The topic tonight is similar to yesterday’s post. The idea came to me when I was getting lunch today and I was watching an excerpt of Mark Zuckerberg being questioned by one of the Senators. The basic gist of the question was what are you going to do to minimize the collection of user data on your platform. Think about that and all it’s implications.
As Marketers, we depend on the collection of this data to do our jobs. The consumers give us their permission to use their data for things like email campaigns, direct mail offers, digital advertising and social media advertising. Inherent in that approval is a belief that the data being provided will be protected and maintained in a safe environment, not leaked out or subject to data breaches.
How do we respond to the Senators question – what are you doing to minimize the collection of user data or data in general in our marketing efforts?
I say, we are working and will have better systems to house this information and better systems/protocols to safeguard against breaches and data leaks. The marketing industry cannot cower in the face of these events. We need to stand our ground and maintain that this information is vital to keeping businesses growing and allows new businesses to start up.
The idea here is a “Social (media) Contract”, if you excuse the bad pun. The consumer is accessing sites like FB, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. They are sharing details of their interests everyday. When vacation pictures are posted or you post about your new kitchen, you are providing the world and these sites with powerful advertising targeting. They are willingly sharing this information and need to be notified that it can be used for marketing purposes, unless they opt-out. And on a side note here, if you are sharing these events with the world on social media, then you shouldn’t be surprised when it gets monetized, especially on free sites.
The sites that capture this data and the marketers that leverage it to prospect or do CRM campaigns with it need to understand the sensitivity of it. Everyone I’ve ever worked with in the marketing industry has always gone to great lengths to ensure Can-Spam Compliance in the email channel and the applicable regulations that govern direct mail and other channels. Our industry is a moral and marketing professionals act in an ethical, fiduciary manner when it comes to clients and data. These breaches are exceptions, not the norm.
So, in closing, it’s been a rough week for Facebook – but also for our industry. More regulations on data are not needed, better data housing platforms and security protocols are needed.