When it comes to lead generation, marketing teams like to cast their intent-based net as widely as possible to get as many consumers as possible to click and provide their personal information. This strategy has been effective for generating wide-reaching leads, while targeting those who are more likely to buy. But behind the scenes, this means companies are collecting huge amounts of personal information which has led to the increased risk of
1) consumers’ data being vulnerable, and
2) companies’ compliance with data privacy regulations.
There will always be stress for marketers to generate more leads. As such, data collection has unintentionally gotten out of control with companies sharing and selling consumer data without their knowledge, and consumers getting bombarded with unwanted ads or personal information being breached. However, how companies are handling consumers’ data privacy today is having a greater impact on their purchasing decisions.
According to a recent report by KPMG, “Corporate Data Responsibility: Bridging the Trust Chasm,” 86% of consumers said they feel a growing concern about data privacy, while 78% expressed fears about the amount of data being collected. Forty percent said they don’t trust companies to use their data ethically, and 13% surprisingly don’t trust their employers with their data.
Many U.S. states are stepping up. California continues to expand its data privacy regulatory coverage with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), giving more control to consumers regarding their personal data and making the regulations more enforceable. In addition to California, four other states – Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia – have passed a comprehensive data privacy compliance law, while 17 other states are at various stages of approving state level regulation, many slated to go into effect in 2023 or 2024. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), which aims to create a national standard, continues to receive increased support.
Data privacy is not new to marketers with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect in 2018. But data privacy regulations and enforcements are getting closer to home. Further, as consumers are educating themselves on their data privacy rights outside of just hitting the unsubscribe button, it is prompting consumers to question companies about their data.
Consumers are increasingly asking: How did this company obtain my information? What else do they have about me on file? Is my personal information securely stored or is it going to be the subject of the next data breach? Increasingly, consumers want less of their data out there while marketers are trying to collect more.
What should marketing teams be doing now to do the right thing for consumers and do right by their companies? More than ever, marketers need to be cognizant of the types of data they are collecting. How are you collecting the data? How are you accessing the data? How are you sharing the data? What retention policies internally do you have? More than ever, marketing needs to work with IT and Information Security teams to ensure they have the answers.
As marketers learn the answers to these questions, they will have better control over consumers’ personal data. When consumers make requests related to their data, there will be mechanisms in place to respond to these requests. This makes it easier for marketing teams to comply with increasing data privacy regulations – which means marketers are protecting their companies from facing investigations, audits, and fines for non-compliance.
It also means customers who have previously been frustrated about how their data is being handled are happier customers. No question, how companies are handling consumer privacy rights is having an impact on buying habits. A Cisco study conducted in 2021 revealed that of those surveyed, 79% of “privacy actives,” those who say they care about privacy and are willing to act to protect it, say data privacy is a buying factor for them and 47% have switched companies or providers over their data policies or data sharing practices.
Data collection can no longer just be about generating big numbers of leads. Now is the time for marketers to be more accountable for what is happening to consumer data once collected. The good news is if marketing teams keep data privacy top of mind, making sure they implement best practices and respond to consumer requests in a timely manner, they can confidently continue their marketing campaigns and generate lots of leads.
Often, businesses are looking to do right by their customers, but don’t know where to begin. To learn how CYTRIO can help keep you up-to-date with increasing data privacy laws, visit CYTRIO.