We live in the age of the quantified self. Thanks to gadgets such as mobile phones and Fitbits, we have the ability to measure and analyze data on just about everything. This is a huge opportunity for marketers, but it’s also a challenge for those who don’t understand the real value of data in the age of online commerce.

To take advantage of the growing data points that customers are producing and saving, marketers are developing best practices for data management, while more government regulations on what you can and cannot do with data are adding a new layer of complexity.

To take on the responsibilities of stewardship over your customers’ data, all marketers need to keep up with the latest trends and regulations covering data storage, usage and management, while also keeping up with new innovations that make data management more affordable and easier. This isn’t just a legal and moral requirement — proper data management can also improve your relationship with your customers and ultimately drive sales.

Privacy and your customer

The first concern that all customers will have is their privacy, and this is an issue that marketers must take seriously. Being aware of the legal requirements for making and keeping data private in all of the jurisdictions where they sell, as well as knowing what solutions are available for keeping data private and secure, is essential for all marketers. In this era of security breaches and high profile hacks of banks, big retailers and government agencies, every marketer needs to know how they can keep their customers’ data private and safe.

The hidden value of data

While keeping data private sounds like a losing proposition for marketers, it is actually a real strength. The best marketers know that private data can be leveraged to improve marketing campaigns and drive sales, even if it remains private. It takes both skill and deep knowledge to know how you can make data private and still leverage it in marketing efforts, and that is a skill that is becoming increasingly important as online marketing becomes more data-driven and information intense.

Making it all work

Bringing together data, understanding how data from first-party and third-party sources should be treated, and keeping data private and secure is a big and important task, but it is something all marketers can learn with a bit of time and surprisingly little effort.

Staying up-to-date on these topics is important, which makes on-going training crucial. DMA Education offers courses on best practices for data governance, as well as many other content areas that can help improve your marketing efforts. Look over the list of online and in-person course offerings to find one that will make it all work for you.

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