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Why companies can (and must) have both Data Utility and Privacy

Technology & Data

Why companies can (and must) have both Data Utility and Privacy

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When it comes to defining or refining business growth, competitive differentiation is often in the details. This is particularly true for the false dichotomy between data utility and privacy; a common misconception is that these two have an entirely inverse relationship. Melanie Hoptman looks at ways for data to be safely and securely put to greater use without compromising privacy.

In Australia, the Government’s renewed focus on data privacy and security means that the wider digital ecosystem is taking a fresh interest in the importance of hygienic data and analytics. 

Alongside this trend prioritising data privacy, enterprises are also demanding the ability to do more and collaborate more with data – whether that’s across various lines of business, across country borders, or externally across partners. Marketers are looking to unlock the value of their data by maximising data utility across parties. 

In short, enterprises need to keep data secure without losing its utility. Looking ahead, these seemingly conflicting demands – privacy versus collaboration – are what will drive enterprises to look for ways to keep useful data private, and private data useful.

Why now?

One of the best ways for marketers to ensure maximum utility for data is to work closely with publishers. It’s about prioritising addressable media solutions that enable every media dollar spent to be accountable and measurable.

Consumers want digital experience to be tailored to their interests and preferences. They want this without feeling as though they have sacrificed privacy, control, or transparency. Further, many consumers want content to be freely accessible instead of available only behind paywalls. Addressable solutions help to enable all of this and deliver better marketing campaign results. 

In order to create targeted marketing campaigns and activate them via major platforms, marketers need to connect siloed data at a consumer level. 

By connecting first-party data with high-quality publisher inventory, marketers and publishers are able to leverage addressability for enhanced consumer marketing. Addressability unlocks the ability to leverage first-party data to personalise, frequency cap, and measure without the need for third-party cookies, device IDs or IP addresses – while still enabling first-party data to be secured.

Furthermore, although third-party cookies are nearing their sunset, the third-party cookie-based ecosystem has already shown itself to be flawed. Marketers already struggle to engage their audiences with valuable experiences; publishers need to establish direct relationships with their readers, and better demonstrate the value exchange they offer.

By working closely together, marketers and publishers can directly engage individuals, and give them the ability to express preference and control how their information is used – all while enabling marketer data to be connected to publisher inventory so that publishers can continue to monetise their inventory and create great content for consumers.

Maximising data’s utility 

With marketers and publishers prioritising addressability, data collaboration between the two takes on a new importance. Leveraging data collaboration with partners who share the same customers, it’s possible to close the loop, envisioning the customer journey. Data can also be used to measure impact and incrementally, and apply analytics.

Additionally, regulatory standards and evolving consumer preferences have also underscored the need for hygienic first-party data, and to be able to collaborate this data in a neutral and privacy-secure data foundation.

In the past, data collaboration required multiple steps before it could be done safely, securely, and while protecting consumer privacy: data would have to be scrubbed to maintain privacy; in order for partners to access the data, it may have needed to be shared in raw form. New tools ensure that companies can be confident in providing controlled access to their proprietary data, or accessing their partner’s proprietary data securely without sacrificing security or privacy. Raw data is never shared – and data never leaves the control of its owners.

In this new landscape, companies no longer must choose just utility, or just privacy. By applying strategies that maximise the security and utility of data where it stands, companies can also maximise the value of this data, with benefits extending into the broader ecosystem.

Melanie Hoptman is the COO, Asia Pacific at LiveRamp.

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