Data Privacy & Regulations

Data privacy: What marketers need to know

Data privacy is top-of-mind for consumers and with that comes more caution when sharing personal details and an increasing demand for data protection. Yet, marketers need information on their consumers – such as behaviors and preferences – to provide the elevated experience consumers expect. In addition, consumers still crave the benefits they get from sharing their information. For example, Data Axle research has shown that consumers will trade personal information for deals such as free shipping and loyalty rewards programs, relevant products, or personalized communications. What is a marketer to do?

Why consumer data concerns matter to marketers

Concerns about data privacy have led to more regulations and more restrictions for marketers. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have changed how companies communicate, putting pressure on brands to collect data that will improve their products and customer experience while remaining compliant with new regulations.

In order to help marketers understand and address changing attitudes towards privacy, Data Axle surveyed 1000 consumers to uncover how marketers can build trust in an era of changing expectations.

Here are 3 ways brands can address consumer concerns about privacy:

1. Provide clear communications about data privacy

Marketers can reduce consumer anxiety over data privacy by clearly communicating privacy policies and being transparent as to how and why brands collect data.

Brand example: 

IBM’s online privacy outlines the brand’s use of consumer data and includes two TRUSTe privacy certifications to help build trust.

2. Give consumers more power over their data

Data Axle’s data privacy consumer survey revealed that 57% of consumers, across all generations, are concerned when they see a product they searched online in a social media advertisement. This indicates that while consumers do want personalization and relevancy, they are unaware of common marketing tactics that will deliver the products they need into their hands.

To address this, give consumers power over their data. Brands that allow consumers to pick and choose which data they share and when they share it will build trust and alleviate fears as well as encourage consumers to share more going forward.

Brand example:

Beverage company, Heineken gives consumers the power to customize which cookies are collected on the company’s website.

3. Assure consumers that your brand will protect their data

There’s a good reason some consumers are skittish about their data: high profile data privacy breaches. For example, in 2019, a hack of financial data analytics company, Ascension, led to the exposure of over 24 million financial and banking documents that contained social security numbers and important tax documents, making those individuals prime targets for identity theft.

Brands can address consumer fears head-on by being transparent about data protection.

Brand example:

BBC’s local radio website provides in-depth information to donors about how their data is protected.


A rising focus on privacy and new regulations is changing the way brands connect with consumers. The challenge for marketers will be to proactively build trust with consumers by being more transparent and open about their data collection practices and giving consumers autonomy over their own data.

Learn more about how to build consumer trust in an era of eroding data privacy by downloading the complete whitepaper for more findings, recommendations, and real-world examples.

Ivy Shtereva
Senior Vice President, Marketing

As the SVP of marketing at Data Axle, Ivy is responsible for multichannel strategy and implementation across all applicable direct marketing channels. She is dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of incoming leads through a combination of engaging content, effective communication strategy, and timely follow-up. Ivy is committed to making Data Axle the undisputed leader in the industry when it comes to data quality, enrichment and management, as well as digital acquisition and retention through technology, services and data.