Welcome back to the DMA Advance blog series, The Plain Facts. This Q&A series aims to highlight the value of data-driven marketing to consumers and brands. If you have an idea for a question, or would like to be featured, please contact the editor.

This time, we focus on maintaining consumer trust in the constantly evolving age of Big Data.

Question:  How can data-driven marketers promote ongoing trust when the news is saturated with stories that promote unnecessary fear and confusion about threats to consumer privacy?

Answer:  It’s up to marketers to set the record straight – day in and day out! We need to draw clear distinctions between our responsible data-driven marketing practices and the intrusion into personal information by governments, hackers, and downright criminals.

So, how do we do it? By maintaining a customer-centric focus with everything we do. Here are a few reminders. Are these actions on your checklist?

  • First, review DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice – meet with your teams and make sure you are in compliance.
  • Be sure to provide consumers with access to add, modify, or eliminate direct marketing communications from your organization and to obtain your company’s privacy policy.
  • Make the link to your privacy policy stand out on your home page – and write that policy in terms that consumers can easily understand.
  • Make the unsubscribe link easy to find in every email or mobile message you send out – and make the unsubscribe process easy and efficient.
  • Take every chance you can to show your customer you’re working to serve her best interests. Reward her opt-in at your site; ask her opinion about your products and services; include consistent reminders that her transactions are secure.
  • Encourage interaction at your site by responding to customer reviews and comments. Interaction builds trust!
  • Be transparent! Develop a blog that offers helpful information about your company, products, services, and staff. Encourage comments, and build an ongoing dialogue.
  • Create an interactive Facebook page to boost interest and involvement and promote community.

Working messages of respect, service and community into every touch-point is one way of shouting from the rooftops: “Ethical marketers work for consumers, not against them!”

How is your company forging trust? Send your thoughts to the editor, and we’ll include them in a future post.

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