Privacy and Marketing part 2 | Deloitte Netherlands


Privacy and Marketing part 2

The Puzzle of the Online Privacy Experience - when Marketing and Privacy meet

Welcome to the second blog in the Privacy and Marketing series! In our first blog, we wrote about why organizations should choose a more consumer-friendly approach to the online privacy experience. Currently, many organizations have not yet found a user-friendly balance between legal compliance and marketing objectives. In this blog, we explore why finding this balance is often complicated.

Marketing practices vs. Privacy principles

Consumer-oriented marketers have focused on using data to learn more about consumers and to communicate with them in personalized ways. Placing cookies, pixels and other trackers to collect data within a user’s web browser or anywhere else on their device has become a common approach for Marketing teams to better understand what consumers want. Data-driven knowledge on user preferences is key to the success of marketing campaigns. In other words, data is extremely valuable to organizations and many would like to capture as much data as possible, even if its specific value may only become clear at a later stage or in combination with other datasets.

Privacy principles, on the other hand, create boundaries on the use and re-use of personal data. For example, basic privacy principles require that only the minimum data necessary is collected, for a specific purpose. Collecting data without knowing its specific value in advance is not permissible. In addition, data practices are increasingly under societal scrutiny. Marketers may find that this challenges their traditional ways of collecting data.

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Branding vs. Privacy information

Privacy legislation also introduces safeguards on the way personal data can be treated – for example by introducing information requirements that requires companies to disclose the use of cookies or other tracking technology and ensuring that they receive approval from the person before placing them if they result in the processing of personal data. As a result, consumers now see cookie pop-ups and privacy notices whenever they surf the web.
Most organizations invest large sums into their online presence and have highly specialized teams that focus on online branding, online communication, and the personalization of online services. On the other hand, privacy information pages and pop-ups are not traditionally considered to be a core part of the online experience - quite the contrary, they are more of a “necessary evil”.

In our previous blog, we already highlighted that this may not only create an unpleasant user experience, but that it also contradicts with the spirit of privacy legislation. If users have to keep agreeing to cookies, they may eventually do so without thinking about the consequences – giving up the notion of true consent.

Personalization meets consent

Consent, as positioned by privacy legislation, is a way for consumers to exercise control over the personal data they share with organizations. Users are empowered to give, withdraw, or withhold consent. They must be free to determine whether they are tempted by the personalized experiences marketing teams promise.

For marketers, this creates a level of unpredictability. After all, they need user consent to be able to place cookies to collect the data they need for their campaigns. Making consumer choices more predictable through nudging (for example, through the use of colors that point the user towards a preferred choice), is an option increasingly used by marketing teams. While this creates its own ethical and legal challenges, it is a way of increasing the rate at which consumers agree to cookies, i.e. the cookie acceptance rate.

Striking the balance

Making the online privacy experience more transparent and user-friendly means addressing a number of misunderstandings and covering different requirements. Understanding the dilemmas and conflicting objectives could help organizations integrate a better approach to obtaining cookie consent into their corporate or business unit strategies.

Bringing Privacy and Marketing teams together allows organizations to adopt a more comprehensive approach to online advertising. Marketers should be actively encouraged to use their creativity when asking and getting consent in a privacy- and user-friendly way. In combination with new, automated tooling, aligning marketing and privacy goals will result in better transparency and control online. When privacy and marketing meet to work on that common goal, consumer trust and long-term ROI in privacy investments will follow.

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For more information about our 'Privacy and Marketing' services please contact Jeroen van den Nieuwenhof or Annika Sponselee via the contact details below.

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