The Battle for ATTENTION: Will AI Save The Advertising Industry in a Privacy-Driven Economy?

How to Make Trust Part of the Digital Customer Journey

By SCUBA Insights

Thanks to data, brands have more ways to connect with consumers than ever. But sometimes that engagement comes at a cost—the customer’s trust. More than 4,100 publicly disclosed data breaches occurred in 2022, exposing approximately 22 billion records. In the United States alone, data compromises affected more than 422 million people in 2022. 


As people are asked to give out more of their private information across the internet, they need to know it’s safe. At the same time, customers will opt-in to data collection—if it means a better experience. The secret ingredient in this equation is trust. Today’s most successful brands are prioritizing data privacy to build trust and loyalty with their customers.


The critical role of data privacy in marketing


In short, consumers expect you to take good care of their data. And governments do too. A new study reported data privacy is a top priority for 74% of customers, and Cisco found 76% of consumers say they won’t buy from a company they don’t trust with their data. 


And you can’t forget about existing and upcoming privacy and data sovereignty laws in play. Not to mention smartphone privacy measures.


With all these external forces at work, here’s what brands are tasked with: 


Provide an innovative customer experience that feels special and personal. And, protect the consumer’s privacy at all costs, or risk destroying your brand reputation. Feels a bit like a balancing act, doesn't it?

Committing to a privacy-driven experience

As privacy is now an integral part of the buyer-to-brand experience, building trust (and building it early) is the way forward for successful customer relationships.


Building trust into the customer experience is multifaceted. From the software you use to internal processes, training, and culture, embed responsible data handling into all aspects of your business to build a privacy-driven infrastructure. 


A few core principles can drive your strategy: 

1. Embrace first-party data   

Google pushed back the sunsetting of cookies, which are now on their way out in 2024. While this delay gives advertisers a minute to catch their breaths, the future remains unclear. Experts predict brands with strong first-party data (and the ability to act on it) will be well-positioned to handle the loss of cookies. First-party data is promising because it limits reliance on external sources, and is respectful of consumer privacy. 

2. Focus on data quality 

ML hyper-personalization, real-time cross-media measurement, and omnichannel marketing strategies need lots of data to work their magic. But not just any data. Your data should be relevant, accurate, complete, consistent, and properly stored to provide accurate and useful results. When you—and any software vendors you partner with—take time to ensure data quality, you reduce the risk of mishandling that can lead to costly breaches. 

3. Lead with consent

Transparency and communication are the building blocks of trust. Responsible data collection involves obtaining informed consent from individuals before collecting their data. This means providing clear and concise information about what data is being collected, how it will be used, and who it will be shared with. And if you ever do misstep or have a security incident, people will expect upfront communication.

4. Comply with data protection regulations

GDPR, CCPA—depending on where you operate and collect customer data, multiple data privacy regulations may apply to you. By enforcing stringent data collection and usage measured according to these laws, you can fulfill the legal requirements and avoid fines. At the same time, you’ll be protecting consumers, earning their trust, and strengthening the brand’s reputation.

  2. 5. Prioritize data security organization-wide 


Data security should be an organization-wide initiative. As customer data spreads across your organization, tools, and systems, take action to protect it by: 


  • Only collecting vitally necessary data from customers 
  • Limiting who can access customer data
  • Controlling access through password management tools and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Building prevention and incident response plans for potential cyberattacks
  • Checking if the tools you’re already using have internal safeguards in place, such as encryption
  • Prioritizing security when investing in new technologies


We’re operating in a new era—if marketers want to succeed, privacy and personalization must learn to coexist.


Scuba’s decision intelligence platform gives you the best of both worlds—you can protect customers while still building rich customer journeys and user profiles.


For you, that means data governance becomes automated. And with industry-leading certifications including SOC2, ISO27001, ISO27018, Privacy Shield, and GDPR, regulatory compliance is a benefit, rather than a burden.

Interested in a privacy-first analytics solution for real-time customer journey analysis? Read more here.

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