Nuts & Bolts - Eye on Privacy: Privacy Is Just Table Stakes
So, a consumer might say: Yes, Ms. Marketer, protect my data; say what you do, and do what you say; but also, what am I-your prospective customer-getting in return?
I have sat through countless hours of consumer focus groups on issues related to targeted marketing. A couple key takeaways have always stuck with me. I think of them as evergreen, often-unspoken-but-always-required consumer demands:
- Can targeted marketing help me save money or time or both?
- Can targeted marketing make me feel that I've done something good (or better than my neighbors/friends) for myself or my family?
These are the actual mental calculations that all of us as consumers make, and they are instructive to privacy and marketing professionals.
For a mom of three kids younger than 5, not having to hire a baby sitter, drive to the mall and potentially find a limited selection of Halloween costumes means the catalog that arrived at her doorstep was a great convenience. It helped her avoid the costs of a baby sitter, gas (not exactly a trivial consideration, especially these days) and the two hours that it would have taken to go and scavenge through racks of children's Halloween costumes.
For the father of two who was served an online ad for a desktop computer comparable to the new one his neighbors bought-but for $150 less-the targeted marketing value proposition is incredibly evident.
So, as we look into the future and see the opportunities for new data sources and advanced ways to leverage data to maximize revenue or ad inventory, let's not forget that while privacy is an enabling platform to use this data, it is not an end in and of itself.
It is the beginning of a process that includes consumers in conversations about data use and product design. It involves consumers' demand for security in database architecture. It engages consumers' need to see relevance and value in all that we produce.