Data ethics

This article is part of a series of articles on data ethics. Read more.

Need to know

  • The GDPR has changed the way we think about data ownership, security, privacy, as well as the ethics surrounding the exchange of online information
  • In the wake of GDPR, data has become scarcer. While this makes data more valuable, it also means that the challenge associated with getting consumers’ informed consent and monetizing that data has increased
  • GDPR also attempts to breakdown monopolies and promote innovation. While brands may appreciate mass reach opportunities, there is no doubt that monopolies in search (Google) or social (Facebook) are simply not in their best interest
  • Giving consumers greater control of their data should provide opportunity for businesses and lead to more competitive advertising
  • In the emerging privacy-focused landscape, ethics should be positioned as core to a business and practiced at each stage of the customer journey from product development to customer service
  • Embedding ethics into a company is a long-haul game. It requires commitment and a substantial amount of demonstration to shift attitudes, strategies, and measurement. Although time consuming and costly, it’s the kind of metamorphosis that can provide your brand with the image and safety-net it needs to succeed
  • Post-GDPR, various studies show that significant numbers of consumers are choosing to “opt out” and are not giving companies permission to access their data
  • With smaller target audiences who have openly opted into data collection from companies, brands can work to deepen their relationship with customers and make it more meaningful, bespoke, and transparent. This can be a brand differentiator
  • First party data is arguably more customized as it represents the interested subset of customers who actually want to be engaging with your business. However, newly tailored marketing efforts may end up restricting the acquisition of new customers, who don’t fit the ‘opt-in’ target audience mold. This could mean that marketing efforts skew towards deepening relationships with your current audience versus prospecting new ones
  • Expect to see a less effective role of digital advertising driving acquisition in marketing measurement models, and a more effective role in digital channels driving ROI of customer engagement
  • The pivot to privacy means multi-touch attribution (MTA) will get harder as companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook restrict cross-platform tagging for their proprietary solutions
  • By living as an ethical brand, deepening relationships with customers, and aggregating data to a top-down analysis brands can successfully pivot and flourish in changing times
  • As brand values shift to more accurately reflect today’s environment and customer values the consumer’s loyalty, trust and dollars will follow