The Data Trust Imperative: Navigating The Industry’s Privacy Changes

By Aqilliz  

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Data trust imperative

In the age of the connected consumer, data is often considered to be the most valuable currency of commerce today; but what’s more valuable than data? In short, it’s trust. No business can create value without it. However, even the most trusted brands are facing a new set of challenges when it comes to data privacy and the management of consumers’ personal information — beyond brand trust, companies must now earn data trust. In response to the rallying cry for a privacy-first internet, the industry is changing to try and address these concerns.

Governments around the world have passed new privacy regulations and expanded existing laws to better safeguard consumer data. At the same time, technology platforms such as browsers and mobile operating systems have announced or implemented new policies that restrict commonly used identifiers. Between regulation and platform changes, there’s now heightened attention to the sources of data that can be used to select audiences and personalise ads. As a result, some of the familiar approaches marketers have come to rely on for reaching audiences and understanding the value of those interactions have been significantly limited.

The changing privacy landscape

Catalysing a much-needed turning point for the digital advertising industry, regulators around the world are moving in to protect people from data abuse. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, California’s Consumer Privacy Act, and the next wave of legislation are positive steps towards rebuilding data trust. These are likely lasting changes that require businesses to double down on new, privacy-first approaches when it comes to leveraging consumer data. That said, it’s important that brands avoid the mindset of simply complying with regulations for compliance’s sake, as opposed to using that as a foundation to create a trust-based value exchange for consumers.

When it comes to navigating the changing privacy landscape, the brands that actively seek to close the data trust gap for themselves rather than wait for the regulators to do it will be the ones that succeed. However, from understanding the myriad of legislations and obtaining consent when collecting data to maintaining transparency and anonymity when processing user data, the path to compliance can be complex. As such, businesses need to be thoughtful about choosing partners that prioritise user privacy and recognise how to earn and keep people’s trust. By investing in privacy-safe tools to capture and organise the information shared by consumers during their interactions with the business, brands can build up their first-party data and learn more about their customers, while putting user privacy first.

Connect to people, not just numbers

At the end of the day, people must be at the heart of every digital marketing campaign. The ability to use data analytics to determine where marketing successes come from, and use those insights to optimise performance is a great thing. However, marketers need to keep in mind that while numbers and metrics are important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of one of the most important and influential elements of marketing — human emotion.

With changing business conditions and evolving user expectations, brands need to find even more relevant and ethical ways to connect with their customers. As users continue to embrace new devices and technologies, there are arguably more opportunities than ever before to form meaningful relationships with customers, and to do so in a way that does not compromise on trust. To regain trust and earn attention in a fragmented marketplace, every interaction with the brand needs to deliver an exceptional experience. Customers may feel more comfortable sharing information with businesses if it will help improve their brand experience, and if they see that they’re getting value in return.

Companies need to find the right balance between privacy and personalisation, keeping in mind to only ask for information they need. At the same time, letting customers know what their data will be used for, and giving them adequate control over their information can help build trust and reduce anxiety. When customers trust a particular brand and its products, they’ll willingly exchange their data with them to facilitate a better user experience.

Building an infrastructure of trust

Across a fragmented ecosystem of channels, platforms, and devices, understanding behaviour around media consumption is key to helping marketers with their media planning and optimising ROI. However, the lack of a comprehensive cross-media measurement solution has made it challenging for marketers to build a holistic, accurate view of the omnichannel customer journey for insights, segmentation, and targeting, preventing them from accurately personalising interactions. With an ever-growing number of channels and intermediaries, the digital advertising industry must prioritise collaboration and privacy compliance at their core, working together to create and promote a privacy-safe marketplace with an ethical approach to targeting and measurement. For more on this, head on over to our blog post on Accountability, Efficiency, Privacy: Understanding The Value Of Cross Media Measurement.

In short, navigating and adapting to the new privacy-first digital landscape will take the right combination of technology, collaboration, and innovation in order to succeed — only by working together can the industry create impactful new opportunities to grow the trust with their customers, while using data sensitively, ethically and responsibly.

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