Deconstructing the Marketing Automation / Privacy Debate


Share on LinkedIn

With the massive amounts of customer data marketers now have access to, it’s no wonder privacy has become a widespread concern. In continuation my recent AMA Boston panel blog post, I thought this issue warranted some further discussion.

While we were discussing marketing automation’s ability to provide deep customer insight, a question was raised as to whether marketing automation promoted “stalking” and where the line was drawn in terms of the technology’s inherent benefits becoming a privacy concern.

I recently read an article in MediaPost that reflects on recent research conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design on privacy. The research found that “the real issue is the overall ‘lack of transparency’ consumers feel about having their personal information tracked, and their anxiety about how it is being used and feeling that they don’t have direct control over the process.”

In my opinion and according to this article, privacy is not a black and white issue. Based on the University’s research, “the notion of privacy is actually ‘situational,’ and depends on the context of the consumer, the nature of their information being tracked, and the organizations that are tracking it.”

It’s clear to me that this article as well as other recent privacy research shows that it’s not the technology or data that’s so concerning, it’s how marketers are accessing this data and how they’re potentially using the data that’s become the issue.

Marketing automation technology is incredibly valuable because it enables marketers to centralize data and use a single data mart to better target the most relevant customers, and track customer interactions across a multitude of marketing channels. With this data, marketers can power one-to-one personalized lifetime dialogues.

As marketers, I believe we have a responsibility to use customer information in a way that’s going to build lasting relationships with our customers, not hinder them. More than ever, marketing organizations need to develop best practices in terms of how they approach and interact with their customers.

We at Neolane believe there is such a thing as gaining a competitive advantage through listening to and observing your target prospect. However, while we pay close attention to our customers’ buying behaviors and patterns, we are respectful of their preferences and adhere to industry guidelines related to privacy and tracking.

So, while marketing automation can provide the necessary tools to better target the right customers and develop stronger customer relationships, it’s having the right processes and best practices set in place that will help alleviate these growing privacy concerns and ultimately help us all become better marketers.

What are your thoughts on the role of marketing automation technology in the privacy debate? Does your organization have any relevant best practices that are worth sharing? All comments and suggestions are welcome below.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kristin Hambelton
Kristin Hambelton is responsible for all marketing efforts for Neolane including corporate communications, branding, product marketing, demand generation, partner marketing, and operations.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here