Let’s talk about privacy for a minute or two. And yes, the gaps between doors on public restroom stalls are uncomfortably wide and no one really knows why – but that’s not the kind of privacy we’re talking about here. We need to talk about the “P” word and what it means to digital marketing and online consumer data.
Data-driven marketing continues to rapidly expand within a complex digital ecosystem that relies heavily on the aggregation of user-level consumer data. With all of this valuable data being bought, sold, and shared on a global level, it’s more important than ever that marketers take a proactive stance on privacy – or else they’ll most certainly pay for their ambivalence later on down the road.
As tends to happen with these kinds of things, the technology involved with online data aggregation and digital marketing has evolved much, much faster than the policies that we adopt to properly regulate this technology.
Take self-driving cars, for example. We now have the technological capability to mass produce self-driving cars – but we’re still years (maybe even decades) away from being able to appropriately address the new laws and compliance standards that will be necessary to make autonomous vehicles possible on a societal level.
When the speed of new technology outpaces the policies that are put in place to regulate it, it often leaves early adopters to blaze their trails in a wilderness of uncertainty. When it comes to the collection and use of online consumer data, many digital marketers have chosen to trudge through this virtual no man’s land with blinders on, blissfully ignorant of the potential privacy pitfalls that lie ahead.
But as many internet users grow more and more wary of how their data is collected and used, this laid-back, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” approach to privacy will almost certainly backfire on marketers who risk alienating the very consumers they are trying to reach. Because of these increasingly heightened privacy concerns,
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that a staggering 91 percent of American adults feel that “consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies” and that very few Americans express confidence in the security and of everyday communication channels and the organizations that control them.
As online privacy issues take center stage and stricter regulations await, now is exactly the time for thought leaders and industry pioneers to take a proactive stance on privacy, much like ALC has done with its new multichannel remarketing solution and “Privacy by Design” approach to compliance.
Marketers will certainly benefit from being upfront and honest about privacy, instead of putting it on the back-burner and playing damage control later on. Contrary to the popular adage, sometimes it’s better to ask for permission than to beg for forgiveness.