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Peter M.J. Gross

Peter M.J. Gross

Penalties Mount for Marketers Using Toxic Data

Companies that mine external data for marketing insights face two challenges: finding data that is useful, and finding data that is properly obtained. The distinction is important.

Personalized marketing works. It can improve a customer’s experience and increase a company’s revenue by using geographic, demographic, or behavioral information from a variety of sources. However, there are risks involved when those sources fail to comply with data privacy regulations. 

French publisher Le Figaro learned the consequences of failing to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it was fined €50,000 for placing advertising cookies without consent

Even large, sophisticated organizations can make mistakes — Amazon received one of the largest GDPR fines ever recorded for violating data protection rules

According to Ebiquity, a company that performs media investment analysis, most of the largest domains for programmatic ad investments place at least one tracker on user devices prior to gaining consent. This means that extra caution is necessary when organizations want to ensure that they are working with customer data that has been acquired legally. 

Location data is another source of information that can yield valuable insights, but only when it is consensually obtained. Some data vendors have been accused of ignoring user preferences to collect GPS coordinates, and others have been completely banned from the app stores maintained by Apple and Google for violating privacy policies. 

The stakes have been raised for Chief Data Officers who are looking for actionable market insights — effective marketing strategies can rapidly become failures if they rely on data from illegitimate sources.

The Burden of Responsibility

The year ahead will see many changes in the external data landscape, all centered on the idea that specialized support is necessary to unlock its full potential. Companies must decide whether they want to outsource that support or commit to building and maintaining their own technology.

A larger number of jurisdictions are also expected to strengthen their privacy requirements in the near future, and many of them are implementing their own versions of GDPR. Any company looking to collect and analyze customer data on its own will also need to track and comply with these changing privacy regulations. 

CDO’s should also recognize inherent limitations of relying solely on internal data. By augmenting their own information with external data from multiple sources, companies can maximize their flexibility and efficiency while gathering more comprehensive insights. 

Demyst only works with compliant data sources to provide a platform that has been deeply vetted. Its transparent data ecosystem offers custom API recipes that can optimize lead targeting

On the Demyst platform, users can access a variety of sources that meet security, privacy, and compliance requirements; it’s a technology solution that can assist with GDPR compliance.

Create an account on the Demyst platform and get into production with a custom-configured data API.

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