However, the very worst aspect of third party data is that it’s stigmatised… The public don’t generally like the idea that their data is being used without them fully knowing or understanding exactly how it is being used. Which is in fact the very reason why all of these changes to the data landscape have happened. They’ve happened in response to public opinion and request… For once, the tech giants listened to the public and responded accordingly.
Countless surveys have shown that the public has lost faith with corporations entrusted with its personal data. And no wonder. There have been myriad data breaches over the past 10 years. Some of which have been eye-wateringly huge. In the countdown of the world’s largest data breaches, notable brands with the dubious honour of being in the top 15 include Yahoo (3Bn personal data records affected), LinkedIn (700M records), Facebook (500M), Marriott (500M)… Household names, all of them. Add to that the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 and individuals’ own experience of receiving un-solicited, poorly targeted and non-personalised ads and emails for decades, and no wonder the public has had enough.
The truth is, corporations have been greedy, lazy and reckless with individuals’ personal data for years and the brakes had to be applied. It’s a shame corporations were unable to see the damage they were doing themselves, and that it therefore required Government legislation, with potentially swingeing penalties for non-compliance, to bring them into line. But it’s good for us, as consumers… And we are all consumers, even if we are also marketeers. So, here we are, in an (almost) cookieless world in which a reliance on third party data for marketing is no longer an option.
But I’m here to tell you that’s really, really good news, not bad. Now brands have to focus on first party data, data they collect themselves. And in order to collect and use first party data properly, that means building, genuine, authentic, mutually beneficial relationships with customers. Relationships in which customers are happy to share their data because they trust you and they get what they want and need from you. But there’s no cutting corners here. Building trust means delivering: outstanding service, genuine positive experiences, value and consistency, all delivered with a genuine positive attitude in all communications.
Once again, tapping into the consumer in all of us this is all great news… But it’s also great news for brands. Or should I say, quality brands. Because the outfits that can’t deliver outstanding service, genuine positive experiences, value and consistency will fall by the wayside. And so they should. They will no longer be able to keep going through the merciless (mis)use of third party data!