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3 Ways to Ensure Marketing Transparency for Privacy and Data Protection

In a post-GDPR world, privacy and data protection are huge factors for marketers. But are consumers as nervous about sharing their details as you might think?  

Shockingly, data is the world’s biggest resource, according to The Economist, which suggests that the big players - Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon - have ensured data is more valuable than oil.

As marketers we’ve long viewed our personal, individual data as ‘valuable’ and worthwhile of exchange for something of equal value - that’s why we continue to offer ebooks in exchange for website visitors’ personal details.

Since the introduction of GDPR we are now clearer with explaining what we do with this data and what a person is subscribing to, should they wish to, when they provide this data.

But, do consumers generally want to share their data or are they put off, perhaps more so, because of regular data and privacy scandals hitting the headlines?

The Centre for Data Innovation conducted a survey this year (2019) which concluded 58% of Americans are willing to allow third parties to collect at least some of their personal data - including medical data and biometrics.

To us, this actually sounded low, but looking at other surveys done on data compilation and a valuable exchange, the figures are much more encouraging…

Experian’s Global Identity and Fraud Report (2019) found:

“70% of consumers are willing to share more personal data with the organisations they interact with online, particularly when they see a benefit such as greater online security and convenience.”

This matches similar research on millennials’ online habits, from business intelligence company SAS and research agency, Future Foundation, which found:

“Millennials expect a ‘hyper-personalised service from brands’... they’re willing to use their personal information as bargaining chips to get a better experience from businesses.”

As marketers, we need to strive towards providing a transparent, trustworthy brand and website, that offers complete protection and careful use of the data we’re asking of consumers.

  • Empower the user to take control of their data
  • Be clear and transparent in your stance on data protection and privacy
  • Make privacy a default marketing element

1. Empower the user

One year on from GDPR implementation, the most empowering feature has to be ensuring that as consumers we 'opt in' to receiving communications. It's a nice feeling opposed to having to 'opt out' of being 'spammed' (we've all been there!).

Allow your database control of what you send them, how often and in what format - if they want emails, but don't want postal mail, ensure that's an option.   

2. Be clear and transparent

If you're offering extensive products, services or information, don't confuse the matter with jargon or conflicting information. My favourite copywriting advice comes in useful here: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

You should take that advice and consider it with every element of your business. If it takes five minutes, don't let the job run for 45 minutes with procrastination, if the explanation requires 14 words, don't take 65 words to circle around the subject.

This is very important when you consider your privacy policy, and any terms and conditions outlining subscriptions, forms etc. - we recently updated our own privacy policy with this advice in mind!

3. Make privacy a default

For too long, privacy and data protection has been viewed by designers, developers, businesspeople as a whole, as an 'after thought'. This shouldn't be the case. Privacy is a default, and it must be viewed as a crucial element of your website, marketing and your organisation's wider 'public-facing' communications and promotions. 

Make sure the 'small print', T&Cs, privacy policy are clear, easy to interpret and aren't just 'dropped on' at the end of a brochure or your website's product listing. 

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3 Ways to Ensure Marketing Transparency for Privacy and Data Protection