Your 7-Step Self-Help Action List for Data Responsibility

7stepsMy earlier post, “Take the Reins on Responsible Data Management”, urged data-driven marketers to “lean in” and take full responsibility for stewardship of consumer data used to drive business today.

DMA already maintains the industry standard practices, which are documented in our Guidelines and enforced by our Board appointed Ethics Committee.  Enforcement – including our public “bad actor” list – is part of the public trust we provide to retain a self-regulated industry.

We want you first to get to know the standards and to be able to self-assess your practices — and then to comply fully with the Ethical Guidelines and Best Practices. After all, it’s one of the things you promised to do when you became a DMA member!

Below is the action list I promised to help you tie knowledge to action, both for yourself and for everyone else at your organization, from Marketing to E-commerce, IT to Legal and on up to the C-suite.

This list might look overwhelming at first, but please don’t feel as if you have to accomplish everything immediately. You can even check off some items on your next coffee break with a quick trip through the DMA site.

1. Do the right thing.

  • Lead by example.  Be the steward for consumer data protection at your company not just in name but also in practice. Show other departments how you are safeguarding your database(s) to protect both customers and your company.
  • Download the DMA Member Principles and hang them on your door.   Talk about them in your staff meetings.   Make sure that your entire team understands that membership means making a commitment to follow these ethical industry standards.

2. Get current.

Download our latest compliance guidelines.

Educate yourself on the current privacy/policy debate. Do not outsource this knowledge to your legal department or ask a junior employee to do it for you.  A marketer who is ill-informed on data privacy/public policy will make ill-informed decisions on customer centricity.

Here’s where you can find this info:

  • Subscribe the DMA Direct from Washington newsletter, free for all members and published every Friday when Congress is in session.  Contact your account manager or email us to receive it.
  • Read DMA Advance, and sign up for the email notices whenever we post new material. Got questions? Add them to the Comments section on each post. We read them all and will respond!
  • Make sure your policy/legal/operations team(s) are up to date and watching your back on privacy and data-driven marketing issues by getting them involved in DMA coalitions.

3. Create a data governance mandate for your organization.

  • Make every practice that involves data be governed by a set of corporate social responsibility guidelines that meet the high standards of your brand and your customer promise.  This goes beyond your privacy and acceptable use policies, but both of those commitments are a good starting point.
  • Ask your vendors and partners to share your commitment to responsible data-driven marketing and the DMA Guidelines.

 4. Certify your team.

Data governance is about innovation as much as pitfalls.  Certify your policy, marketing operations, data, and analytics teams using DMA’s Data Governance Certification.

5. Benchmark your practices. 

Attend DMA events like our Annual Conference, the Nonprofit Conference, NCDM: Where Marketing Meets Big Data, and Integrated Marketing Week to understand leading practices of modern data driven marketers.

Learn how compliance and data governance create a solid foundation for customer centricity across your organization and higher marketing ROI. Talking to our high-level speaker, exhibitors and DMA experts will help you map out your own path.

7. Become the “Chief Marketing Steward” for your organization. 

  • Assign a compliance officer when you join DMA and in support of your company’s broader corporate social responsibility efforts.  Make this a collaborative role with legal, privacy, IT/QA and data security.
  • Review our DMA guidelines and share with your team and other data stakeholders.
  • Be prepared to comment on guidelines changes when we seek comment, usually once a year.
  • Use our consumer suppression files (DMAChoice.org and more).
  • Use the DAA cookie-opt out process for online behavioral advertising
  • “If you see something, say something.” Report abuses and bad practices to ethics@the-dma.org
  • Only use service providers whose data management practices comply with DMA guidelines.
  • Review your privacy policy and your terms of service frequently as well as those of your suppliers. Vigilance is the watchword here!

Yes, I know this is a detailed list. Take it step by step, starting where you have the greatest need. And remember, DMA is here to help you navigate the process with education, tactics, tips and advice. Call on us!

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