This article is part of a VB special issue. Read the full series here: How Data Privacy Is Transforming Marketing.

Presented by Treasure Data

Global organizations are often a complex web of brands, subsidiaries, entities and corporations, consisting of separate teams that interact with thousands of customers. During these interactions, there are millions, if not trillions, of data points collected, processed, analyzed and activated every day. 

In an ecosystem that must now uphold consistently evolving regulations, navigate the deprecation of third-party cookies, and keep a promise of privacy to customers, how can companies ensure that their entire organization, along with their networks of external and agency partners, are up for the challenge of global compliance? 

The privacy problem 

For global enterprises, navigating this proverbial minefield can seem impossible. Different regions, or citizens of a certain region regardless of where they are in the world, may be subject to different levels of legislation. And companies face ever-changing data management requirements to secure the right opt-ins and ensure compliance. People may also interact with multiple brands across the enterprise, which can result in duplicative or siloed records that all ultimately belong to the same customer. These are all challenges for companies that want to have visibility into the entire customer journey across a wide brand portfolio.


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How personally identifiable information (PII) is shared between different teams also needs to be considered to ensure the right teams get access to only the data they need, and sensitive information is withheld at the right times. How is data being shared between second or third parties, or cross-functionally between sales, marketing, customer service and finance, for example? Lack of governance or controls can lead to risk of data breaches which can compromise the system, brand reputation and consumer trust, and result in costly fines.

Only about one-third of customers believe that companies are currently using their data responsibly. (McKinsey)

Then, there’s the issue of scale. Companies grow, and customer data grows with it. But so does the need to continuously keep up with regulatory obligations. This requires a certain level of agility to quickly adapt. For example, slowdowns can leave marketing teams overly reliant on IT to execute campaigns, which creates roadblocks for innovation or growth as systems are updated. This results in a backlog — costing the company, but also the consumer, who can be left with a less-than-satisfactory customer experience. 

Going global with governance 

So, you have your data, your teams, your company and a need to integrate consent and governance into the mix. How does that look within the tech stack? 

  • First, start off by creating a smart 360-degree customer view. This means collecting data from across the organization into one unified customer data platform. This process exposes and consolidates duplicative content that may exist across silos, and paints a clearer picture of a customer’s interactions across the entire customer journey. It also sets a foundation for all members of the organization to work off of the same unified customer profile. 
  • Integration with consent management platforms allows consumer privacy preferences to be seamlessly captured as part of your 360-degree customer view. By integrating consent into the customer journey, companies can quickly create tailored experiences based on consumer opt-ins and specific privacy preferences. 
  • Permissioning, or data separation, within your data platform allows for greater control over who gets access to what types of PII, and when. This requires the organization to map where data is coming from, where it’s going, and how access is handled without risk of security breaches.
  • Identity resolution capabilities help decipher customer activity with decreased reliance on third-party cookies, helping to fill in the gaps that otherwise may exist. 
  • Data clean rooms provide a safe and secure environment for external partners to ensure only the right information is exchanged between parties in a way that meets compliance requirements. 
  • Low-code/no-code capabilities give non-technical teams (like marketing, sales and customer service) the ability to work with data quickly and with less reliance on IT, freeing up technical teams to focus on other projects while remaining agile to security updates. 

92% of marketers consider a CDP important to their privacy and compliance efforts. (Treasure Data/Advertiser Perceptions

Creating a connected data foundation 

Outside of the tech stack, achieving global data privacy and governance practices requires collaboration across the enterprise. Leadership must come together to understand their privacy obligations, establish a framework for consent management and find a way to deliver a relevant value exchange with customers.

To start, leadership should ask themselves the following questions: 

  • What does our data management process look like today? How mature are our current capabilities? What is our risk?
  • What is missing from our tech stack to complete our privacy goals? 
  • How will data be governed centrally across the organization? 
  • How can we prioritize projects to achieve compliance quickly and effectively? 
  • What do we need to do to ensure our plan can scale to meet future needs? 
  • How can we empower our people to understand and uphold our governance policies as part of the customer journey? 

Putting data privacy first 

Privacy and consent are now pillars for how companies connect with people — and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Upholding personal preferences opens doors for contextualized experiences, meaningful interactions, and clarity around the customer journey. With the right tools and the right strategy, global organizations can get secure value from their data, integrate their teams and establish a framework for success. 

Helen Huang is a Principal Product Manager at Treasure Data, focused on privacy, security and governance safeguards within the CDP. With over 10 years in the data privacy B2B space, she loves monitoring the regulatory landscape, learning about cutting edge ad technologies, and exchanging views on their combined impact on consumer trust.

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