Customer-obsessed marketing

Privacy, security & risk

Marketers: Stop Being A Privacy Liability

Fatemeh Khatibloo Principal Analyst
Alexander Spiliotes Researcher
February 6, 2018

Marketing’s evolution into a practice that relies deeply on individuals’ personal information has created amazing opportunities to expand reach and deepen customer relationships. But this evolution also creates serious risks for marketers and their brands. Our latest report takes a deep dive into the capabilities marketers should focus on to protect themselves and their customers’ data, while also maintaining their use of modern marketing practices.

Traditionally, marketers haven’t given privacy laws and regulations a passing thought. Those days are over, o-v-e-r, OVER. Practices like location-based mobile advertising require them to understand the constraints of privacy laws and regulatory frameworks like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Marketers who lack this understanding risk massive data loss or misuse of personal information, which will inevitably lead to heavy fines, and bad press that could ruin a firm’s reputation permanently. Consider the following:

  • All it takes is one bad apple, or even just an uninformed employee. This is why employee privacy and governance training is imperative to meeting privacy requirements.  If you use every single capability outlined in this report, but forget to train your employees, all your previous efforts and investments in privacy will be in vain.
  • You can’t leave this to your security and legal colleagues. We don’t doubt their formidable abilities, but these teams rarely understand the business drivers behind new marketing practices and will often “black list” technologies due to their security risk.  Marketers need to be active participants in their firms’ discussions around privacy and data governance.
  • The GDPR is just around the corner, and you’re going to need help complying. GDPR goes into enforcement on May 25th (!!), and most of the marketers we’ve spoken to are struggling to understand the changes they must make to be compliant. If you don’t want a nasty surprise from your CISO or CPO when she cuts off data feeds to a bunch of your most important vendors, you need to invest marketing resources in GDPR implementation services.

The privacy industry has yet to fully mature, but there are many services available to help marketers on their journey to being “privacy obsessed”.  It’s hard to create engaging, simple privacy communications, or to manage the multitude of vendors who touch customer data on a regular basis. There is no shame in turning to an external partner to help navigate the choppy privacy waters that are so often filled with pirates looking plunder your most precious asset – customer information.

We invite you to check out “The Capabilities Marketers Need To Build A Strategic Privacy Function” (subscription req’d), and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers!
Fatemeh & Alex

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