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Marketing & Sales
Nov 1, 2018

Five Tips on Balancing Convenience and Privacy

Sponsored Content provided by Jim Ellis - Vice President, Account Director, Signal

Connectivity is accelerating our lives, and marketers must keep up by working smarter.
 
The trend encourages convenience as the bottom line – delivering value to customers as quickly as possible. However, as data becomes more accessible, consumers are pushing back against perceived corporate invasions of privacy.
 
How do we balance convenience and privacy to ensure our audience does not feel invaded? The five best practices below are a great start.
 

1. Remember that trust is of utmost importance

While it’s true of all business ventures, building consumer trust is more essential in online marketing. Most people aren’t that aware of how data collection works, so they naturally feel uneasy when targeted advertising begins showing up immediately after an online search. It’s our job to use discretion and good judgement to effectively communicate with our customers.
 

2. Build transparency to build trust

One way to ensure your customers don’t feel tricked is to offer an honest and accessible overview of what data will be collected and how it will be used. The privacy policy is a perfect place to do this, providing opt-out pathways and further reading on data use at your company. When people feel clear about their interaction with your company, they’re more inclined to do business with you. Tell them the truth, so everyone can rest easier.
 

3. Empower them with control 

It’s a basic human desire to have control over our environment. This instinct applies to our online transactions. The more control you offer your customers about when, what and how much data they’re sharing, the more they will feel empowered to do business with you. Offering a clear option for minimal data collection is a sure way to improve trust and customer satisfaction.
 

4. Know where the line is

How tolerant are consumers when it comes to using their data? The line is often unknown until it’s crossed. The past few years have seen many high-profile companies face legal consequences for overstepping data collection and usage. One notable example is when Facebook was sued by Europe over alleged privacy violations in 2016. Facebook’s size allowed them to weather this event, but smaller companies may not have the same resilience for retaining trust.

 
5. Aim for consumer-initiated transactions

As opposed to brand-initiated interactions, using data to help consumers easily locate and purchase what they already want is a subtle but important way to reframe the interaction. Trust that customers will seek out what is meaningful and help them get to it with channels that are optimized for user experience and usability.

 
Special Note on GDPR

Businesses that market their products in the EU must comply with the new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). Transparency and empowerment are two critical components of this new legislation.

Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.

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Five Tips on Balancing Convenience and Privacy

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