In today’s connected world, personal data is being collected at an astonishing rate. When you’re visiting a website, making a call, visiting somewhere and taking photos – everything is recorded and is measured, leaving a digital footprint.
Digital footprints have become so valuable because it can inform the way companies communicate with their customers, improve the relationships between companies and their customers, therefore positively impacting the customer experience. However, because personal data is so valuable, this also makes it vulnerable to theft or misuse which has led to consumers demanding to know how companies store and use their personal data.
To manage this when it comes to digital marketing in your business, there are really just three areas which you need to focus on – data permission, data access and data focus.
This is about how you manage email opt-ins, so the people who say they want to receive promotional material from you. This means that leads, customers and partners, need to confirm that they want to be contacted physically. You have to actively seek permission from them which confirms they wish to be contacted. Instead of assuming that visitors who fill out an enquiry form want to receive marketing emails, you now have to ask visitors to explicitly opt-in to newsletters by ticking the sign-up box.
People now have the right to be forgotten which is the right to have outdated or inaccurate personal data removed. When it comes to digital marketing, it is your responsibility to make sure that your users can easily access their data and remove consent for its use. All this means, in reality, is that there needs to be an unsubscribe link within your email marketing template and linking to a user profile that allows users to manage their email preferences.
It is easy to collect more data about a person than you actually need to, so ask yourself, if you really need to know someone’s favourite animal before they subscribe to your newsletter.
You need to be able to legally justify the processing of the personal data which you collect which just means that you need to focus on the data that you need.
There are many solutions to making sure that the data you have is secure or disposed of when you need it to be. Confidential shredding companies now offer digital solutions which include secure Cloud-based platforms for document management. It can be a minefield, but there are guides and step by step information on how to handle all your data, making it easy to understand and to follow. Once you have a system and are in the rhythm of things, it will be second nature, and you’ll be compliant without even thinking of it, collecting only the data that you need and is the most useful to you.