January 28 marks World Data Privacy Day. The day aims to bring awareness to privacy and data protection best practices.
Data privacy has become a hot topic within our industry over the last few years, with the emergence of new data privacy laws, large organisations such as Meta getting into deep waters around their data privacy practices, and power being given back to the individuals to have more say in what organisations do with their data.
Data privacy can often be overlooked by businesses – whether it be classed as the ‘too hard basket’, or simply not being thought of. Data privacy should always be top of mind for digital marketers, and we’ve put together five common mistakes we see businesses make when it comes to data privacy and digital marketing. Perhaps you’ve thought of these already or you haven’t yet. We trust that these will either bring some new considerations to your organisation or reiterate your current strategy!
As an integrated marketing agency, we always make sure we are looking at all of our projects through a highly integrated lens, ensuring that we have identified every targeting method that may yield business impact for our clients. As we head toward a ‘cookieless world’, this has become even more important. You might have heard of this term or seen it floating around industry articles recently. ‘Cookies’ are bits of data that contain online consumers personal identifiers. Cookies track information such as how you use a website, what pages you visit, if you download any content from the website, or links that you click. This is obviously vital information to marketing professionals to better understand their audience. We are anticipating a ‘cookieless’ digital marketing landscape as major players such as Apple and Google have stated they will no longer be supporting third-party cookies in aims to provide greater privacy for web browsers. As marketers, a ‘cookieless world’ means we need to rely on alternative targeting methods. This does not mean all cookies are gone, however, access to your customer’s personal data is becoming increasingly difficult. Organisations and marketers need to begin prioritising their first party and zero-party data to identify new targeting methods.
With online users increasingly being more conscious of the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ of sharing their data to businesses, if you’re concerned about adhering to data privacy laws, then utilising your first-party data is always the safest way to go. Building your own database ensures your data is adhering to data privacy regulations. You know exactly where this audience came from and what they agreed to have their data used for. With third-party data, you can never be 100% sure that the data has been ethically sourced, that the data is of high quality, or that your competitors haven’t bought the same data set. Along with having peace of mind that the data isn’t going to get you into any legal trouble, first party data is a necessity for businesses who still want to have a handle on their relationships with their customers. First-party data gives you unique insights into your audience, access to behavioural trends, and the opportunity to predict future trends. These insights allow you to create tailored marketing content that can has a very high chance of resonating with each audience segment.
The Apple IOS15 update flipped email marketers’ worlds upside down. The update gave the ability for Apple users to turn off opening tracking and hide their email and IP addresses – essentially making ‘open rates’, a key campaign metric, dormant. Head to our blog on “What the IOS 15 update means for email marketers” to explore some of our tips for new performance benchmarks and how to pivot your email marketing strategy to align with this change.
When you hear the word ‘data’, your mind might automatically go to thoughts of IT. While yes, there is a ‘tech’ element to managing the data you are retrieving from your customers, this data plays a much larger part in your relationship with the customer. If you are not respecting your customer’s wishes with what you do with their personal data, then you are tarnishing that relationship and losing their trust. Examples of doing wrong by your customer in the data privacy space could include passing on your database to affiliate businesses without your customer’s prior consent or adding customers to your database when they have not explicitly consented.
Segmentation of your database is key to making sure the content you are delivering to your customers and potential customers is as tailored as possible. Nobody likes getting an email that is not relevant to them. The same goes for receiving an email you did not consent for in the first place. A common mistake businesses make is thinking that just because you have emailed someone from your individual business email, you have the right to add them to your business email marketing database. This is a grey area on whether this is ‘inferred’ consent, however, it is considered best practice that unless they have ticked a box, given their signature or clicked a button explicitly outlining their consent to receive marketing emails from you – then they should remain a no-go zone until they do so. Adding in consent segmentation to your CRM system can help you alleviate the worry of accidentally sending an email to someone that they may not have consented to.
Navigating the data privacy landscape can be daunting, but ensuring you are respecting your customer’s data will result in a long-standing, trustworthy relationship with your audience.
Not sure where to start? Get in touch with our Digital Director, Sophie Viallard, via firstname.lastname@example.org to see how our team of digital experts can help.
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