Questions are on the rise as news broke earlier this week of a data scandal involving more than 50 million Facebook users. For marketers, this most recent incident of data abuse, coupled with an overall rise in consumer data breaches across industries, raises questions about trust, transparency and ethics in advertising.
Over the last decade, consumers have freely provided more information and insights to marketers than ever before. Access to this information from publishers like Facebook, which allows users to access and utilize its social network for free, has been cornerstone to the personalization that makes digital marketing so valuable. Yet, as #DeleteFacebook trends across social media networks, it’s become clear consumers are largely unaware of their role in and the implications of sharing online.
“As a consumer, when you receive a service for free, you must realize this: You are not the customer, you are the product,” said Dawson Henry, director of digital marketing at &Barr. “Facebook’s true clients are their advertisers. But, that does not mean we can be complicit in the abuse of consumer data. We must ensure our relationships with consumers, our most valuable asset, are fully protected.”
While experts agree advertisers shouldn’t worry consumers will #DeleteFacebook or abandon social media networks altogether, the recent increase in consumer awareness serves as a good time for brands to reconsider what consumers have to gain by sharing their data.
“How we can add value to their lives is a question all brands need to ask themselves before collecting consumer data,” said Tracy Gamlin, digital marketing manager at &Barr. “Moreover, how can we make consumers aware of this value so that we are not only fully transparent but also demonstrating we truly have their best interests at heart. That’s how we can build trust that translates into a long-term relationship and brand advocacy.”
&Barr advocates for brands to consider these questions often, and combine efforts to build trust among consumers with a proactive approach to ethical data usage.
“We work with trusted sources that adhere to the most secure data collection processes and security practices in the industry,” noted Gamlin. “Ensuring we provide our clients with additional layers of protection when it comes to privacy controls is absolutely crucial.”
To learn more about how &Barr ensures brand safety while maximizing your digital marketing value, contact us.