What’s the next step for marketers in the age of data privacy law?

It seems that every week new privacy laws emerge in the United States. Since the status of legislation varies from state to state, and state policy is constantly evolving, there is little to no room for error when it comes to consumer data. Currently, three states in the United States have adopted three different consumer privacy protections: California, Virginia, and Colorado. Four other states (Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts and New York) currently have serious consumer data privacy proposals in committee.

I have written about data privacy and digital targeting in the past. To help sort through the current state of data privacy and understand what it means for marketers, I spoke with Todd Hatley of RRD, Senior Vice President, Data, Information, Customer Experience, and Paul Horbal, vice-president, chief information. security agent.

Gary Drenik: As various states assess and even pass new privacy legislation aimed at protecting consumer data, can you give us a quick overview? What are the latest news in data privacy?

Paul Horbal: Since the adoption of the GDPR and CCPA in 2018, the climate in the United States regarding data privacy has changed and states and businesses are responding. We find that when the law changes in one state, other states look at their own measures. And, due to the nature of data privacy rights, the dialogue around privacy is constantly evolving. This is due to the lack of federal legislation.

However, most marketers who manage data for big brands do so for organizations with a presence or customers in all states, including California. This means that the actions taken by the vast majority of organizations to meet CCPA requirements put them in a good position for future state-to-state or federal legislation.

Drenik: What is the impact of this kind of legislation on brands and marketers in today’s data-driven world?

Todd hatley: Among the most significant impacts are the operational requirements for data management. Organizations need a very high degree of situational awareness with regards to their level of processing of consumer data, and the process of acquiring this knowledge should come from internal intent rather than from a sub -product of legislation.

This is extremely important to consumers – over half (54.7%) of Gen Z consumers included in a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey said they were concerned about the privacy of their personal identity when shopping online. . Therefore, it must be essential to a brand’s strategy; those who put data privacy at the center of their concerns – rather than an afterthought – will be most successful. In practice, when a brand launches new products or services, data privacy should be at the forefront of the table to discuss and understand the impact it has on the organization’s accountability. confidentiality.

Drenik: How is RRD approaching these changes and what impact have they had on customers?

Horbal: While this is all still in development, RRD is here to help clients implement and enforce their privacy policies, but businesses need to own their entire privacy regime and I can’t stress enough on this point.

That being said, an important part of RRD’s response is our focus on third party data (i.e., self-reported data by consumers) and the infrastructure to collect, organize and operate these. data. Non-party efforts involve preference centers, providing consumers with the ability to share their preferences for communicating with a brand. However, when you ask consumers for their preferences, you need to ensure that you meet them and the more you allow consumers to specify how the communication will work, the more implications there are for how you can implement it.

Beyond respecting their preferences, it’s an opportunity to engage consumers, discover what interests them and show that they are valued by your brand.

Drenik: How can marketers ensure they remain compliant with the law while leveraging their analytics efforts to deliver highly personalized experiences?

Hatley: Once you’ve received consumer preferences from the Preference Center, you can start personalizing their experiences with your brand. And, through analysis, we can infer more – by leveraging email open rates, purchase history, and other interactions – and use that information to speak to consumers in a highly personalized and personalized way. personalized.

In fact, the Prosper Insights & Analytics Media Behaviors & Influence â„¢ study found that 38% of millennials are willing to allow the tracking and use of personal information on connected devices for marketing purposes, showing that consumers may be receptive to sharing information in exchange for a tailored experience.

It is important for organizations to demonstrate to consumers that they value their communication preferences, rights and personal data, and that they use them in a way that is beneficial to the individual.

Drenik: What impact does this have on data-driven attribution models? What strategies can marketers use to help them navigate these changes?

Hatley: Brands will have to reconstruct data-driven attribution models without some of the previously used variables. Whenever you create an attribution model, you look for different independent variables and try to include as many as possible. Although the end product of your attribution model uses only a few, you begin the process of building that model by collecting a large number of variables.

The challenge is that there are many attribution models that involve gathering information through methods that may no longer be allowed. Instead, marketers need to deploy other effective response strategies, including allocating more resources to contextual marketing tactics, building zero and first-party data assets, and forming second-party relationships. compliant.

Drenik: What are the opportunities for marketers to move forward?

Hatley: Respect for the law is only the basis for organizations today. Making changes in your organization to respect consumer privacy is very positive and necessary for the company. These changes will force brands to engage consumers with better value propositions and a more holistic understanding of who the consumer is and what they want.

It also offers marketers the opportunity to embed data privacy into their brand identity and to engage with consumers in an authentic way with privacy at heart. Consumers will notice it and respond positively.

Drenik: No one knows how all of this will evolve over the next few months and years, but if you had a crystal ball, how do you expect the marketing landscape to evolve over the next five years?

Horbal: Right now we are moving towards future federal privacy legislation similar to what is found in Europe, where it is determined how much consumer data a brand can track. This will give way to a more empowered consumer who can choose to share data based on what’s offered, meaning that consumer data is in, unlike brands that ask consumers for their permission.

A recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that the majority of consumers have already taken steps to protect their digital / online privacy, such as changing social media privacy settings or disabling mobile trackers. This trend will only grow as consumers gain more control over their data.

Over the next five years, I expect more brands to embrace consumer data privacy, which will lead to increased consumer awareness and empowerment. We are moving towards a future where the customer is truly in control. And now is the time to start adjusting marketing strategies accordingly.

Drenik: Thank you, Todd and Paul, for sharing your data privacy expertise with us and giving us an overview of what’s next for marketers.