data protectionThe terms "big data" and "data-driven marketing" have already established themselves some time ago as key concepts of a new marketing era and managed to outgrow their hype. Both terms have firmly positioned themselves in modern marketing and are effectively practiced in business life, since it became clear that data is only useful if a company is making use of it in a meaningful way.

Nevertheless, it can’t be pointed out often enough that "data-driven" is not to be equated with success measurement and analysis, but be used as a decision-making source.

Working with data requires a certain know-how to do it legitimately

The data privacy protection of customer data can put many companies in trouble for many reasons. One is the quickly changing technical development with which the legal situation cannot keep up, besides obvious lack of knowledge, and the ever-increasing amount of collected data which does not make the problem any less critical.

However, the greatest stumbling block is often the violation of laws and especially the data protection regulations. In addition, the legal situation is often so unclear that companies are permanently making mistakes inadvertently. Aside from that the entire legislation seems kind of hopelessly obsolete, it has not even fully arrived in this millennium, let alone in 2016.

Hence, transparency in the handling of data is imperative, because that is the only way to establish a relationship of trust with the customers. And as the relationship between company and customer seems to get more personal, trust is also gaining in importance.

Personalization in exchange of data

There are new expectations for the personalization of content, especially since customers relinquish more and more data on the net -  both due to new technologies and to changed usage.

The consumer has de facto become transparent by leaving traces in the network. Within the scope of the data-driven developments in online marketing and other areas of the digital economy, the tools to read and use these data trails have continuously improved.

The opportunities are obvious

Due to the automation and personalization, companies get the chance to start a relevant dialogue with their (prospective) customers. The resulting convenience will please the user in the long term and unfold the effect. In combination with automation processes, companies can build up relationships and strengthen customer loyalty in the mid-term.

The competent and targeted evaluation of customer data can simply optimize every customer approach, just as the development of modern web technologies allows those companies ‘quick wins’, that are just starting to work out a digital strategy. Because every company already has content that can be directly used for personalization.

To use data-driven marketing for a future-oriented company and long-term online marketing strategy, the focus must be on the personalized and optimized customer experience. The customer must be informed of the added value resulting from the purpose-related storage of his/her data.

On the other hand, companies need to discover transparency as a guiding principle for privacy. Thus, despite the collection of data, a trust relationship with customers can be established and maintained and a personalization strategy can be effective in the long term.

By Daniela La Marca