Marketing Matters is a blog that tells marketing stories from an industry, academic and student's perspective. We confront and debate today’s business trends. Views expressed by the blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Sydney Business School.
Thursday, 3 May 2018
What the Cambridge Analytica scandal teaches marketers about data privacy
do customers’ needs mean for marketers? Marketers rely on data to target users
with ads. Does that mean your customers want targeted advertising rather than
their privacy? The Cambridge Analytica scandal reveals that data leakage has
become a marketing practice.
Mark Zuckerberg appears before the committees of the US Congress (Image source: The Guardian)
Professor Mark Ritson reminds us that customers’ needs are not
what marketers think. According to YouGov research, 55% of British viewers hate
personalised advertising, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean marketers cannot
use customer data. YouGov's research categorises the British adult population
into two segments: ‘Customers who believe that ads helped them decide what to
buy’ and ‘Customers who accept targeted ads to some extent’. ‘Personalised Pioneers’ is the one segment which
likes to engage with targeted ads, meaning that we can target this group of
Image source: Marketing Week
Privacy is about respecting customers. We should explain to
consumers in detail instead of hiding the terms and conditions. Here is a great
reminder from Steve Jobs eight years ago. At the D8 Conference in 2010, he
stated, “Privacy means people know what they are signing up for… I believe
people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do.
Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they
get tired of you asking them. Let them know exactly what you are going to do
with their data. That’s what we believe".
Current Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook, also emphasises that
marketing does not need a personalised data mountain for the future. Indeed, we should
change the focus on improving customer satisfaction in innovative product
design rather than targeting customers.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal alerts marketers to focus on
customers’ real needs.It’s a time for us to review the marketing
practice and reinstate our relationship with data privacy.