How to build consumer trust with a secret-and-design approach | So Good News


In an era where consumers are increasingly aware of their privacy rights – a cultural shift that is changing the relationship between them and the organizations they interact with – trust has become the new currency.

As a result, brands are putting privacy in their interests in terms of the relationships they have with consumers and environmental partners, and the term “privacy is design” has been coined.

Privacy means building data security into the design of technology products and services – integrating them with technology when it’s designed (rather than adding privacy-enhancing features over time) makes data privacy policies easier to follow over time. And promising a privacy-and-design approach also helps companies build the much-needed trust with consumers and give them something of value.

Increased privacy concerns

The 2018 GDPR regulation in Europe, followed by the 2020 CCPA regulation in California (and various other laws underway or pending around the world) make privacy a boardroom issue. Individuals are participating in the collection and use of their personal information by the organizations they interact with. Similarly, companies can no longer collect and store data about their customers and prospects without clearly explaining the purpose of doing so.

Additionally, there is a paradigm shift in digital marketing where Google and Apple abandon third-party cookies. At the end of 2021, Chrome and Safari combined represented more than 83% of the global browser market; soon companies will no longer be able to rely on the rest of the people as they look to the internet to help them with sales.

To that end, in 2020 (the year the CCPA went into effect) a KPMG survey found that 87% of Americans view privacy as a human right and 84% are open to government legislation giving consumers more control over their information. Advertising that is “overly personal” and distracting – an ad about a brand being discussed at leisure with a friend, for example – has contributed to people’s resistance to data collection by companies.

Organizations are faced with the challenge of collecting data from consumers to provide them with personalized and relevant user experiences, while struggling with the lack of targeting and measurement efficiency that comes with the loss of (third-party) cookies.

Privacy and consumer value exchanges

The collection of consumer data (personally identifiable information, or PII, such as e-mails for example) requires compliance with a number of privacy laws imposed by the environment and regulators.

However, although there is no doubt that these laws are difficult, they should not be considered as being forced to stop organizations from collecting data – on the contrary, the aim is to create trust between consumers and these companies. Indeed, these rules should be seen as a value exchange between the consumer and the brand: consumers exchange some of their private information for the customization and consumer control offered by the brand.

For example, a study conducted by Google and BCG showed that 45% of North Americans are not comfortable sharing their personal information to receive the advertisements they like. But, in the same survey, two-thirds of North American consumers said they want personalized ads.

These confusions about personal transactions and privacy show the importance of transparency and education in building trust with consumers. This aims to allow people to regain ownership of their data, with tools such as opt-in and opt-out interfaces and the right to be forgotten, as well as simple explanations of why data is collected.

Therefore, a trust-based relationship between marketing and consumers is a way for companies to work with consumers and provide relevant information to their customers. And it makes a case for integrating privacy and design into the technology and organizations that companies do their business with.

Data types, collaboration and technology of the private world

Initially, new privacy concepts pushed companies to consolidate their data types and look for opportunities for data integration.

Privacy laws are forcing beneficial changes within companies by removing data from silos – if a consumer asks for their data, it should be easily accessible. And, worried about losing audience information due to only having access to (limited) first-party data, companies are collaborating with other organizations that have additional first-party data.

From the boardroom to the sales and marketing teams, it’s clear that tackling privacy-related issues also presents new opportunities. But this can only be done by working in an environment that protects data privacy and ownership at the same time.

As a result, the new privacy paradigm is forcing companies to rethink their technology, with data clean rooms providing a good example. Driven by the need for a secure environment in which companies can collaborate, clean rooms are solutions for privacy technology raison-d’être and data protection, which means that it is installed in every part of the platform.

Clean rooms are a safe and neutral environment for data collaboration to take place. They help data scientists to better use data to better plan, implement and measure the entire environment, without the team (or parties) having access to customer PII, while privacy controls such as encryption prevent data from being misused.

Privacy and design support customer relationships

The way to create privacy is to change the way companies work and the technology they rely on – everyone across the organization needs to be on the same page and speak the same language when it comes to privacy.

And although at first this new way of working may seem difficult, the benefits of following it are more than just following the privacy. Developed with the right mindset and technology, privacy in design provides value to consumers and builds long-term trust.

Emilie Gazeau is managing director at Artefact, a data science and marketing consultancy.


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