By Jenni Baker | Senior Editor

November 21, 2022 | 7 min read

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Data experts from Google and Media.Monks outline the steps brands and agencies need to take today to maintain consumer confidence and gain a competitive edge in a privacy-first world.

‘Privacy by design: invest now for future success’ show from The Drum’s Media Summit 2022

‘Privacy by design: invest now for future success’ show from The Drum’s Media Summit 2022

Marketers shouldn’t underestimate the commercial benefits to getting privacy right for their customers and subsequently the consequences of getting it wrong. They should embrace the spirit of this new advertising future now and go beyond the bare minimum compliance to get ahead for tomorrow.

This was the rallying cry to attendees at The Drum’s Media Summit 2022, where Claire Norburn, UK & Ireland ads privacy lead at Google and Doug Hall, vice-president of data services and technology EMEA at Media.Monks, impressed the need for brands to prioritize privacy-first approaches within their business to give customers what they want and need.

“Rather than seeing customer privacy as a compliance exercise, think about the bigger picture of building relationships and trust with your customers, that’s where businesses can win,” said Norburn. “Brands who are embracing privacy-first marketing strategies today are getting ahead.”

A mutual value gain

Norburn kicked off the session with a deep dive into research from Google and Ipsos about the consequences of good and bad privacy experiences through the lens of consumers. It found that in the UK, 77% of those surveyed prefer to buy from brands that are honest about what data they collect and why – more than the rest of Europe at 71%.

“People take privacy more seriously than you’d expect – and brands should too,” said Norburn. “Brands should be utilizing privacy practices that are meaningful, memorable and manageable to positively impact customers’ feelings of control. The more practices you can implement, the more benefit in terms of the customers’ feelings of control, and therefore the effectiveness of the communications you provide those customers.”

“Getting privacy wrong has an impact – this regulation isn’t anti-business, it’s pro-consumer and [this research] crystalizes the value by putting that into facts,” added Hall. “If you’re struggling to understand the value of getting it right and the cost of getting it wrong, then you really need to have a conversation with the relevant people and work on your privacy.

“It's not a zero-sum game – it’s not ‘we win, they lose’. It’s no great surprise that if you’re doing the right thing for your user’s privacy, you’re doing the right thing for your data quality. It’s a win for the user, a win for the consumer and a win for the business.”

New privacy regulations and the deprecation of third-party cookies have prompted marketers to revisit data collection practices for the right reasons, explained Hall: “Digital analytics has been a victim of its own success. Mass adoption and organic growth is fantastic, but it has introduced a lot of rough edges. And now it’s a great opportunity to revisit for the right reasons – for users and for businesses to be lean and more efficient. There’s goodness coming at the end, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, not a train coming the other way.”

The panelists agreed that there’s a real benefit to understanding your data, understanding privacy, understanding what’s happening in the market and focusing on that will provide the best outcomes for the user, the customer and the brand.

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Four tips to help your business get privacy-ready

The closing advice was to remember that we’re dealing with real people who are sharing their data. People who want the feeling of reciprocity, knowing that they are getting something in return. Everyone can win from this – but there are steps that marketers need to take now:

  1. Take control of your data – clients are facing a data sprawl and marketers must have absolute knowledge over what you’re collecting, why you’re collecting it, how it’s being used and who else is getting access to this data. Many clients have ownership but not control - and this is key to getting the data quality and privacy aspects right.

  2. Embrace the regulatory spirit – regulation needs to be treated seriously. Don’t treat it as a barrier, let go of historical ways of doing digital marketing and understand that these regulations are driven by public opinion. Customers expect this level of privacy and control – and that’s what brands should give them.

  3. Go beyond the bare minimum – it’s not enough to just be compliant with privacy regulation. Think about the bigger picture of building relationships and trust with your customers. Be responsible for the data you’re collecting and what you do with it. Be real, be authentic and be transparent. Those who embrace privacy and truly understand it are going to succeed.

  4. Make it meaningful, memorable and manageable – show the user the value of the exchange. People should be able to remember having shared the data that informs the marketing they see. Ensure users have proper, easy-to-use controls to manage the data they are sharing.

For more insights from the ‘Privacy by design: invest now for future success’ show from The Drum’s Media Summit 2022, watch the full video above.

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