How marketers are adapting to the new realities of data privacy

Dave Taylor, Chief Product Officer, Alliant

Recent legislation across several states signals a significant shift in the marketing and data privacy landscapes. As of May 2024, 17 U.S. states have passed data privacy regulations, with more on the way.

The fragmented data privacy reality that’s long been foretold is finally here for marketers. And with California’s landmark CCPA legislation settling into its fourth year and many more states rolling out similar legislation, brands and data providers across the industry face a growing risk of fines in the coming years.

As a result, data privacy has quickly ascended to one of the biggest trends to watch in 2024 and one of the most tangible concerns. Privacy regulations are no longer background noise that can be dismissed as matters for a company’s legal team. Actual fines are hitting, new state laws are emerging and marketers have to adapt to these developments’ real implications for their campaigns and consumer relationships.

Privacy compliance is becoming more visible

Five years ago, it seemed implausible that privacy professionals would become some of the coolest folks at the advertising party. However, in 2024, data privacy experts are being elevated into influential leadership positions. Data privacy is on the docket at most major conferences and summits and has even been deemed worthy of its own events and celebrations

At the same time, brands, agencies and data partners increasingly view privacy compliance as an area that requires more than rigorous legal box-ticking, where a competitive advantage can be achieved with true dedication. Those with SOC 2, IAB, Neutronian and other levels of compliance and certification are touting these logos proudly and bringing this story front and center into their respective value proposition.

Disclosure and transparency are the new defaults for marketers

At the same time, transparency and disclosure have emerged as fundamental pillars reshaping the landscape of marketing practices, especially concerning data usage and partnerships. 

Acknowledging that trust and credibility are paramount in today’s consumer-centric environment, leading organizations are now more forthcoming about their data practices. By adopting transparency as a default practice, these organizations aim to foster a culture of openness and accountability, ensuring that consumers are informed about how their data is collected, used and protected. Moreover, this shift toward transparency extends beyond mere compliance with regulations; it reflects a more profound commitment to ethical conduct and respect for individuals’ privacy rights.

In just a few years, organizations have gone from a lack of shared information, almost secretive, to full transparency about their data policy. For instance, websites are dedicating more real estate toward communicating everything from privacy policies and settings to consumer data notices to ad choices.

Collaboration with data partners further underscores the importance of transparency within the marketing ecosystem. As marketers forge alliances with various data providers and vendors, they understand the significance of disclosing these partnerships to their customers. By embracing transparency and disclosure as default practices, leading marketers and their data partners set new industry standards and reaffirm their dedication to integrity and consumer empowerment in an increasingly data-driven world.

As they prioritize trust and privacy, marketers are seeing greater rewards

Meanwhile, risk-taking to achieve competitive advantage is becoming far less palatable among leading brands and agencies. Marketers mitigate risks by prioritizing trusted data partners, channels and tactics rather than trying to distinguish themselves on the first-mover front with untested approaches. Recognizing the heightened sensitivity surrounding data privacy, these organizations understand the importance of aligning themselves with reliable partners known for their adherence to stringent privacy standards and regulations. 

By maintaining longstanding relationships with trusted data partners, brands and agencies ensure the ethical sourcing and handling of consumer data, minimizing the likelihood of privacy breaches and regulatory penalties. Moreover, they selectively choose marketing channels and tactics that prioritize user consent and respect user privacy preferences, reducing exposure to potential legal and reputational risks. 

This strategic approach safeguards consumer trust and reinforces the commitment of leading brands and agencies to upholding the highest standards of privacy and data protection in an evolving marketplace.

The data landscape will remain dynamic and fast-changing for the foreseeable future, particularly as regulators turn their attention to emerging AI applications and federal legislation that could eventually reduce the strain of state-by-state compliance. In the meantime, the most successful marketers and data partners will continue to face industry and regulatory changes head-on, knowing that every hurdle they clear will put them on firmer ground for the future. 

Sponsored by Alliant Data

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