With the internet becoming an increasingly dangerous place, data privacy, compliance, and transparency is more important than ever and needs to be top concern for every advertiser.
Data collection is an important facet of effective marketing and that makes data privacy essential. Potential customer data lets marketers impactfully speak to their audience – driving conversions or brand awareness for their client’s without annoying their customers.
Data can be used to compile lists of potential buyers, to track customer behaviour through the marketing funnel, and to understand the effectiveness of campaigns in order to adapt them. However, data collection isn’t without its hazards.
The need for transparency, data privacy, and compliance
With ransomware, hackers, and mal-intended individuals scouring the internet for nefarious opportunities – cybersecurity is a crucial consideration. We’ve seen it a lot on our spam emails or chain messages, but hackers and cybersecurity criminals have ramped up their efforts in obtaining sensitive data from users and companies illegally.
A good marketing strategy is based on numbers. McKinsey found that organizations relying on data to plan and optimize their marketing are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers and 6 times more likely to retain those new customers.
There are several things to think about when collecting customer data. First, know and understand the regulations in every location you operate. This will differ country to country, and even state to state. For instance, California has stricter data collection laws than other states, and countries like Canada have their own distinct laws in place.
Another consideration is your potential customer’s comfort and trust level. With data breaches making the news daily, concerned customers are wary and keen to protect their digital privacy. This makes strong cybersecurity as important a selling point as it is a layer of protection for a company’s own sake.
Making Customers Comfortable
There have been several data breaches in the media of late, eroding the faith customers have in technology companies. This underlines the importance of strong security and in making those priorities known to potential customers.
In February 2023, Indigo (Canada’s largest book retailer) suffered a major data breach impacting not only customers, but current and former employees as well. This ransomware attack left Indigo without a website for more than a week. Additionally, employee data was compromised and held ransom, with the company made liable for potential identity theft, credit card fraud, and more.
In March of 2021, hacker’s broke into the social media company Facebook, managing to get past a previous vulnerability (which was patched in 2019). This left an enormous number of user’s open to information theft; an estimated 533 millions user’s had their records posted to a hacking forum.
User data in this breach included full names, phone numbers, user locations, biographical information, and email addresses.
In December 2021, a former employee of Cash App (a major mobile payment company) downloaded the personal data of more than 8.2 million current and former customers. However, the owners of Cash App didn’t make this known to the public until April 2022. This information included customers’ full names, portfolio values, stock trading information, and brokerage account numbers.
1. Comply with Regulations
By complying with the regulation of every jurisdiction you operate in, you are protecting your business from potential privacy issues. For example, by complying with HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR, and more, customers will feel more comfortable using your product.
2. Perform Regular Audits
Regularly perform security audits. It is always best to find weaknesses in your security before a potential hacker, so that these flaws can be effectively and immediately improved.
3. Transparency with Customers
Customers aren’t always fully aware of the extent of personal information that they are giving you. By being open and upfront with them about which data you collect, it can mitigate the ill will they feel should they discover their data has been accessed down the line.