As the data privacy landscape evolves, legislators are shifting their focus to B2B marketers. While recent attention has been on consumer data and online social platforms, it’s important for B2B marketers to be prepared for increased scrutiny. This blog will go over three core principles for B2B marketers to get in front and stay ahead of data privacy.
Data-driven marketing has blurred the lines between the traditional separation of “business” and “consumer” – advertisements are consumed on personal devices, work laptops, and household tablets and data is processed on a massive scale. The ability to link, infer resolve identity, and increase scale is now the cornerstone of marketing. The emergence of new technologies has fueled marketers’ heavy reliance on interpreting and leveraging this influx in data. The revolution (or evolution) of Artificial Intelligence in marketing is exciting but also daunting as it has opened the floodgates for conjecture, debate, speculation, and fearmongering that hasn’t been seen since the heady days of GDPR. The EU Parliament just introduced the World’s First AI Act, where OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, is being targeted for potential GDPR non-compliance. While not every B2B company creates generative AI tools, many are using them in their marketing. This a very present example of why your data privacy strategy needs to be continuously managed and upgraded to get out in front of new regulations and market shifts.
But, how? Start with the guidance below that falls within three categories: transparency, data governance, and accountability.
1. Transparency in B2B Data Privacy
B2B marketers are usually owners, processors, and controllers of data, be it first party, second party, or third party, and that means they must prioritize data privacy best practices and remain vigilant towards future changes and advancements.
A good data privacy strategy starts with a commitment to transparency and building trust by upholding and respecting customers’ and contacts’ rights.
Questions to ask
B2B marketers should kick off by auditing their own processes from a data subject’s perspective by asking these questions:
What data is collected?
For what purpose?
Who can access the data?
Who can use the data?
If and where it is transferred or sold?
How can data subjects stop their data from being used?
In addition to a transparent policy, B2B marketers should create an accessible data privacy experience:
The takeaway here is to make it easy for data subjects to contact you! A customer-first organization is transparent and responsive and respects privacy rights, period.
Takeaway from Karie:
Make it easy for data subjects to contact you! A customer-first organization is transparent and responsive and respects privacy rights no matter what.
2. Data Governance in B2B Data Privacy
Good data governance is an ongoing process, not ‘set it and forget it.’ The privacy landscape is everchanging and it’s important to keep privacy practices up to date. Having a clear strategy for data governance means designating owners and having a cyclical set of activities in place that become a standard part of data management.
- Audit in-house data. Marketers should understand the types of data they have (first-, second- or third-party data) and how each type is used.
- Assess privacy risks. Look for privacy risks in each type of data. Have a plan in place to address risks should any come up. Work with IT and Security to have an incident response plan in the event of a breach or leak, which includes communicating with applicable authorities, clients, vendors, employees, and data subjects.
- Document everything. Marketers should outline the data they collect, how they collect it, and how they use it or plan to use it. It should be clear and something they can easily share with their team to make sure everyone is on the same page about how their organization handles data. Ensure data security protocols are part of your team’s education and onboarding. Marketers often handle personal data, PII, so they need to do this securely.
Takeaway from Karie:
3. Accountability in B2B Data Privacy
For example, at Anteriad, we strive to practice best-in-class data privacy and hygiene. Our commitment to data governance and privacy puts it at the core of our business and flows through the whole organization. We have a responsive Privacy Team that engages and shares information and action requests quickly to ensure the complete satisfaction of data subjects. We use best-in-class data encryption and security best practices to protect our data and clients’ data. We educate our staff and ensure we are not collecting or handling superfluous or sensitive data. We voluntarily stop contacting prospects who are unresponsive as we strive to build trust and engagement. We constantly refresh old data with new. This ensures that our data is not only highly effective, but that we are focused only on an engaged audience. It creates trust and higher performance, which delivers better results for our clients.
With high standards in place internally, marketers will benefit from committing to working only with trusted data partners with the same mindset. Partners can affect data security and privacy compliance, and companies that focus on data best practices often provide top-notch data hygiene services and can be a great resource to help navigate changing policies.
Committing to a proactive approach to data privacy takes time. It requires buy-in from the top down, empowerment to work across the whole company, and investment in resources and systems, but the benefits become clear quickly. Businesses with well-managed data and transparent privacy policies will not only stay ahead of government scrutiny and market changes, but they will also see better marketing outcomes, reaching prospects who are more likely to be engaged and receptive to marketing. Respecting an individual’s data privacy rights leads to a better customer experience, improved brand reputation, and a clear corporate conscience that you are striving to do the right thing and wish to do no harm.
Leading with transparency, accountability, and clear data governance can help get in front of evolving data privacy regulations, especially in the era of AI and what’s to come with privacy legislation.