3 ways digital marketers can convert California's privacy law into an opportunity
The California Consumer Privacy Act was put in place to give California residents data privacy rights related to how a business sells or collects their information. These include the rights to opt out of the sale of your personal information, have your information deleted and be informed when your personal information is disclosed or sold. After taking effect in January, the current enforcement date is June of this year.
The uniqueness of this law and why it has been top of mind for organizations is because of its relevance to all facets of business, including information technology, legal, e-commerce, marketing, digital, customer experience, sales and more.
As the founder of and engagement lead for a digital media consultancy, I've outlined a few opportunities digital marketing teams, specifically, can explore in light of the CCPA:
Take extra steps to promote data literacy.
I've observed that many consumers rightfully have concerns surrounding digital advertising and data privacy. At the same time, personalized ad experiences can be effective. According to a 2017 online survey by Epsilon of 1,000 consumers ages 18-64, 80 percent of respondents said they were more likely to make purchases when a brand gives them a personalized experience. So, there is a clear disconnect here.
Instill customer confidence.
During the process of disclosure and opting out, companies can make the compliance process more informative by explaining what you're doing and the impact of opting out in a consumer-friendly way. For example, create pop-up notices especially for the mobile experience that appear when a user is going through the purchase journey. This helps position your brand as one that has the consumer's privacy in mind.
Additionally, being transparent with consumers by giving them the option to self-select services they would like to opt out of — such as email marketing, rewards programs and partner offers — and spelling out the impact of those choices will lead to a more informed consumer and perhaps even lower opt-outs rates. For example, a consumer deleting their email address for marketing purposes means that they will no longer receive coupons, promotions, sales, etc.
Also, giving consumers the choice of opting down versus opting out is a way to make the consumer feel in control. If there are 10 ways their data is used, listing those out and giving them a choice to opt out of some instead of all allows them to choose which information is reduced but not completely removed.
Put privacy first.
Nearly 20 states are considering data privacy legislation, according to CNET. In addition to the potential growth of data privacy laws, I believe we're also nearing the beginning of a cookie-less world. According to Salesforce's 2018 State of Marketing report, which surveyed more than 4,100 marketing leaders worldwide, 51% of marketers said they are more mindful of ensuring they balance personalization with privacy, though only 30% are satisfied with their ability to do so.
What does all of this mean? From my perspective, this means that brands should be prepared with scalable solutions that make them compliant by law. If you're building a data program, ensure it is built on privacy at its center and extracts the most valuable information from your first-party data and second-party partnerships. Conduct some in-market tests leveraging these data sources, and train your teams on using offline survey and panel data.
The CCPA offers an opportunity filled with innovation, responsibility and rewards in the industry we all grew in and love for its dynamic nature. By leveraging the three steps outlined above, digital marketers can fully leverage the potential the CCPA brings.