Marketers: How to use data privacy and trust as a differentiator for your brand

15th March 2021

It’s fair to say that the GDPR and all of the rules and regulations surrounding it have added a layer of complication to Marketers’ workload as well, arguably, as making your job more difficult.

However, have you thought about one of the vast opportunities it has provided you?  The fact that you can use your privacy and data protection policies and regulations to build trust, differentiate your brand and drive competitive advantage.

Privacy and trust are competitive differentiators today.  Just ask Apple.  One of their latest marketing campaigns is focusing on privacy.


Consumers’ expectations have changed.  They now expect certain levels of protection. Whereas before GDPR, they may have been blasé about their data privacy, (they may not even have had it on their radar) – now data protection and security are very much at the front of people’s’ minds.

Legislation is driving it. The media are driving it.  The consumers are expecting it.

The larger technology companies are actually going above and beyond the regulatory requirements.  This change is happening because they want to protect the privacy of their customers.  Legislation is driving it. The media are driving it.  The consumers are expecting it.  Even Hollywood is talking about it. (Have you seen the Social Dilemma?).  Big tech sees a competitive advantage in privacy because it is important to their customers.  Trust is key.

“73% of consumers are willing to share more personal information if brands are transparent about how it is used, up from 66% in 2018.”
Accenture – See People, not Patterns.

The fascinating thing to take from this is that Marketers know that personalisation is a way to enhance consumer experience and increase response rates.  There is a direct correlation here between your privacy strategies (and how you communicate them); and the level of marketing success you can expect to achieve.

Therefore, there is an essential requirement for marketers to fully understand the privacy regulations.  What must you do?  What could you do? What should you do? What would your customers like you to do?

According to OneTrust, (Privacy Software), most marketers only receive a short online training course on data privacy, the same one everyone else in the organisation must go through.  But… is this enough?   The answer is No.

Marketers ought to be a lot more involved.  For example, you need to understand the relevance and effects of disclaimers, pop-ups, cookies and consent opt-ins as opposed to opt-outs; and how all of this affects the customer experience.  Do you know why these are required and best practice?

Understanding the relationship between privacy, the customer, and the legislation, enables you to:

  1. a) be compliant
  2. b) ensure a great customer experience
  3. c) use trust to build a competitive advantage.

Another company that understands the benefits of privacy and trust is Unilever.  At Unilever, they ask two simple questions before making a marketing decision:

1) Would I do this with my mothers’ data?

2) How would I explain this to the 9 o’clock news?

This is privacy by design, being driven by the marketing team.  They are putting the consumer at the heart of the decision and recognising the importance of privacy and trust on the reputation of their brands.

Can you apply this to your organisation or brand?

If you weren’t convinced already about the value and opportunity that lies within privacy, this slide from a DMA survey demonstrates the financial benefits of investing in trust.

Investing in Building Trust

Giving people a choice is a vital component of this strategy as that helps to reduce the likelihood of them opting out of everything.  Forty times the return on investment by following best practice.

There is a lack of trust around the collection and use of personal data.  This is in the public conscience.  If you can use your privacy and data governance strategies to bridge that trust gap, you might just have found that competitive advantage you’ve been looking for.

Learn how to create that competitive advantage. If you want to upskill yourself or your marketing team, please contact us to find out more about our Level 2 Marketing and the Law – Foundation Course in Data Protection.   We talk your language.  We understand commerciality.  We are data governance specialists with a previous career of over 24 years in database marketing.

Source DMA webinar:  Using Trust and Privacy to Drive Competitor Advantage
Speaker OneTrust

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