Every marketer knows that data is knowledge. Marketing campaigns are often a wealth of valuable data to be gathered. The protection of the data should be taken serious for various reasons.
In this article, I’ll explain how to keep the data secured and why that’s important for every marketer.
How to Keep Your Customer Data Private and Secure
The privacy and security of customers is important for every single marketer, as well as business owners. It’s not only beneficial to the customer’s personal security but also about the growth and success of a business or marketing campaign.
More about that later in the “Customer Data Protection vs. Customer Retention & Acquisition” section.
Let’s take a look at how to keep your customer’s data safe.
1. Software Updates
Updating software is incredibly important since old software tools are more vulnerable to hackers, since potential holes can still be exploited if the software update didn’t fix that.
There’s a huge market on the “dark web” selling exploits, loops and vulnerabilities. Mostly hackers are constantly seeking for new ways to exploit certain systems.
If you run a marketing campaign, it’s essential to update your systems constantly and decrease the chance of risking a data breach.
2. Data Encryption
One of the most effective methods to protect data is to encrypt it, yet many companies aren’t encrypting their customer data.
Especially when you run a marketing campaign and customer have to fill out a lead form on a landing page, it’s essential that this page offers complete encryption.
That means that the traffic between the web server and the customer is always protected, so even if the hacker manages to intercept the data, it’s in ciphertext (unreadable text).
To an extent, this also includes how you personally will be accessing that data. If you intend to access sensitive information remotely from unfamiliar networks, particularly Wi-Fi, always consider protecting your data with a VPN.
3. Only Store Data You Need
Database breaches are a real threat for any business as it can cause irreparable damage. Especially if you run a marketing campaign and you store data of potential customers, make sure to only store the data you really need, such as a name and email address. For most campaigns, you probably don’t need credit card information, so don’t store it.
4. Limit Number of People Who Can Access the Data
Human error can realistically be a massive vulnerability. The more people are involved, the higher the chance for someone to make a mistake and leak data. Also, someone’s personal account could be compromised and that way customer data can be accessed.
Thus, it’s important to limit the access to the most sensitive customer data to a small group of people. The ones with access should be aware and knowledgeable on certain threats and risks while dealing with this data in order to anticipate on potential disasters.
For every marketer, it’s incredibly important to establish certain preparation guidelines in case things go wrong, especially because marketing campaigns bring in a lot of customer data.
How are you going to handle the data, and how has access to the data? These are questions that require answers before a campaign starts. It’s best to create strict guidelines as to who has access to the data, but also the security measures taken to protect the storage of the data. It’s probably necessary to consult an IT expert in such a case.
6. Be Smart
Be smart, as in, don’t think that just because you’re a small business or you’re running a small marketing campaign, cyber criminals aren’t after your data – because they are.
Don’t take security lightly, because it has the potential to absolutely destroy a marketing campaign. Once a leak is reported by customers, it will probably keep new customers from converting.
Customer Data Protection vs. Customer Retention & Acquisition
Communicate to your (potential) customers what data you’re collecting, why and how you are protecting it – don’t leave any surprises.
You may wonder why, because isn’t not telling the truth better sometimes? Sure, that’s true, but in many instances (proven many times), customers are more likely to convert if they are well-informed and feel that they’re dealing with a trusted party.
In addition, new laws and regulations on privacy protection will develop itself in the future. The European Union recently enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which holds companies strictly accountable for any customer data loss. As a marketer you’ll have to comply with such laws and regulations as well.
However, if you can show (potential) customers that you’re doing excel at privacy protection and security measures, you create trust. High trust levels are a fundamental pillar of any successful marketing campaign. People are more likely to convert, share, tell others about your campaign – and so forth.
In short, if you’re able to do so, it’ll be much easier to retain customers and increase their loyalty to your campaign. Also, people tend to make a lot of decisions based on what other people do.
So, if many people positively review your campaign, new prospects are triggered to engage with your campaign as well, which means there’s a chance for you to convert them.
Source: Bill Hess
Bill here from PixelPrivacy.com. My blog is all about making the world of online security accessible to everyone. I pride myself in writing guides that I’m certain even my own mom could read! Be sure to head over to my blog if you’re interested in keeping your private information just that: Private!