Top image: The importance of data security in building brand trust

Sarah Kelly — Content Marketer, MessageGears (Guest Post)

The importance of data security in building brand trust

Over the past decade, data privacy and security have become bigger concerns for consumers, businesses, and governments worldwide. From social media giants like Meta being under the microscope for their data-sharing policies to device manufacturers like Apple introducing new privacy requirements, we’re seeing a lot of technology brands respond to increased scrutiny over their consumer data protection and sharing practices.

Leading enterprise brands know that data security – the policies and actions brands take to protect consumer data from breaches and other consumer privacy concerns – is now table stakes and an absolute must for gaining customer trust. It’s especially important in a world where customer expectations for privacy have never been higher, but social intelligence is still essential for brands to deliver the sorts of experiences consumers expect across the social spectrum. Every marketing team that wants to deliver personalized experiences – and they all should – needs reliable customer data in order to make it happen. 

With the enforcement of legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), though, it’s past time for brands to rethink their approach to data security and ensure their current practices and technologies are up to tomorrow’s challenges.

Protecting your customer data


Today’s consumers willingly give websites, apps, and other digital services a wide range of their personal information – from home addresses to credit card details, product preferences, and purchasing behavior – all in the hope of benefiting from solutions that promise to make their lives easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable. More than 60% of consumers say they’re willing to share personal information if it improves their experience with the brand, so there’s a necessary give and take in that exchange.

Even while the willingness is there, though, a striking 68% of consumers have concerns over how brands approach data security. And who can blame them with the constant stream of media reports covering data breaches and security mishaps?

The eagerness to share data is built on trust, which is incredibly fragile. When customers believe a brand keeps the information they share safe and secure (and uses it to provide the aforementioned better experiences), they’re more likely to trust that brand and become loyal, returning customers.

Demonstrating data compliance at your brand

With regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and more on the horizon, brands find themselves playing a crucial role in protecting customer data and building trust. By setting standards for how brands collect, use, and store information, customers now have higher expectations than ever that their data will be protected.

GDPR, for example, requires companies to obtain explicit consent from customers before collecting their personal data and gives customers the right to access, correct, or delete their personal information. Similarly, CCPA gives California residents the right to know what personal information companies are collecting about them and the right to opt out of the sale of their information.

By complying with these regulations, brands demonstrate not only a commitment to building trust but also a seriousness toward safeguarding sensitive customer data. But it’s not just about playing by the rules. Avoiding fines and media exposure for non-compliance is just as important for maintaining a positive brand reputation.

Minimizing data security risks

A data breach, whether accidental or deliberate, poses a serious threat to customer trust and can be devastating for a brand. In these scenarios, regaining customer confidence can be an uphill battle, especially if they feel their personal data hasn’t been properly protected.

Damage like this to a brand’s reputation can take years to recover. That’s why businesses need to be transparent about their data privacy policies and implement robust security measures to protect customer data.

How brands handle their customer data can be the key to minimizing security risks. Some of the world’s most successful consumer brands understand this and avoid unnecessary risk by only using customer data directly from their data warehouse or other central source of truth.

Centralized data management and usage

Keeping customer data within the secure environment of your data warehouse helps minimize the risk of unauthorized access and sidesteps potential breaches. Instead of exporting and moving customer data across different platforms, using data from its source offers much greater efficiency and security.

Data warehouses can serve as centralized repositories for diverse datasets. Using your data directly without needing to copy, map, or sync it into another platform promotes centralized data management and allows brands to implement robust access, encryption, and activation – all within a controlled environment. 

This centralized approach streamlines data governance and can help to provide a consistent level of security across all operations.

Eliminating data transfer risks

Exporting data always comes with potential risks. Whether it's during the transfer process or when it reaches its destination, data movement can expose and jeopardize sensitive information. Using data directly from your warehouse or primary data cloud mitigates these risks, as there's no need for the data to leave the safety of your brand’s firewall.

Preserving data integrity and enhancing insights

The back-and-forth of exporting and importing data between systems often opens the door to inconsistencies, duplications, and errors. Having a single source of truth maintains the integrity and accuracy of data because there's no transformation or alteration during a transfer process.

Managing data this way not only aligns with security best practices but also means brands can tap into real-time insights without the need for complicated and time-consuming data exports. Armed with more accurate data usage, analysis, and reporting, brands can deliver more personalized experiences that forge deeper customer connections and promote lasting loyalty.

Ultimately, having a single reliable view of each customer is both the safest and more effective way to work with customer data. In addition to keeping data more secure, it allows you to more fully understand your customers and have your interactions resonate on a 1:1 level. That enhances your relationship with the customer and builds a solid foundation of trust that extends throughout the entire relationship. After all, marketers should be empowered to deliver world-class campaigns without sacrificing data security

Protect your customer data – and your bottom line

Today, data security is so important to consumers that it has the power to determine market leaders in every industry. Building security into your brand’s DNA will soon become a crucial differentiator, especially when strengthening customer trust is the end goal.

As new regulations follow in the footsteps of GDPR and CCPA, consumer brands will increasingly need to rethink their approach to data privacy and security – not only to comply with these new rules but also to successfully meet ever-increasing awareness and expectations surrounding personal information.

When brands can access everything they know about their customers in real time without moving data around, it opens a world of new possibilities for relevant, timely, and personalized marketing campaigns that yield real results.

Want to learn more about how to keep your brand and your customers safe? Connect with the data experts at MessageGears and discover the peace of mind that comes with top-tier data security and elite customer engagement. Your customers and your bottom line will thank you.


Author:

Sarah Kelly, Content Marketer, MessageGears 

Sarah is a passionate marketing professional devoted to crafting thought-provoking content that fuels business growth and success. With over a decade of experience in the ever-evolving tech and marketing world, she brings a strategic and data-driven mindset to her role at MessageGears, a leading cross-channel engagement platform for enterprise brands.

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