74% of CMOs believe data ethics will get even more important for their business in the next five years, while only 48% of advertisers admit having data ethics policy. With the advent of more and more data privacy regulations, various companies and organizations are under tremendous pressure to ensure that their customers are protected and that their data is stored responsibly.


Keep your data ethical while managing customer preferences


Today, groundbreaking technologies such as AI and machine learning are helping businesses by creating opportunities to deliver better services. However, to fully use these fantastic mar-tech tools, there is a high need for possessing a huge database of client information. In times of data misuse, companies really have to focus on an ethical collection of data.


This is the last chance to actually act by data security standards to build high-end consumer relationships based on trust and to create the best Customer Experience by using improved preference management. 

Transparency becomes a new must-have for companies


74% of CMOs believe data ethics will get even more important for their business in the next five years. That means that companies and what’s more, marketers are becoming more and more aware of the way they use and collect the data.


In the modern business model, it is impossible to work without data collected directly from customers or other sources. Since information is at a premium in the industry today, data ethics is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. This trend is only going to increase, which is why companies need to focus on ethical data management at all levels, from acquisition to use. As consumers become more aware of the privacy of their data, putting an emphasis on transparency for companies, these companies must do everything they can to keep customers informed of actions taken with their information. 


A survey of 147 marketing executives found that 82% of them would consider leaving their employer if they felt the data approach was not ethical. That’s exactly why data ethics is crucial to building a universal framework to guide what to do and what not to do with the data they collect. This will ensure that customers can trust the company they are giving their information to. 


Consumer concerns about data are rising rapidly, especially now, so it’s essential that those who share their data should have full, open and transparent insight into how it is used.


Importance of maintaining data ethics while ensuring Customer Experience


Preference management is a way of communicating with customers through their preferred channels and at their preferred times. In short, it is the recipient who decides what and when they receive from the company and not the other way around. Preference management seems to be a great improvement in communication, this way you can make sure that the information you send is always welcome if of course done in a legal way. Keep in mind that consumer preferences are changing, hence you must provide the update option. 


In the past years, we observed a huge conversion in the area of enterprise data cloud, and how it could simplify the management of data and AI. In 2020, we experienced COVID-19 outbreak, masses of data being used for the fight with the pandemic, personal cyber profiles that raise the discussion about privacy and the problem of data ownership in smart devices. We see a burning need to anonymize data for the benefit of society and to ensure strong data governance that monitors how it is used.


Benefits of data ethics


Only 48% of advertisers admit to having a data ethics policy, but do you know how it can affect your marketing? 


Given the fact that we have more and more privacy regulations like GDPR, CCPA and most recent one – CDPA, implementing ethical data management ensures yourself trust of your consumers which is crucial to maintaining long-term relationships. Moreover, it prevents any unintentional biases that can always happen and create a negative image of your brand, driven by poor business decisions.


The vicious cycle of data ethics and preferences


The Cisco Privacy Benchmark Study shows that concerns about data privacy have increased over the past year. 31% of respondents are concerned that their data will be used for non-corporate purposes, 25% believe that data will be shared with third parties, and 24% are afraid that data will not be deleted after COVID-19. 


Many consumers have taken action on their own and simply stopped sharing data with companies that don’t follow privacy policies. This unfortunately closely impacts preference management – without data, there are no preferences, but without content that customers prefer, there is no more data to exchange. So how do we impact this vicious cycle?


Ways of ethical data collection


With the holy trinity of Data Protection laws, withdrawal of third party cookies and Coronavirus, companies have to figure out a way of ethical data obtaining.


First, focus on giving your customers, unique or even exclusive content. They would feel obliged to give back and leave their information willingly. This way, at the same time, you will increase trust, and build a healthy database consisting of first-party data.  


Second, stop spamming ads – make your ad space useful, give customers the opportunity to gain or learn something from it. This will make them more willing to provide you with the data you need. 


Third, be honest with your customers – never ever, store or share customer data without their explicit permission. Remember that data always belongs to the user. 


Be prepared for the future


Maintaining data ethics is key today, and will be even more so in the future. The focus on owning ethical, actionable data across all channels, with clear and strong customer consent to its use, is proving to be a core issue in the coming years. 


Preference management focuses on allowing users to voluntarily provide information about their intentions, motivations, and interests, so you need to capture this data in the most legitimate way possible with the highest data ethics, so you don’t disappoint your customer. That’s why maintaining transparency about what a client’s data is actually used for will not only ensure a better reputation but also trust, retention and loyalty from both old and new customers.

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