Data plays a vital role in the effectiveness and success of a digital marketing campaign. Marketers use data to gain insights into consumer behavior and market trends to identify distinctive customer needs and create targeted marketing campaigns. The availability and ease of access to data can, however, be a blessing and a mishap.
While data is an invaluable asset in marketing, it demands a lot of responsibility from owners to protect it against breaches. Apart from that, delivering customized experiences to your customers is your task: you have to ensure customers that their data is secure and you won’t exploit it when sharing it with you.
The balance between safeguarding customer data and the need to personalize customer experience is quite delicate. This article shares six ways you can protect customer data in your marketing campaigns.
- Staying Apprised On Regulations
The first and most important thing you need is to educate yourself on data compliance and privacy regulations and practices. You need to be well informed to align your marketing strategy, data collection, and use to these laws. Creating a robust marketing data structure is crucial to your marketing campaign but, at the same time, safeguarding your data.
- Stay Current On Encryption Practices
Data encryption is among the best way to protect the data in your possessions. Even when breached, it renders the data useless for hackers. However, encryption practices and technology are changing rapidly. You need to continuously review and update your encryption practices to create patching for vulnerabilities that may exist along the way.
Create a schedule for reviewing your encryption practices and checking for software updates. Scheduled reviews and updates also apply to all systems that hold customer data that can become loopholes for hacking.
- Make Customer Privacy Everyone’s Business
The security of customer information is too critical not to be taken seriously by everyone in the business. Once you have put data security measures and policy in place, ensure that everyone understands what it entails and strictly adheres to it. It can relate to things like the use of work devices away from the office and confidentiality.
In the same breath, activate access control since not everyone needs to see customer information. The fewer people with access to customers’ data, the lower the chances of data leaks.
- Collect Only What You Need
Collecting data that you’re not using is not only a waste of energy. It’s a waste of resources too. It also creates a broader target for cyber attackers. It can also come off as suspicious when you’re asking for too much information from customers, which can negatively impact brand trust. The best practice is to collect what you only need to use. Always give customers the option whether they want to share their data with you or not.
- Perform Regular Data Audits
A part of complying with data regulations demands that businesses be aware of what data they hold. You need to document every detail of the data, such as whose information it is, its nature, and how you’ve stored it. You’re also required to get rid of unnecessary data. You might need a legal reason why you’re holding on to personal data that’s not in use.
If you’re without a valid justification for storing data, you may end up with heavy penalties. Regular audits will help you evade data regulation penalties but also help you maintain an updated database that’s more valuable in your marketing campaigns.
- Be Transparent With Data
Your business must maintain data transparency and allow consumers to control their data to reduce conflict while instilling trust. You need to openly detail the purpose and how you intend to use customer data. Use the data and compliance laws and regulations to create a positive relationship between you and your customers.
Transparency is an excellent way to empower users to make informed decisions when sharing data. Ensure you tell users how and when you’re collecting data, how you’re going to use it, and what benefit they can get. It can make customers more at ease when choosing to share data with you.
To this end, you need to have your privacy notice updated. Ensure that it explains the nature of the person you hold and the legal basis. Also, share how you’ll address grievances from customers if they’re not in agreement with how you’re using their data. Practicing transparency can boost your relationship in the long run.
Familiarizing yourself with data compliance and privacy regulations is the first step to ensuring you’re staying within the legal limits of data collection and usage. Above that, you need to take all possible measures to keep the data safe by developing a comprehensive data protection policy.
In addition, letting customers know what you’re doing with their data helps build trust creating a positive impact on your brand. It may also influence how customers receive the marketing campaign. Be straightforward with customers and only collect what you need.