Creating personalized experiences for customers while respecting their privacy and data is the primary objective of digital marketers. However, navigating the increasingly complex world of digital marketing has become a daunting task due to the emergence of privacy regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). These regulations have significantly impacted the realm of digital marketing, particularly concerning data collection and usage. Consequently, digital marketers face numerous challenges, which we will explore in detail below.
GDPR, a privacy law implemented in May 2018, applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens, irrespective of their geographical location. The regulation aims to grant individuals greater control over their personal data by mandating organizations to obtain explicit consent before collecting, storing, or utilizing such information. Similarly, CCPA, another privacy law enforced in January 2020, applies to organizations that collect the personal data of California residents and generate annual revenues equal to or exceeding $25 million. All this already hints at the importance of data privacy in digital marketing, but we will discuss this in more detail below.
What is Data Privacy in Digital Marketing?
During marketing campaigns, marketers strive to learn more about their customers. Which user groups are more loyal to their offer, where they are from, etc. For this, names, email addresses, phone numbers, location data, and browsing history are collected. The regulator obliges companies that collect customer data to keep it secure. It has certain requirements that all companies working with sensitive data must comply with.
Why Data Privacy is Important in Modern Digital Marketing?
#1 Regulatory Compliance
Businesses must obtain consent before collecting and using personal data, by data privacy regulations like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the United States' California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulations also necessitate companies to implement suitable security measures to safeguard this data.
#2 Building Trusting Relationships With Clients
Building trust between businesses and customers relies greatly on respecting customer privacy. If people have confidence that companies care about the data they collect, they are willing to share it without much difficulty. They also benefit from this in the form of personalized marketing.
#3 Enhanced Customer Experience
Delivering relevant content that resonates with customers' interests and needs can enhance the customer experience through personalized marketing campaigns. Companies that collect and ethically use personal data can build brand loyalty, increase customer retention, and create a positive customer experience.
#4 Protecting Brand Reputation
A company's brand reputation can be greatly affected by data privacy breaches. If a company is caught misusing data, customer loyalty will be damaged. The correct use of data concerns not only legal grounds but also ethical considerations.
#5 Maintaining Ethical Standards
Businesses must shoulder the responsibility of handling data ethically and responsibly, not just as a legal and financial concern. What's important here is transparency about exactly what data is collected and what the business uses it for. It is also very important to provide the ability for customers to delete their data if they request it. True, such a requirement concerns not only ethical considerations but also the conditions of the regulator.
How Can Business Maintain Data Privacy in Marketing?
#2 Use a VPN
If you work with data and have the appropriate authority, you should always use a VPN on your PC and all authorized devices. When you keep VPN apps active, you encrypt data, hide client information, and prevent it from being intercepted or leaked. It is especially important to use a VPN for PC when you are sending or receiving data. In particular, VeePN has 256-bit encryption, which meets military and banking security standards.
#3 Allow Users to Opt In and Out
Users can opt out in the CCPA when their data is collected without their consent, whereas in the GDPR, companies must enable users to opt in by explicitly providing consent. Therefore, if your business operates in the EU, failing to allow users to opt in and out can result in serious consequences. Ensure that your users have the option to opt in and out of various activities, such as email campaigns.
#4 Monitor Third-Party Providers
Many businesses rely on external providers for various digital marketing activities including email marketing, social media advertising, and website analytics. However, it is important to note that these providers can also collect and process customer data. Therefore, businesses must thoroughly evaluate their third-party providers and verify that they have robust data protection policies in effect. Additionally, monitoring these providers to ensure compliance with data protection regulations is crucial.
#5 Limit Data Collection
To enhance privacy and minimize the risk of data breaches, businesses ought to restrict the collection of data solely to what is essential for their marketing activities. This entails gathering only pertinent information that relates to the products or services being offered. For instance, if a business sells shoes, it should solely focus on collecting data concerning shoe size, color preference, and purchase history. By avoiding the unnecessary collection of data, the chances of compromising customer privacy and experiencing data breaches are greatly reduced.
#6 Obtain Explicit Consent
Businesses must actively seek explicit consent from customers to transparently collect and use customer data. This process includes informing customers about the collected data, its purpose, and the authorized access. Customers must be given the option to opt out of data collection and request data deletion.
#7 Obtain Explicit Consent
Businesses should obtain explicit consent from customers to ensure transparent collection and use of customer data. This requires informing customers about the data being collected, its intended use, and the entities with access to it. Customers should also have the choice to opt out of data collection and request deletion of their data.
If you consider the security and privacy of customer data in your marketing strategy, you can earn their trust and offer better deals. The same companies that ignore data privacy are treading on thin ice and it is only a matter of time before an incident occurs. Not only will it erode customer trust, but it will also cause financial consequences. It’s easier and better in every way to prevent them and protect your business and reputation.