Exposure or Anonymity?


Dianna Albanese, SourceMedia

February 26

As part of our ongoing coverage of the use of and value of data in marketing, an important topic we wanted to touch upon was how brand strategists are keeping up to date with fast changing attitudes towards privacy.

According to an IBM report from MarketingTech, 90% of the world’s data has been created in just the last two years. By collecting data, marketers have had the ability to track trends, individual habits, purchase patterns, and other learnings. Undeniably, collecting and using customer data is an effective way to improve returns. However, recently there has been a great deal of debate around data privacy, and how consumers embrace or resist this personal data exposure.

According to eMarketer, a June 2017 Bank of America study of United States smartphone users found that millennials were more open to the idea that their devices were being tracked in terms of applications such as physical activity and news preferences.

However, millennials do not make up the majority in this debate. As stated in Ad Age, a consumer data and privacy report from the Pew Research Center showed that less than half of United States adults surveyed stated it was acceptable for companies to share their shopping data with third parties. Some people simply wanted more information before deciding whether or not to share their data, with questions such as, “How many third parties will you be sharing with? Can I control what information is shared? Is it just my anonymous shopping data, or is my personal information attached?”

MarTech Today suggests some alternate solutions to this data privacy debacle. One idea is to make your company’s data use transparent and inform consumers about preferences and conditions of data privacy. Another is to gain full visibility over which third-party sites are taking your data as well as keep up with privacy rules and regulations to avoid trouble. Finally, privacy needs the same touch as marketing personalization, with one-on-one interaction between the consumer and the brand. An individual may feel more comfortable if they feel that the company cares about their specific issues and concerns with shared data.

Consumer experience is particularly high on the list of marketing trends that have developed over the past few years. In the same way marketers engage and connect with consumers for a purchase, it is essential to manage data in a way that maintains consumer trust and brand loyalty.

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