Should Chief Marketing Officers be involved in security and privacy decisions?

In a report issued today by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the management consulting firm urged Chief Marketing Officers to get more involved in data protection.

"In a lot of organizations, it gets relegated to an IT problem or an IT function," said Carolyn Holcomb, PwC's data protection and privacy leader.

She also recommended that CMOs be brought into the budget and strategic discussions at an earlier point.

"One of the key things that we recommend in this space is a strong data governance program," she said, "A C-level committee that is responsible for making data decisions -- and the CMO and the CSO need to be joined at the hip on that committee."

That includes involving the CMO in discussions about how data is collected, how it's secured, and how the company is complying with laws and regulations.

"What we're seeing is that the CMO is not brought into those conversations, or not brought in early enough," she said.

The CMO has several areas of interests when it comes to data protection, beyond the obvious issue of having to save a company's reputation if there's a data breach.

But the CMO should also be involved in creating and enforcing a data privacy policy, she said.

In this year's US Consumer Confidence Index survey by Harris Interactive and TRUSTe, Inc., 89 percent of respondents said that they avoided doing business with companies who they did not believe protected their privacy online.

Meanwhile, according to the 2014 CMO Survey from McKinsey & Company, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association, 41 percent of companies use consumer information collected online for targeting purposes, and 81.7 percent of CMOs expect that practice to increase.

CMOs need to be careful so that the increased use of customer information doesn't backfire on the company.

According to the PwC report, that means understanding what privacy promises the company already made to its customers and the laws it needs to comply with, creating a culture of privacy that puts privacy protection on every marketing agenda -- especially those that involve outside vendors.

When it comes to creating new marketing initiatives, privacy should be a requirement from the start, rather than added on at the end.

The report also warned CMOs to be careful about combining different sets of data.

"An organization might collect emails in one place, credit card numbers in another place, shopping preferences in another place," said Holcomb. "And the key is when you aggregate that data, you now create a new privacy concern that previously you didn't have."

Customers might have agreed to the collection of data at each of those separate points, but when the data is aggregated it can be used in different ways than originally intended, or that the customers may have expected.

"It's not that companies can't do that," she said. "They can use that data to their advantage, they can monetize this data -- but it has to be very clear to the customers."

Next, the report suggested that companies make it easier for their customers to see what data is being stored, and give them a way to control how it is being used.

According to a recent PwC survey, 87 percent of customers said they wanted to be able to control the amount of information shared.

The report recommended that CMOs use a company's privacy as part of their marketing efforts, and promote it to customers to demonstrate responsibility.

And the communications need to go both ways -- PwC also recommended that companies create a way for customers to provide feedback about privacy issues, such as whether personalized marketing was helpful or too intrusive.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Maintaining trust in a sceptical world: The power of brand trust

The faith people have in brands creates opportunity for those brands to become trusted advisors. In turn, this builds success by increasing the brand’s profile, letting it broaden its product offering and driving stronger customer loyalty.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

When growth stalls: How to boost growth in large organisations

The push to start new businesses continues. In Q1 2017, the number of seed and angel deals increased by 1.4 per cent compared to Q1 2016.

Con Frantzeskos

CEO, Penso

Why we need diversity in marketing

​When we read articles about the need for increased diversity in marketing land, it is often through the lens of gender.

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

We all know that digital marketing in order to promote a brand, products and services is by the use of electronic media. The evolution of...

Helaina Berry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Interesting insight, well explained and the examples are just apt.Thanks for sharing!

FreshMindIdeas

The politics of branding - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

When the world that we live in floods with gigabytes of content every day, we have to learn to be selective about it. Such educational we...

Paulina Cameron

ADMA launches education program to tackle viewability, ad fraud and brand safety

Read more

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Latest Podcast

Getting Intimate with CX Ep 5: Tammy Marshall, founder, The B Hive

How much of customer experience is having the foresight to know what those individuals might like, versus asking them? In Episode 5 of this new podcast series, BrandHook MD, Pip Stocks, talks with Tammy Marshall about the importance of asking your customers questions, how consistency plays a role in engagement, but how the unexpected adds extra value.

More podcasts

Sign in