Why CMOs Need to Be Involved in Privacy Policy Creation

Why CMO Needs to Be Involved in Privacy Policy Creation

As a CMO, do you have much involvement in your company’s privacy policy? I’m sure, thanks to the GDPR and other laws that have passed recently, that your company has recently updated your privacy policy. But were you included in the discussion? Privacy policy—often left to the suits in legal—is about to become the most important issue a CMO can manage effectively. In fact, I’d argue it already has. Still, most CMOs are too sidetracked by AR, AI, blockchain and other new technologies to fully engage with it. Since marketers gather and use most of the data pulled by businesses today, however, it’s essential that they begin to take a leading role in crafting privacy policy—whether they like it or not.

Yes, CMOs already have a lot riding on their shoulders when it comes to managing the omnichannel experience in an ever-changing digital landscape. But thanks to increasingly complex legal hurdles surrounding privacy, from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation to California’s Consumer Privacy Act, utilizing data in today’s expansive martech realm is becoming incredibly tricky. It makes sense that CMOs should be brushing up on their legalese.

To be fair, CMOs are finding themselves in a bit of a technology pickle. In a new report Futurum Research did in conjunction with SAS found that 67 percent of consumers are concerned with the way brands are using their data. 70 percent of consumers believe they should be able to see what data a company has captured on them. As such, marketing teams are tasked with the seemingly impossible job of personalizing their actions with consumers—without being too invasive about the personal information they gather.

Yes, dealing with privacy concerns can be a struggle, but it can also be a huge opportunity for positive growth in customer experience and engagement. The following are a few reasons CMOs need to start taking a leadership role in privacy policy development—and why the benefits may be bigger than they realize.

Privacy Policy Can Boost Your Brand

In fact, it’s integral to it. And when CMOs take a leading position on creating it for the company, they also have a huge opportunity to either rebuild or recalibrate the company’s brand for the better. Research shows that consumers want increased transparency from big business. 65 percent of people, in fact, wish that companies had a more transparent privacy policy. What’s more, they’re more willing to hand over their data when they know the companies they’re dealing with are being transparent. They want to shop with retailers who are upfront about how they’re obtaining data and why. Rather than looking at crafting a privacy policy as a painful necessity, think of the huge opportunity you have to bring you closer to your customers and improve your company’s reputation overall.

With transparency comes trust. Consumers believe they have little to no control over their personal data. According to the same Futurum and SAS report, technologies like IoT, edge computing, the cloud, and blockchain enable brands to behave in a way that can inspire consumer trust. Trust is a key element in customer experience, and brands that cannot provide a high level of trust cannot provide a high level of customer experience. It’s that simple.

Privacy Policy Can Make Your Life Easier

Once you nail down a clear and transparent policy for the way your team uses and gathers data, you’ll have much greater leeway in planning and developing marketing campaigns. Just think of it: you won’t need to visit the legal department every time your team develops a new campaign idea. You’ll simply need to refer to your guidelines and be on your way.

Plus your consumers will know what to expect with your brand and likely won’t get upset when they know what their data is being used for.

Privacy Policy Can Surprise Your Customers—for the Better

When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised by a shopping or service experience? What about the last time you were pleasantly surprised by the marketing messages you were receiving? When you make a solid transparent attempt to create a privacy policy that works for your company and your customers, you have a chance to do just that. That means not just throwing up a large disclaimer on your web site and having someone click “I agree” to enter it, but taking a creative approach to building a privacy relationship with customers—one that they clearly opt-into and understand. The relationship is key in digital transformation, and every relationship requires respect for personal privacy. Those are the types of experiences that get shared on social media and beyond.

Remember: privacy and security are two different things. To play with integrity in digital transformation, you need to honor both when it comes to data safety. One clearly falls under the auspices of your IT team. The other, however, is increasingly falling under the direction of the CMO, and for good reason. The marketing team is the gatherer and keeper of data and highly personal information in digital transformation. Unfortunately, more than 40 percent of those surveyed don’t feel like their personal data can ever be fully secured once a company gets their hands on it. With the right privacy policy, the marketing team, now more than ever, has the opportunity to help rebuild digital trust for all of us.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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