Data ethics are set to be a crucial factor in driving brand trust and those brands that can meet consumer demands in this regard, as well as acting with purpose, stand to outperform their rivals, according to an agency expert.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, The convergence of brand purpose and data ethics, Rachael Smith, Purpose Director at Fuse, Omnicom Media Group UK’s partnership and experiences agency, argues that the world is entering “a new age of data ethics and data democracy”, in which brands can not only protect an individual’s data but harness it for a greater societal good.

“A strong foundation of data ethics that goes beyond compliance provides brands with the credibility on which to articulate a purpose and social mission, creating a strategic platform on which to communicate to consumers through more ‘purposeful marketing’,” she says.

“This in turn builds trust which can be understood to translate back into personal data sharing, which, when treated ethically, can be leveraged to improve marketing and business performance.”

Achieving this state, however, requires embedding an ethos of data ethics throughout an organisation, an approach which is in any case likely to become increasingly necessary as the world becomes more hyper-connected and the Internet of Things takes shape.

And as global brand reliance on personal data continues and consumer demand for brands with purpose increases, Smith advises that the convergence of these two areas is predicted to create more positive social outputs.

Brands have already built successful loyalty platforms by rewarding consumers for their data, but a new generation of organisations is extracting valuable audience data and insights from their customers in exchange for rewards that effect positive behaviour change, whether that’s encouraging more exercise or tackling smartphone addiction.

The convergence of big data and positive impact doesn’t seem to be stopping or slowing down, Smith adds, referencing the innovative work of Good-Loop – an ethical programmatic video advertising platform that converts ad budget into charitable donations.

Sourced from WARC