Your customers are consumers too. They don’t turn into business bots when they set foot in the enterprise. Whether your organization sells a product or a service to enterprises or consumers, you’re interfacing with consumers who have opinions about security and privacy. S&R pros, you already know that you have to be on top of things like regulatory compliance (Hello HIPAA! Hi EU Data Protection Directive!) when creating policies and implementing controls. But what about consumer perceptions and behavior? Consider that*:

  • 49% of US online consumers are concerned about security and privacy when purchasing products online
  • 44% of EU online consumers say the same about sharing personal information to access a website
  • 39% of US online consumers express security and privacy concerns over sharing personal information to participate on a website (e.g, discussion boards, writing reviews)
  • 20% of EU online consumers are concerned about their security and privacy when downloading apps to their mobile phone

These concerns bring up questions like: Is your organization collecting more information than is necessary from your customers? What is done with this data? At what point does old data get disposed? What does your company’s app do exactly? And does the app’s privacy policy really reflect true app behavior?

These and other concerns apply regardless of whether your business is B2C or B2B. It doesn’t matter if your company sells plastic flowers, provides headhunting services, or produces chemicals. You’re handling data on individuals and entities that need to be protected. A corporation is not a real person, but it sure is made up of real people who have expectations and concerns about how your company handles information relating to their organization. In the course of a business relationship, your company will amass information about this organization’s dealings with your company. This is not PII per se, but sensitive information nonetheless.

S&R pros: to address these concerns and create deeper alignment with the business, start by aligning yourself with your customer. Your peers in marketing are already making moves to put the customer at the center of the customer life cycle, and this will have implications for technology, processes, and relevant data security and control policies that will come within your domain. Get ready, and get ahead; align data priorities and jointly justify needed investments to boot.

S&R pros, what are you doing to engage with your business peers and align priorities? What’s worked for you – and what hasn’t? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences here.  


*Data source: Forrester’s North American Technographics Online Benchmark Survey, Q3 2012; European Technographics Consumer Technology Online Survey, Q4 2012. This data was first published in the January 15, 2013, “Know Your Data To Create Actionable Policy”report.