Digital Marketing

Ensuring Consumer-Data Privacy in This Era of Digital Personalization at Scale

Striking the right balance between consumer data-privacy and personalization: How brands can strategize for both.

McKinsey Digital suggests that personalisation at scale is the new Holy Grail in digital marketing. When done correctly, it can improve the lives of the consumers, increase engagement, and make them loyal brand advocates. But the concept of personalisation is nothing new.

For decades, industry luminaries are trying to personalise customer experiences based on their online behaviours. But the personalisation journey has mostly been slow, expensive, and complicated. Even in this age of modern technology where customer data is available in abundance, personalisation continues to remain a mirage for several brands.

One of the biggest challenges for most brands aiming to deliver personalisation at scale is with regards to the security and privacy of consumer data. Over the last few years, there have been multiple data breaches and scandals, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that have made public and even the lawmakers wary of how brands collect, secure, and use consumer data.

But as it is said, every challenge is a new opportunity. There are now brands delivering personalisation at scale while also ensuring consumer data privacy. Here are a few strategies that are helping such brands achieve this feat-

 1. Transforming/Upgrading Digital Marketing Systems and Applications

The first step to deliver personalisation with improved data privacy is transforming or upgrading the systems and applications used for digital marketing initiatives. The systems that generate, consume, transmit, or store consumer data should use best practices to protect data while also complying with the legal standards now applicable in countries like the USA and Europe.

Digital marketing should be focused upon throughout this transformation or upgradation so that the team members also understand the importance of data privacy.

 2. Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities

For improved data security, an organisation should also focus on clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the available human resources. This will add more clarity and transparency to the whole personalisation at scale initiative and enable the organisation to respond in case of a breach.

The team members should thoroughly understand their responsibilities during a breach and even during the normal day-to-day operations.

 3. Data Sanitisation and Tokenisation for Remarketing

While data encryption continues to be a popular method for increasing the safety of data when it is being transmitted or is at rest, many organisations now sanitise and tokenise the consumer data, especially for remarketing purposes. While sanitisation makes the data unrecoverable on a storage device, tokenisation replaces data elements with tokens that have no value or meaning.

So, even when the organisation retargets a particular consumer, these advanced data security technologies ensure improved privacy.

4. Continuous Training for Key Roles

As per a report on Telegraph, malicious links distributed via email is the most common cyber threat for businesses. While there are advanced solutions to avoid such threats, the importance of continuous education and training cannot be overstated.

The marketing team, especially people in key roles, should be regularly provided adequate role-based training for improved consumer data protection and overall security of the organisation.

 The Bottom Line

Personalisation at scale is as it is challenging to deliver and ensuring data privacy only makes it more complicated. But personalised marketing has already proven its worth over the years and is now increasingly important in this hyper-competitive business landscape.

While countries like the USA and Europe already have laws and regulations in place to protect consumer data, it is only a matter of time before other countries jump the bandwagon too. Strategies like the ones discussed in this post are being used by businesses to deliver personalisation while also ensuring enhanced protection to consumer data.

A brands’ focus on personalisation with data protection will not just help it to comply with the laws and regulations but also improve its reputation and enable it to build lasting relationships with the consumers.

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