We are living in an era with two conflicting trends when it comes to marketing measurement: on the one hand, there has never been so much potential for serving relevant and personalised ads based on user interests. On the other, there is a heightened awareness of privacy and data security among users and companies alike, alongside increasingly stringent domestic and international regulations.
The reality is apparent: numerous companies collect and process user data. As an end-user, every time you make a search query online, sign up for a newsletter or make an online purchase, this information is registered somewhere.
Data privacy and security are always a contentious talking point, especially in the wake of several major data breaches.
According to a 2019 report from IBM Security, data breaches have seen a 12 percent increase over the last five years and financial damage worth USD 3.92 million on an average. This amount is higher than the annual marketing budget for many enterprises.
As data breaches become increasingly expensive, industry compliance has become even stricter with the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Since then, we’ve started to read more and more about organisations getting slammed with sizable penalties and settlements for security incidents or misuse of their customers’ data and information.
Policies, such as GDPR, can cause disruptions in the business world. Hence, organisations should make data privacy and security an integral part of their core values.
In the Marketing Technology ecosystem, data-driven attribution of first-party data generated from customer touchpoints with a brand serves as a powerful and trusted data source for customer engagement efforts. As such, together with customers and partners, third-party attribution providers hold the enormous shared responsibility of protecting and preventing abuse of this data.
As data processors, attribution providers should enable customers with the infrastructure as well as education on best practices, compliance, policies and industry trends for them to ensure an optimal experience for users — which includes protection against data breaches, infringement on privacy and other concerns.
Attribution providers should also endeavour to establish a world-class, ever-growing privacy and security programme with certifications from the strictest regulatory bodies around the globe. Privacy and data security education should be a part of the onboarding process for every new employee, followed by continued information on the subject and frequent technological updates.
We talk a lot about seeing the user as a whole person, being able to connect the dots across devices, platforms and channels. Fine-tuning the user experience is what strengthens brands and creates loyalty.
Therefore, the onus is on third-party providers to not only empower every data-driven marketer out there but also understand how critical privacy and security are in today’s world, for every industry and every type of business – whether an enterprise or an up-and-coming player.
Trusting a third-party provider with data can leave marketers feeling vulnerable, and rightfully so, unless they choose a solution that puts privacy at the core of their product and organisation.
Data security is a critical piece of the evolving technology ecosystem, and failure to embrace this movement is a severe disservice to all players — from brands to end-users (and everyone in between). Privacy is a fundamental human right, and it should be maintained and honoured through every extension of one’s presence – mobile and digital devices included.
Authored by Sanjay Trisal, Country Head, AppsFlyer.