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Why CMOs should care about how they use data

“Data Dignity” may sound like another buzz phrase, but the simple reality is that it represents a tidal wave of digital change that will fundamentally change the way businesses can operate from a data perspective.

Not only should it be on the radar of all CMOs, but it should also be the trigger for a major change in how we approach data and reevaluate the opportunities it brings.

The initial stage is established, with consumers being more aware of privacy at the highest level, especially among the important young group. Indeed, a recent analysis by the author Predicted by Gartner that by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have personal data covered by today’s privacy laws, a fact made all the more surprising by the fact that in 2020 only 10% will be.

It’s important to keep in mind that these privacy drivers may overlap, but create unique challenges for businesses and real headaches for CMOs. There is not only regulatory risk here, but also reputational and brand risk for those top marketers who drop the ball – an increasingly likely occurrence as the usual status quo changes.

Big technologies cause change

These changes to “privacy first” data flows are significant, even from a distance. Google has taken the lead by introducing Privacy Sandbox, Data Safety and Analytics 4 – a combination that will have a major impact on the way digital businesses operate. The Privacy Sandbox, the root of many slightly hysterical “death of the cookie” stories, does target third-party cookies, and Google’s Chrome browser will block them — along with Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla. Since Chrome browsers account for about 65% of browsers on the Internet, this will be a significant change. Third-party cookies are files that allow users to be tracked across sites, unlike “first-party” cookies, which are created by the site’s owner or publisher but are not shared with others.

As Google recently wrote on its blog: “The impact of third-party cookies on advertising cannot be denied. They have served as a basis for improving the user experience and relevant advertising, as well as providing marketers with useful information about the activities of customers on websites. But third-party cookies also make it more difficult for people to control the collection and use of their data. And as consumer privacy expectations rise, the cost of cookies increasingly outweighs their benefits.”

Rejecting third-party cookies is forcing marketers to reevaluate their data strategy. This will lead to a greater focus on higher quality “first party” data, making their data relationships with consumers visible.

Disable mobile tracking

Apple has been at the forefront of privacy messaging, and other 800-pound tech gorillas have followed suit. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency gives you control over which apps are allowed to track your activity in third-party apps and websites, and it caused just as much consternation when it launched as part of iOS 14. Google’s Data Safety feature will force developers and app owners to people more information about how apps collect, share and protect user data – it will become mandatory from July 20, 2022.

Is Universal Analytics a Data Disaster?

Perhaps an even more profound change is Google Analytics 4, which is already starting to roll out. GA4 uses a new data model that focuses on core cookies and event tags, rather than third-party cookies and session-based monitoring. This alone will not only change the data available to marketers in the future, but it also creates a simple problem – Universal Analytics (UA) and GA4 numbers simply won’t match. As of July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics’ standard properties will no longer be longer processing data, effectively a reset button for how brands view and understand their customers’ carefully curated digital journeys.

Opportunity knocks

So what can CMOs do about it? Fortunately, there are opportunities here at almost every level. Of course, the main challenge here is to gain full visibility and a full understanding of the data you already have, as well as the data you will be processing in a new world that respects the dignity of people’s data. This process offers significant benefits, not least in minimizing compliance and regulatory risks related to outdated data or data that is no longer fit for purpose. It also allows compliance processes to be reviewed, so that everything from cookie notifications to subject access request processes can be reviewed and streamlined as needed.

Another key motivating factor for CMOs is ensuring that any existing primary data collection is relevant today and in the future. For example, the move to on-site event tracking and tag-based user journey mapping should be at the top of priority lists, as it will inevitably impact target tracking at an ever-increasing exponential rate.

The reality is that CMOs can deliver significant ROI by using data responsibly, and can get ahead (and gain an edge in the marketplace) by being proactive about it. A recent study found that brands with a responsible approach to data generate 28% more purchase intent, demonstrating that there are opportunities in privacy for brands that do this well. Businesses and CMOs who act first will build deeper, more trusting relationships with consumers that will impact their bottom line while minimizing business risk in the process.

Are you interested in hearing how the world’s leading brands discuss similar topics in person? Learn more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

tags: data, ethics, ROI

https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2022/sep/23/respecting-data-dignity-why-cmos-should-care-about-how-they-use-data/ Why CMOs should care about how they use data

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