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

How to become the customer experience custodian

The number one objective enterprises give for embarking on a digital transformation is to improve customer experiences with new engagement models, according to IDC’s 2017 global study.

Fear not: It's only a robot

Every time I pass through the automated border controls at the Sydney airport I walk away with a feeling of exasperation on the one hand and relief on the other. Exasperation, because the face recognition technology inevitably always fails to recognise me. Relief, because we seem to be safely years away from the Orwellian reality of states controlling every aspect of our lives; something the media is keenly warning us against each day.

Dan Kalinski

CEO, iProspect Australia and New Zealand

To DMP or not to DMP?

There are plenty of brands that can benefit from plugging into a data management platform. But should you engage an agency to run one or bring it in-house?

Ben Willee and Richard Taylor

Spinach Advertising

I worked at Momentum when the transformation started way back in 2013 (not 2015 as stated in the article). It was a painfully slow and co...

Jay

How Momentum Energy has transformed its entire business to be customer-led

Read more

Another buzzword thoughtlessly latched onto, without any thought for the implications on the organisations that have to lumber through th...

Tired

Rolling out agile marketing at Deakin

Read more

Useful., also don’t miss out on these 5 features of Adobe Experience Cloud - Visit here > http://www.softcrylic.com/b...

Sunil Joseph

Adobe debuts Advertising Cloud, Experience Cloud

Read more

the systems that run these things are teachable just like a car, theres stuff still yet to come out to bring up the automation grade, b...

Magnus Robert Carl Wootton

Fear not: It's only a robot - Big data delivery - CMO Australia

Read more

Marin Software’s digital marketing solution as a short way of streamlining and finding a scalable solution...

Al Drazhev

How BizCover is boosting search advertising success

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in