“I think we will finally see privacy going public.” That’s what Gareth Kay, founder of marketing consultancy Zeus Jones San Francisco, said of how marketing will change in 2015.
Kay went on to say that people want more transparency, and brands are increasingly more willing to “finally try to give people back control of privacy” without sacrificing functionality and important features.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of an ongoing conversation between brands and consumers about the privacy implications of their products. And as a wider range of products, such as wearable technology and other “smart” devices, incorporate datagathering technology, branding efforts will likely include explaining to consumers what using this new merchandise means for their privacy.
How will their data be used? Where will it be stored?
The ongoing privacy discussion
This privacy conversation is multidimensional. As brands think about how to communicate with their customers about their new products, consumers may be faced with potentially confusing new information about where their data will live, and what companies will do with it.
Additionally, privacy jobs are likely to grow as data collection and use becomes more and more prevalent. For instance, Google already has a “Red Team” devoted to measuring and testing product privacy.
As consumers become aware of privacy issues, companies should also ensure that they are staying true to their privacy promises — a branding approach that is dishonest about the level of data protection being provided is likely to backfire with increasingly savvy consumers.
Preparing for the future
In the coming year and beyond, companies should focus on all of these elements of the developing privacy conversation:
- How to clearly and honestly assure potential buyers that their data will be used responsibly.
- How to ensure that they are actually keeping their privacy promises.
- How they should be changing their business model (for instance, by employing more privacy experts) to keep up with the times.
Hannah Shtein, Intern, Curren Media Group