Keeping Consumers in the Know
With over a decade of email and online marketing experience, Quinn Jalli — SVP of Marketing Technology at Epsilon — is an active participant and leader in the privacy and consumer protection space. His deep relationships with ISPs and industry organizations focused on privacy issues make him a very seasoned expert in the field. Here, his recommendations on how to build a data privacy strategy based on three goals: Transparency, Consumer Education, and Deliver on the Promise.
The numbers say it all. With more than 1,000 data points compiled on more than 250 million consumers and +120 million business contacts—not to mention more than 8.6 billion purchase transactions—Epsilon understands the concerns that come along with “Big Data.”
Marketers today are faced with the challenge of balancing consumers’ right to privacy and the need to collect information that will lead to more intelligent, actionable and data-driven marketing.
To achieve this harmony, I recommend building a data privacy strategy based on the three following goals.
1.Transparency: Being cagey about the kind of data you collect and use will become an increasing weight on business growth. Moreover, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of online privacy issues. As a result, they are beginning to assess brands on how openly they approach data collection and privacy, trusting those brands that adopt full disclosure as the standard course of business.
Brands need to consider transparency around data collection and usage as an integral part of their marketing efforts. Moving forward, consumers will consider companies on two fronts—the goods and services they provide and how open they are with their of use consumer data.
2. Consumer Education: Consumer education is the foundation for making transparency meaningful. Providing consumers with a clearly worded statement about how you collect and use their data is very important, but if consumers don’t understand how to find or act on that information, transparency has no meaning.
As a result, online marketers need to join in the effort to instruct consumers on how to access privacy information and how to take action on what those consumers learn. Companies need to make easy-to-follow tutorials on privacy available to consumers and, more importantly, make an effort to teach consumers how to control and manage the use of their data.
Finally, companies embarking on educational outreach to their consumers should strongly consider using industry-standard tools so that consumers receive consistent cues on privacy, ensuring that privacy does not become site specific.
3. Deliver on the Promise: Providing consumers with a clear understanding of how a company will collect and use their data is crucial, but the most important aspect of privacy is delivering on the promises you make. As such, companies need to ensure that every new product or service they develop falls within their privacy representation. Should the company be employing a new privacy approach, it’s important to verify that the new practice is fully disclosed and that any substantive privacy changes apply only to consumers who provided their data after the disclosure.
There will new opportunities, relationships, products and services to factor into your strategy. But by building upon these three goals—transparency, education and delivering on promises made—you can build a relationship with consumers and help them and your brand better leverage data.
Like what you’ve just read?Quinn also blogs at ABrandNewView.com.