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What to Expect in 2022: Data Privacy, Data Quality, and More

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Read more about co-authors Dale Renner and George Corugedo.

As 2021 begins to draw to a close, there are lessons to be learned for marketers faced with abrupt changing consumer behaviors and an acceleration of digital channels. Three big shifts came this year, namely in the realms of consumer data privacy, the use of third-party cookies vs. first-party data, and the regulations and expectations around data privacy.

Industries were upended as the pandemic prolonged itself, and now as we look ahead to 2022, we predict the following trends around data privacy and Data Quality will shape how data-driven companies do business and how marketers engage and communicate with customers.

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Dale Renner, CEO, Redpoint Global:

Consumer preferences and consent will become integral (vs. a side function) to the marketing team’s approach to driving revenue. Marketers rely on data to inform consumer experiences, but often lack visibility into its quality or provenance. As consumers demand – and legislation mandates – more data privacy and governance from brands, marketers are being held accountable for the data they’re using. This is why in 2022, we will see accountability for consumer data extend beyond a siloed IT function into marketing.

Preference and consent management will become a new key function among marketing teams, where they’ll take on responsibility for how data is used to orchestrate consumer experiences. As part of this new capability, we can expect leading brands to establish data contracts with their consumers. This will go beyond checking a box of adhering to a new regulation and instead will focus on adding long-term value and considerations to the consumer experience.

As the cookie crumbles, companies will need to innovate how they use first-party data to drive brand equity. With the shift away from third-party data, we know that first-party data will be the way forward for brands to gather insight on consumers. To differentiate in a cookie-less world though, it will be the companies that prioritize building brand equity that will be most effective at fostering consumer trust. These businesses know that poor usage and accountability of data will cause their brand equity and trust among consumers to decrease.

With this in mind, we can expect these brands to pay closer attention to the use of, protection of, and stewardship of customer data. Specifically, they’ll set the standard by ensuring all customer data never leaves the control of the organization, becoming increasingly reluctant to push it out to managed services.

George Corugedo, CTO, Redpoint Global:

As 2023 gets closer, marketers will become more Data Quality-aware and demand business-actionable insights into the ongoing improvement and cultivation of their first-party data. Business teams will take on this new function and serve as the Data Quality curators for the business. As first-party data becomes more regulated and the dependence on this data increases, more care must be taken to cultivate a proper business-led culture around the ongoing quality and improvement of data. For too long, this has been the exclusive realm of IT, where the business imperatives and urgency are merely hearsay.

Business leaders that rely on the underlying quality of the first-party data will take ownership of driving this cultivation or curation function around first-party data. With the proper insights and transparency into the metrics and measures of Data Quality, they will seek ways to drive these Data Quality metrics up, resulting in improved outcomes.

Leaders in this area will develop small expert teams, on the business side, whose sole responsibility is to track Data Quality, research and resolve Data Quality complaints or errors, and plan programs for systemic Data Quality improvement.

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