Consumer Rights Management Is the New Battleground for Data-Driven Marketers

What value will people put on their own data?

Jon Suarez-Davis giving a presentation.
Advisory Board member Jon Suarez-Davis talked about data privacy.
Headshot of B. Bonin Bough

Author, consultant and TV host, Bonin Bough is our Adweek Advisory Board chairman. He will be spotlighting Advisory Board members each month on relevant industry news and trends.

This month I spoke with Jon Suarez-Davis about his thoughts on how marketers need to pivot with respect to changing privacy laws, now and in the future.

Jon is svp, marketing innovation and CMO programs for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which incorporates Salesforce’s highly valued CRM data. Jon also spent years in the agency world and honed his brand skills as a global digital strategist at The Kellogg Company. He spoke about trust and the value consumers are placing on their own data.

Bonin Bough: With the new data privacy laws coming into effect, in what ways do you see the industry changing to navigate them?
Jon Suarez-Davis:
Consumer rights management is quickly becoming the new battleground for data-driven marketers. Marketers have ben steadily building their first-party data assets but now are faced with more stringent policies around applying that data for marketing and personalization use cases. We have already seen GDPR impact the variety and scale for data marketers can use. CCPA, Safari ITP and the contemplated changes to Google’s Chrome browser are going to limit the amount of available data further. It’s not about the scale of your data—it’s about how much consented data you have to create better customer engagement. It’s a big change.

What sorts of things should marketers keep in mind to prevent ad fraud?
Marketers are catching up quickly to ad fraud, and the implementation of ads.txt, viewabilty software and better data-science-led attribution models are helping marketers get a better understanding of ad quality. That said, we are still seeing click factories, fake social followers and new fraud-related tactics water down marketing efficiency and break trust between companies and advertising platforms. “You get what you pay for” has never been more true, so I think the No. 1 thing to consider in terms of helping your company prevent fraud is to deal only with companies that put trust at the center of their philosophy. In the short term, this may increase costs and limit scale; in the longer term, having a consented relationship with consumers built on trust and valid experiences is going to be a growth driver.

Data has become so intertwined with marketing that it feels like the actual meaning often gets lost. What should marketers be keeping in mind with data now and in the future, say five years down the line?
Again, the last 20 years has been largely about leveraging data to make media less expensive, more targeted and scale more. Unfortunately, there has also been a lot of poor-quality third-party data and technical gamesmanship in advertising, and a lot of consumer trust has been lost along the way. We see a future where consumers can own their own data and control the relationships they have directly with brands. New technologies, like Blockchain-based ledger transactions, are increasingly making this possible. Marketers should be thinking more carefully about the value exchange they have with consumers when they actually get to decide who can use their data. Amazon recently offered $10 to Prime members willing to share all of their browsing and purchase data. Is that the right number? It will be interesting to see the value people put on their own personal data and whether or not the exchange creates better experiences. But it’s the world we are going to be living in faster than you think.

Bonin Bough, a former digital executive at Mondelez International, is author of the book Txt Me and host of CNBC's Cleveland Hustles. He is also a member of the Adweek Advisory Board.