Data Security

Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy
July 1, 2008

During the past few months, a great deal of attention has been paid to the issue of online behavioral advertising (OBA). It’s been driven mostly by large companies in the Internet advertising space and trade associations responding to a set of principles proposed by the Federal Trade Commission late last year and proposed legislation in New York and Connecticut. Most of the responses from trade groups and Internet advertisers to these regulatory/legislative initiatives focus on self-regulatory regimes that are in place to balance the privacy interests of consumers with the business models that make much of the content we enjoy on the Web available

List Hygiene: Your Smartest Move
May 1, 2008

Can there be targeted marketing without accurate information? I say no. From e-mail to direct mail, the need for sound list hygiene practices is not only ever-present, but ever-increasing. Why? For me, it comes down to the belief that a global list hygiene strategy is part and parcel of increasing relevance for the consumer, reducing costs for the marketer and demonstrating corporate responsibility. A win-win-win!

What Marketers Need to Know About Encryption
March 26, 2008

Marketing managers are being forced to consider new ways to protect marketing information. Today, the manager faces internal and external compliance regulations in addition to balancing a budget, making the numbers and managing workloads with less people. If that wasn’t enough, most now are the “owners” of customer databases and e-commerce data they are to protect against criminal assaults. The increasing number of criminal attacks on consumer and employee databases have wrought a high price and much mistrust with regard to individual privacy and trust. One only has to open the papers today to see yet another consumer database has been compromised. Security experts

4 Opt-In Data Pointers
March 19, 2008

“Companies with solid brands and value propositions have nothing to fear from opt-in strategies.” This statement—almost a challenge, even—comes from the recently released 14 Step Checklist for Implementing Breakthrough Multichannel and Opt-In Marketing, a whitepaper from Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, a CRM and direct marketing consultancy in Douglas Manor, N.Y. In the report, the consultancy makes the case for implementing an opt-in approach to multichannel communication with prospects and customers to improve response. The result of such meaningful dialogue is a database populated with self-profile data that the marketer can use to develop more accurate messages and offers, delivered via the most welcome channel.

Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy
March 1, 2008

Have you noticed that consumer notices are suddenly sexy? It may well be a reasonably inescapable conclusion given the amount of guidance marketers received at the end of 2007 and will continue to receive in 2008. The fact is the Direct Marketing Association issued its Commitment to Consumer Choice program, with a new notice provision for each solicitation. Further, the Internet Advertising Bureau is working on its own best practices document for disclosures. Even the Federal Trade Commission held a town hall meeting on behavioral advertising, focusing much of the discussion on notice to consumers. That’s an awful lot of attention for something that

How's Your Data Doing?
January 1, 2008

In November, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its first research on identity theft since 2003. It reported that 8.3 million adult Americans, or 3.7 percent of the population, were victims of this crime in 2005. Four years ago, the agency reported that 10 million Americans, or 4.6 percent, fell prey in 2001. At first blush, the numbers represent a drop in identity thefts in the U.S., but the FTC says the difference is not statistically significant. It also notes that usually this crime was perpetrated by people the victims knew personally. Still, 5 percent (1.5 million) said the theft was the result of

Editor’s Notes: Game On
December 1, 2007

Tongues were wagging at DMA07 in October, following Direct Marketing Association (DMA) President and CEO John A. Greco, Jr.’s announcement of the organization’s new Commitment to Consumer Choice (CCC) program. The program also could be referred to as “Consumers Compel Competition.” After all, steps that restrict a company’s ability to communicate marketing offers directly to consumers pretty much require that company to up its game on other levels to avoid a falloff in revenues. But as the DMA knows, marketers don’t have much of an alternative. Fifteen states proposed state do-not-mail registries or other limitations on direct mail in 2007, a 375 percent increase over

Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy
October 1, 2007

Right now, 38 states have consumer notification laws for data breaches. In addition, a handful of bills are making their way through Capitol Hill on the same topic. Taken together, these laws and proposals have myriad combinations and permutations of what is considered a security incident, when to notify, how to notify and where to send notification. Generally, notifications can be made using a combination of online and offline methods, which may include e-mail, postal mail, Web site notice, call center and media. For national marketers, the answer may be to encrypt data as a way to prevent exposure to the varying state and forthcoming national

Editor’s Notes: All Data is not Equal
September 1, 2007

Like all mediums, direct mail is evolving to better fit the consumer’s expectations. The evolution to more customized mailings has been a long time in the making, but online media have hastened the process by providing marketers with additional insights into their customers’ behaviors and possibly by showing up their offline counterparts. Whatever the reason—and advancements in technology, for sure, have played a big role—it’s welcomed progress. Unless, however, marketers get so bogged down with the logistics that they forget to properly plan their data strategy. As many direct marketing experts have admonished—including the former editor of this magazine—just because you have data on a