Take Command of Marketing Data Governance—Because We Have To
Of course, marketing data governance is far more than privacy compliance. Data quality, data integrity, data security, data integration, data validation and data flows within an enterprise all, too, are part of marketing data's customer intelligence equation. It is in this spirit that the Direct Marketing Association recently introduced its newest certification program for professionals: "The Institute for Marketing Data Governance and Certification," taught by marketing veteran Peg Kuman, who is vice chair at Relevate Group. The three-day course, which has launched on a two-year, multiple-city tour, is indispensable in understanding how multiple channels, multiple data sources and platforms, customer expectations and business objectives combine to command better understanding, tools and processes for data handling for smart integrated marketing. Forthcoming course dates and registrations are available here: http://www.dmaeducation.org/dm-essentials/marketing_data_governance.php
For three days last month in New York, approximately two dozen professionals from large and small enterprises, both commercial and nonprofit, attended the first seminar. I, too, attended. There were representatives from marketing, public relations, analytics, legal, IT and fundraising, representing brands, agencies and service providers. This group was engaged—providing examples, asking questions and reporting experiences as the curriculum moved along. (For those who don't know Peg—a former client of mine—she is quite the facilitator.)
Alongside a workbook, I took home some great handouts, too:
- A sample security policy; a sample information security vulnerability assessment;
- A security due diligence questionnaire;
- A sample vendor risk management program vendor questionnaire;
- The latest copy of the DMA Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice (recently updated with new email append guidelines, by the way) and a bevy of news articles that captures the media's and public policymakers' current attention on consumer data in America.
The meat of the course tackled, among other topics:
- Categorizing data and assigning priority and sensitivity (personally identifiable information, sensitive data and other categories);
- Mapping data flows and interactions with customers; enhancing data with appended information, and ensuring its use for marketing only;
- Having a data quality strategy as part of a data strategy;
- Calculating return on data investment;
- The emergence of digital, mobile and social data platforms, and how these present both structured and unstructured data collection and insight analysis challenges;
- Assigning data "ownership";
- Calculating and assigning risk regarding security;
- Monitoring security, investigating potential incidents of a breach, and handling a response to a breach were it to occur (using recent breach response examples of LinkedIn and Epsilon); as well as
- Laws, ethics and best practices for all of these areas.
One of my concerns is the importation of European-style privacy protection in America, and current fascination with such protections by U.S. regulators and elected officials. That is worth another blog post in itself, but I can assure you that we need to educate politicians about the superiority of self and peer regulation where no consumer harm exists.