens a new window has become the most critical piece of modern marketing practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? According to a survey by PwCOpens a new window , 85% consumers say they wish there were more companies they could trust with their data. While 83% consumers would want more control over their own data. This means customer trust and data privacy should be top of the mind for marketers, and the need to re-evaluate data privacy strategies cannot be escaped.

In addition, the arrival of the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)Opens a new window laws suggest that customers want to be in control of their data. As companies have a larger share of responsibility to fix their side of the data story, we asked top industry experts:

  • Can companies fix issues around censorship, data privacy, and data regulation shaking up the tech and media industries?
  • How can marketers leverage data privacy opportunities and develop trust with their audiences? 

Here are the top ways experts think marketers can fix customer trust and win over audiences:

1. Empower Employees to Ensure Data Privacy Is Addressed During Customer Communications

Shonodeep ModaOpens a new window kOpens a new window , chief marketing officer, North America, Schneider ElectricOpens a new window

“The introduction of GDPR and other regulations required strengthening existing procedures to ensure organizations are properly regulating communications based on customer locations, preferences and content. Our people training requires every employee adheres to best practices and regulations, protecting customer privacy and data.

Additionally, cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities amid COVID-19, and the world has seen an increase in malicious activity, including phishing. This can lead to increased risk to sensitive and protected information, if left unchecked. With many of our employees now working remotely, we have further secured our systems, marketing platforms and assets to ensure continued protection.”

“Data security and privacy are critical aspects of customer trust in our company. To preserve this trust, we have built standards, policies, and procedures to ensure cybersecurity and privacy are constantly addressed in every product and service we offer. It also means we empower our employees to take an active role to help keep people, assets, and operations secure for our customers and ourselves. As we identify threats, we place transparency at the utmost importance in our customer communications and action plans. Furthermore, we proactively engage them to take specific actions to improve their security.”

Also Read: 10 Ways Virtual Events’ Planning Can Stand Out During COVID-19

2. Be Transparent With Customers By Giving Them Options to Manage Their Data

Alexander IgelsböckOpens a new window , CEO, AdverityOpens a new window

“The striking down of the Privacy Shield, the EU-US data transfer agreement, by The European Court of Justice, is one of the main issues under the spotlight now. It has created uncertainty for European countries and companies that share data with the U.S., which has added pressure on the U.S. to reform surveillance laws. Many feel the U.S. may need to change its practices around accessing personal data if it is to reach a legally watertight agreement with the EU. Either way, there is a lot of uncertainty ahead for marketing teams with regards to this.

“Brands can use data privacy to develop trust with their audience by communicating how they are taking care of their customer data and remaining compliant. Transparency is more than giving customers the options to manage their data, it is also about the way in which it is done, for example, by using language that is easy to understand and keeping the user informed on policy changes with easy-to-access summarized versions during various touch points. The repositioning of data privacy to a customer-centric perspective, when done right, is also a brand elevating exercise opportunity for marketers, and respectively the brand, to set themselves apart from the competition.”

Jeff Meglio, VP global demand, SovrnOpens a new window

“It is still early at this point, but it is very interesting to see the increasing popularity of consumer software that offers either a paid, no-data version or a free with data exchange version. Services like Hey and Simple Analytics are good examples. What has always been clear is that there is no greater key to trust than full transparency, and discussions of data privacy has never been more mainstream.

“On the topic of transparency, marketers can provide readers with more information on how and why they are being targeted. Think of YouTube’s “Why am I seeing this ad.” Similarly, resources that educate readers on the technology behind advertising could help reduce the amount of uncertainty-induced fear that audiences experience. Again, transparency leads to trust.”

3. Model Data Privacy Standards to Amazon Web Services for Building Customer Trust

William LittmanOpens a new window , head of legal affairs, CrownpeakOpens a new window

“Businesses must manage privacy, data and censorship issues in a way that is compliant yet supports the user’s privacy experience (Privacy UX). In general, users’ privacy consent preferences are managed by distracting cookie banners, which need to evolve from a compliance checkbox to having consent embedded into the Privacy UX approach, delivered progressively to build trust.

“Privacy UX also feeds into the transfers of data, as “adequate safeguards” in the transfer and storage of data, which should shift from country-specific regulations to a user-centric model. Regardless of where data originates, the best way for companies to handle Privacy UX is to ensure customers know where their data is stored and processed. For cloud providers, this means modelling certifications to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide comparable evidence of protection and compliance with the best industry practices.

“This also applies to the right to expression and free commerce, both in the realm of Government Initiated Censorship. For example, the recent threat to ban the TikTok in the U.S. and self-excluded censorship, such as the response from several U.S. sites to the EU indicate restricting its citizens’ ability to access certain websites. Matching certifications and standards to industry-best practices, such as AWS, is key for customers to know that their data is handled in a compliant way, to build trust and guarantee the uppermost values of privacy and data security.”

Also Read: 5 Key Elements of Customer Data PrivacyOpens a new window

4. Understand Region-By-Region Compliance to Inspire Customer Trust

Jeff Meglio, VP global demand, SovrnOpens a new window

“Apple’s decision to move the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) to opt-in is a massive change, and Android is likely to follow. The downstream effects will be very interesting. Facebook says they will not bother to collect Apple’s IDFA and have already started warning advertisers about revenue impacts. Of course, this change mirrors the shift away from third-party cookies, and has similar effects: the consolidation of data within a walled garden, and the shift of tactics towards alternatives such as contextual identifiers or Google FLoCs.

“We are seeing more divergence and distrust in compliance views between the U.S. and EU, such as the invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. What nobody in the industry wants is to have, effectively, multiple internets. The global market will need shared standards and laws if we want to achieve real change without splintering the flow of information.

“Cookies, cookies, cookies (of the third-party variety). Publishers and tech partners are still looking for replacement solutions, and while many proposals are viable, actual marketplace efficiency requires a universal standard. Additionally, many of the universal identifiers presented thus far do not do enough to solve reader privacy concerns. At this point, tech and media need to understand that readers have a vested interest in what happens to their data and they are paying attention to it.

“More countries are enacting GDPR-like regulations. Understanding the nuances is crucial both for legal concerns and for the ability to grow globally, and that understanding needs to be shared across all the teams in any business. For example, a sales team that is unfamiliar with regional regulations will not inspire any client trust. Without a solid understanding of regulatory compliance region-by-region, marketers, advertisers, and publishers won’t be able to grow effectively.”

5. Explain the Benefits of Consumer Data and the Consent of Its Use

Enrico Opens a new window VecchioOpens a new window ,CTO, AudiencerateOpens a new window

“Regulations affecting privacy, censorship, and data use are creating changing circumstances, which tech and media organizations need support navigating. Current global data regulation is fragmented, resulting in a constant flux which makes it difficult to create privacy proof solutions for the U.S. and global markets. In terms of censorship, it can be problematic for organizations that need to carefully manage the right to free speech, while also monitoring and removing sensitive content. Another significant area of uncertainty is – the industry is seeing more scarcity of data. This is because of limitations of the third-party cookie and IDFA, which are becoming more restricted or disappearing altogether.

“However, organizations should keep in mind that while there might be fewer profiles in the CRM, the ones that are there are likely to be richer in data. It will be essential for organizations to obtain consumer data by explaining the benefits and the consent of its use. Where available, companies should harness these extra data points to provide a more targeted user message, and therefore increase the quality of the ads being delivered.”

Also Read: The 2020 Data Governance Guide for BeginnersOpens a new window

6. Unlock First-Party Data Partnerships in a Privacy First Manner

Richard FosterOpens a new window , chief revenue officer, InfoSum

“The top three issues are intrinsically linked: Brands have to gain unambiguous consent from consumers for their data to be used for marketing. This is becoming increasingly difficult in these privacy-aware times as users are more aware of how their data may be used and are holding brands accountable, much more. This is compounded by the daisy-chaining of that consent across swathes of third-party intermediary ad tech platforms. This led to a lack of trust from consumers about sharing their data in the first place, meaning lower rates of consent.

“Taking a decentralized approach to data collaboration is a major step towards enabling trusted relationships with audiences. The non-movement of data and the ability to share insights without sharing data means consent is no longer an issue. Commercial trust goes together with this approach, as it enables companies to unlock first-party data partnerships in a privacy first manner.”

7. Infuse Creativity and Identity Resolution to Engage With Customers

Alexander IgelsböckOpens a new window , CEO, AdverityOpens a new window

“The CCPA came into enforcement in July and while GDPR gave businesses a vicarious example to draw from there remain significant differences between the two. Some key details regarding CCPA regulation are still being interpreted by the California Attorney General, how they are applied is likely to further shake up the industry.

“There are also ongoing issues around identity considering the demise of third-party cookies which are still being addressed. As consumers opt out of data sharing and consume content in cookie-free environments – such as mobile, audio, connected TV – marketers need to become more creative with their messaging and delivery to ensure they are giving audiences something they want to engage with. Many brands and agencies have had to pause and rethink about how they are going to approach advertising in the new environment. Further complicated by the pandemic, identity resolution will be of increasing priority.”

To Wrap Up

Hackers, consumer data privacy laws, and the technologies around it are constantly evolving. That is why, a company’s data privacy plans must adapt as well. If marketers evaluate their approach to customer data regularly, they can drive regulatory requirements with ease. Consumers today are more aware and clearer about what they want, which means marketers will first have to respect the customers’ expectations before trying to win customer trust.

How do you think marketers can win customer trust when it comes to data privacy? Tell us all about it on TwitterOpens a new window , Facebook, Opens a new window and LinkedInOpens a new window .