Based on recent studies, people crave privacy, especially when it comes to their data. Repeatedly seeing an ad for a pair of shoes you glanced at once online but didn’t buy doesn’t create a warm or trusting feeling of being cared for by a retailer – for many people, it may come across as creepy. There is a way to gain back that trust, and it is all connected to transparency or, to be precise, web transparency.
The marketing and advertising communities are inherently about data collection. They survey and track people’s online behaviors to uncover a deeper understanding of trending sentiments. Through this, the ultimate goal is to help marketers better target the right audiences with messaging that will resonate with them on the platforms they typically frequent.
While data privacy should be a given considering how central it is to the industries at hand, it’s often still seen as a challenge to overcome. So, where is the problem?
Despite all the understandably scary headlines about the risks of data collection, plenty of consumers are still willing to provide personal information to brands. The catch? They need something in return, and the type of advertising as well as the type of data on which it’s based are crucial to securing consumer trust.
There’s a reason ad blocking exists — because many ads aren’t very good, and because consumers rarely get to choose the ads to which they’re exposed to If we change that dynamic by putting the power in their hands, there’s a huge fringe benefit: Ad recall and favorability go up. And if the consumer chooses your ad specifically, favorability and ad recall surge even higher. Why? Because they own the experience and have control. We’re talking stickiness, something every brand wants for their advertising.
This week marked the two-year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s major privacy law. GDPR was the first major European effort to put some legal and regulatory power behind demands for less free-wheeling data collection and selling.
To gauge just how GDPR is working out and what regulators might do to move the ball forward on privacy, Street Fight got in touch with Russell Sutton, SVP of data, EMEA, at MightyHive.
The surveillance systems now being rolled out for the pandemic are unlikely to have a direct impact on local marketers. However, the debates that they have precipitated should remind us all of the importance of customer trust when it comes to data collection.
In short, advertisers who rely on consumer data should ensure that they are only collecting what they need, that they store and process this securely, and that they are open and transparent with their customers about collection. Many of those same best practices apply to governments collecting data to fight Covid-19.
The privacy movement heralded by January’s implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act has shone a spotlight on the ethical issues surrounding data collection. But digital marketing insiders know that ethics is not the only issue plaguing data-driven business.
Ensuring the quality and accuracy of data is a major challenge for marketers, data brokers, and consumers. Drew Kutcharian, CTO and co-founder of audience platform DISQO, checked in with Street Fight to provide his vision of the data quality-quantity balance and how privacy legislation will affect it going forward.
Though the Data Protection Act is in the beginning stages, 19 states already have similar regulations underway, indicating that these policies are part of a fundamental shift that will impact all Americans over the next decade, marketers included. Marketing leaders need to realize that this new commitment to customer privacy is not a passing trend and must prepare accordingly without wasting any more time.
Insurance is typically viewed as an old-school industry that’s not very sexy. But Cambridge Mobile Telematics VP Ryan McMahon thinks insurance gets a bad wrap in that respect. As the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, his company is innovating actuarial work and safer roads.
McMahon’s firm accomplishes that by capitalizing on the powerful computer we all carry around (and drive around) in our pockets. Given all its sensors like GPS and accelerometers, the modern smartphone packs ample situational awareness. One of the things it can do is detect signals that indicate driving quality.
With media outlets like The New York Times working to educate consumers and legislators striving to protect consumers’ rights with the introduction of CCPA and GDPR, awareness of the possible costs of these privacy trade-offs is growing, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to understand the changing privacy landscape.
That’s why we commissioned a new Privacy Report from Wakefield Research, asking both consumers and marketers about how they feel about the risks and rewards of data practices today.
Market research firms ranked second only to financial institutions on our trust index, with 52.7% confirming their trust in market research firms to protect their data, and 8.8% noting a strong trust in the same. Indeed, even though people arguably share similarly sensitive information on both social media sites and with researchers, they are 1.6 times more likely to trust researchers than social platforms.
Why is this? It’s because it is the duty and responsibility of market researchers to foster a relationship of trust by openly engaging people, diligently protecting their data and privacy, and fairly rewarding them for their participation — and it is because that mission is continuously reinforced and communicated.
Amazon’s convenience stores rely heavily on location technology to track consumers’ movements inside buildings. Cameras analyze shopping behaviors, strategically placed microphones listen to conversations, and information about consumers’ shopping habits is stored in a central database that Amazon can reference for future operational and strategic planning.
“As cashierless stores take off, more and more personal and payment data will be transmitted through phones and mobiles devices and stored in cloud-based software platforms,” says Ruston Miles, chief strategy officer at Bluefin. “This means that hackers will have more network access to this data through vulnerable providers and merchants.”
CES provided a unique showcase for the importance of connected TV (CTV); it’s one of the few events that wrangles hardware, media, and advertising companies into the same place for a week. Within digital advertising, this topic is number one, and not outlining your strategy to support CTV in 2020 was a way to cut any CES meeting short. Companies that have moved from video to TV, such as Amobee or Telaria/Rubicon, exciting new combinations of TV and digital assets such as Xandr; programmatic TV leaders like The Trade Desk; and companies that have been long on TV for years such as Samba TV should have a fantastic 2020 ahead of them.
The good news for advertisers is that members of Gen-Z, while finding ads just about as threatening to privacy as respondents of every other age group, appear to see their benefits, too. Forty-six percent of Gen-Zers said personalization can be beneficial, compared to 30-36 percent of older age groups. About three quarters of respondents in all age ranges said personalizations imperils privacy.
Potential legal troubles and CCPA’s enforceability weaknesses aside, the Tealium study suggests a strong record on privacy will be a boon to brands as privacy increasingly takes center stage in the public consciousness. Ninety-seven percent of consumers said they are at least somewhat concerned about data privacy, and 85% said they won’t forgive a company’s misuse of their data.
The California Consumer Privacy Act has just recently gone into effect, and full enforcement won’t begin for another six months, but companies are already making big changes as they endeavor to ensure compliance.
Under the new CCPA regulations, companies are required to notify users of the intent to monetize their data and provide users with the ability to easily opt out of data monetization. Many companies are struggling to come into compliance, but for businesses that work with multiple technology vendors, the issue is creating even more headaches.
As we straddle the precipice of a new year and a new decade, the next milestone in privacy legislation looms: the California Consumer Privacy Act. As California’s version of GDPR, it is the first major US privacy legislation. It will set a precedent and kick-start a domino effect for other states and may even lead to federal data privacy moves.
“Pursuing privacy” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of January. You may have noticed our monthly themes: December focused on the connected consumer, November’s focused on holiday shopping, October on local commerce verticals, and September on mapping (more on those in a bit).