A New Era In Data Privacy?

By Chris McGuire | March 23rd, 2018

New Era In Data Privacy

With the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica‘s involvement in the US presidential election, and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation coming into force from May 2018, data privacy is currently front-page news in the press and within the marketing industry.

Mark Zuckerberg has now admitted his social network had ‘made mistakes’ in allowing apps so much access to their user’s personal data. Facebook’s stock price is taking a hit, and with the rise of the #deletefacebook movement, does this spell the beginning of the end for Facebook?

Well, time will tell (but probably not).

Certainly though, the recent news has renewed awareness of data privacy, for both consumers and businesses alike. How might this impact the future of digital marketing?

We’ve previously written about GDPR and its impact on your online marketing and suggested already-responsible businesses should only need small adjustments to their marketing practices. With the subject of data privacy in mainstream news though, it makes sense that marketing teams should treat this issue more seriously than ever.

Below we break down some further recommendations to ensure your approach to using personal data for marketing purposes remains squeaky-clean:

1. Complete Clarity

GDPR comes into force in May, but the lines are a little fuzzy around whether this means you should be contacting everyone in your CRM and re-requesting their consent to continue using their data for marketing purposes. We have seen the argument made that Direct Marketing can continue on grounds of legitimate interest, but many companies have already been contacting customers to ensure their opt-in is fully consented to.

There is certainly a case to be made for the latter approach – you may see the size of your CRM database fall as a consequence, but the end result should be a more engaged audience that you know trusts your business with their information. Overall this could lead to more targeted and cost-effective marketing, rather than a more scattergun approach.

2. Only the Essentials

Now is also the time to consider how much information you are asking people to provide and why. Recent news stories will almost certainly make the general public more sceptical of giving away too much of their personal data.

Streamlining the amount of information you request to the bare essentials, may help prevent a drop-off in conversions whilst also reducing the amount of administration needed. A win-win.

3. Monitor Facebook Marketing Closely

As we said before, time will tell if there is a long-term impact on Facebook’s prowess. A robust Social Media Strategy should take the current news into consideration and be prepared to adapt should you see a decline in performance. For example, adjust advertising bids, shift budgets and set up trial campaigns in other networks etc.

In Closing…

The current news cycle is certainly a worry for Facebook, as they now scramble to re-earn their users’ trust and retain their title as the world’s largest social network. However, if one thing is now clear, it is that we have entered a new era in privacy and the digital world in particular needs to do more to ensure our personal data is treated responsibly.

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