Why Compliance is a Huge Opportunity for Marketers

Compliance Is Opportunity for Marketers in 2020

In the past few years, we’ve seen a seismic shift in how consumers feel about their personal information.  They’ve seen their information exploited for financial and political gain.  Tech companies increasingly innovate new ways to gather information.  And with the lack of oversight, devise ingenious if perhaps diabolical methods to track, collect, and leverage as much information as is possible.  All to monetize or manipulate consumers to achieve their objectives.

And then, in 2018, GDRP became law in Europe. And now the CCPA in 2020.

Regulators have the power to impose financial penalties on companies that fail to meet new privacy compliance regulations.  But more importantly, due to media coverage about privacy and data breaches, consumers are much savvier.  They know they hold the upper hand and can end their relationship with companies by never offering consent, or uttering one word: unsubscribe. If customers now have control, how do you adapt your approach and seize the opportunity?

Building Trust Through Compliance

Most marketing organizations today invest substantially to improve the customer experience, increase personalization, and execute cross-channel orchestration.  Each requires data to work correctly.  In the face of new compliance regulations, the common perception is that less information gathering might occur.  But for customers who DO give you information, it will be more precise, especially if you choose the correct time and place to request consent and data.

Example Form from Disney Plus

The best email campaigns are about timing, delivering the right message at the right time. It’s the same for compliance.  The best time is when the customer is engaging with your brand.

One good example is Disney+ and its new subscription streaming service.  If you sign up for a free trial, they collect just enough information to get your trial subscription started, ask for permission to contact you about other marketing activities and disclose the purpose of data collection.  There are also prominent links to their privacy policy and subscriber agreement.

Even if the user does not OPT-IN, they may do so in the future.  And nothing is preventing Disney from including the same offer again in the future. Because they are leading with privacy compliance in mind, the customer is more likely to trust them and, as a result, provide more data and potentially OPT-IN more often if they have a genuine interest in their products or services.

Building a Foundation for Trust

It does not require a significant investment to improve the customer experience by asking for permission at the appropriate time.  But you need a flexible framework that ensures you collect the correct information based on location, prompts for the right information and records how they gave consent. And don’t forget that each jurisdiction may have dramatically different rules and processes; your privacy compliance framework must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate those details.  With a bit more up-front planning, you can lower the total cost of ownership (TCO).  This planning will help prepare for future changes as well.

Of course, you could make some ad hoc changes to your existing systems, patch them up, and push them out there.  And this may be your current, budget-friendly plan. The problem with this approach is that it’s a time bomb.  At the very least, the cost of ownership of your marketing automation solutions will grow and grow as each new slice of legislation requires more and more detailed changes.  But in the worst-case scenario, and more importantly, you could lose a massive opportunity to create deeper trust with your customers.

Privacy Compliance Solutions for Oracle Eloqua

For Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua) professionals, there’s a simple answer.  4Thought Marketing offers 4Comply and Eloqua Cloud Apps that takes the hard work out of building this capability from scratch.  Our compliance apps cover the full Privacy Compliance lifecycle from data upload, form compliance (for landing pages), customer Rights Management (including the right to access, update and porting data, as well as the right to be forgotten), and compliance reporting.  The whole process is made more manageable through our set-up wizard. So, in the future, you can accommodate critical changes to legislation through simple administration and not expensive coding. Additionally, our Privacy Compliance experts are on hand to ensure a smooth transition and answer your marketer’s questions.

To find out more about how you can turn data privacy compliance into enduring customer trust and loyalty, download our free eBook, “Achieving Trust Through Compliance. A Marketer’s Guide to Customer Data Privacy.”

Marketing’s New “P” Privacy

The Fifth P of Marketing

Marketing’s New “P” Privacy

As marketing professionals, we’ve all grown up with the four, or more recently, the five Ps of marketing – product, price, placement, promotion, and peoplke.  But now there’s a new P of marketing in town,  and this is the most important one of all; Privacy.

The Ps of marketing are from a bygone age where communications were limited to postal mail, phone calls, and sales outlets, and tracking was limited to computer capacity.  But this has long since changed.  Despite the plethora of new technologies in their marketing stack, marketers are still playing catch-up.  In fact, many are so far behind that the regulators are stepping in to protect consumer privacy because brands can’t be trusted.

And here lies the problem.

Privacy: The Foundation of Everything

Everything we know about customer experience tells us that TRUST is the foundation for everything.  Yet, legislators and privacy advocates scream that marketing needs to be regulated to ensure that minimum data privacy standards are upheld.  Really?

Surely this is upside down for a digital world.  Shouldn’t we be starting with trust and building on this without the obligation of privacy regulation?  And with new generations of consumers becoming savvier, the focus on privacy is more intense than ever.

Dodging the Digital Backlash

If brands are to prevent a digital backlash from their most lucrative buyers, they need to build trust.  And they need to do it now.

With the implementation of GDPA in the EU (2018) and the recent introduction of CCPA in California, brands are suddenly jarred awake to the realities of privacy regulation and compliance.

But with many marketers, as soon as they’ve caught up with one set of regional regulations, the next one comes down the line; it’s the digital version of marketing playing whack-a-mole.

Beyond Basic Privacy Compliance

There is a better way for marketers to get ahead of the curve.  Marketers need to build a framework that is flexible and agile enough to quickly accommodate changes in customer data privacy regulations whenever they change, or with the introduction of new ones.  But the more important aspect of this approach is to place trust at the forefront of your marketing and customer experience strategy.

For example, 4Thought Marketing created 4Comply – a solution for Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua) users who want to remove marketing from playing legal whack-a-mole from their core competencies and embed privacy best practices into the fabric of their brand.  But building a trusted relationship needs a whole lot more than just meeting privacy compliance basics.

The next step is to transfer control to your customers, offering the ability for customers to control precisely how your brand interacts with them.  Everything from the frequency of contact to the subject matter and medium of communication.  But, this is easier said than done.  Give your customers too much work to do and they’ll throw their hands up and walk away.  Ask them questions that are too intrusive, and they might be offended.  This is why data privacy management goes hand-in-hand with Subscription Management when it comes to building trust.

Marketing’s Trust-Leadership Challenge for Privacy

In these days of increasing data privacy regulation, there is a golden opportunity for marketers to take a customer experience, leadership position by putting TRUST at the forefront of the relationship. By being the champions of establishing trust, you build a strong foundation for customer loyalty.  By setting the bar high, and putting strong governance in place, you insulate your brand from the endless conveyor belt of privacy regulation.  The sooner you act, the easier it will be.

To find out more about how you can turn data privacy compliance into enduring customer trust and loyalty, download our free eBook, “Achieving Trust Through Compliance. A Marketer’s Guide to Customer Data Privacy.

Eloqua Common Mistakes Series: Missing or Incomplete Compliance Monitoring

Compliance Monitoring

Missing or Incomplete Compliance Monitoring

GDPR has been in effect for almost a year. And now in 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is law. Also, increasingly customers are demanding more control over their customer experience.  As a result, marketing automation programs and processes that ignore these either compliance or customer requirements will suffer.

If you have a significant presence in Europe, you will want to develop a proactive monitoring process. For instance, you will need to monitor data deletion requests when an EU resident asks to be deleted from your company’s records. Further, you also need to be able to explain how your Eloqua marketing automation processes individual data.

Relying on so-called black box processes where you cannot explain the results can potentially impact your company financially. Don’t get caught like those mentioned by Neil Hodge at Compliance Week in his article, “What can we learn from the biggest GDPR fines so far.”.

On the other hand, if you have minimal exposure to GDPR, you may choose to take a more gradual approach. Start with educating yourself further on GDPR compliance for marketers. For an introduction, download our white paper: 8 GDPR Mistakes that Eloqua Marketers Make.

If you want to learn more about the impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act and other US legislation, we suggest watching our webinar “Eloqua Compliance in 2020:  California, Nevada, New York and beyond.”

Marketing automation systems and tools are powerful technologies that can help drive desired outcomes.  However, don’t get distracted by shiny new tools or grow hesitant from past mistakes.  Start with good segmentation and segmentation strategy.  Then take time to examine your data and avoid personalization mistakes.  Be certain to understand and leverage your inbound marketing strategy.  And finally, don’t forget or have an incomplete compliance monitoring solution.

Privacy Compliance Consulting for Oracle Eloqua


Privacy and Compliance Consulting Services


Consumer privacy and compliance regulations are here to stay.  We all fondly remember the mad dash to deploy a solution for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  And as 2020 approaches, the  California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the next exercise we get to manage.  But wait, there’s more.  Soon, most countries will enforce their compliance regulations making it even more important to have a solid foundation in place that can scale with your needs. Companies need to stay informed and start planning to add or update their privacy compliance solutions everywhere they do business.

Implementing a privacy compliance solution is more than just installing software and setting a few parameters.  To build your privacy compliance solution correctly, it will involve coordination and cooperation across multiple teams, some of which may not work with each other regularly.  The team will likely include representatives from Legal, Security, Marketing, and Public Relations.  And each will have its perspective on privacy and compliance, and the requirements for achieving compliance.

Unfortunately, compliance is not a single, global standard.  Most regulations offer flexibility in many areas, and businesses can choose if they will strictly adhere to all rules, or if they will relax where permitted.  In most cases, your existing company policies and culture will guide your choices. An effective compliance solution will require everyone on the team to be actively involved in decision-making.

Balancing Privacy Compliance without Sacrificing Customer Experience


For many, compliance can feel like another government oversteps, an unnecessary burden that introduces new obstacles and increases costs with little benefit.  On the other hand, consumers are fed up with the amount of data collected about them, bought and sold without their input or permission, and used to target and influence their opinions and behavior.

However, according to Forrester, we’re now living in the age of the customer. Only companies that cede control to their customers and adapt to this new reality will grow, while those who do not will suffer. Companies are moving to empower their customers, allowing them to manage their preferences, and to specify how frequently and only through their preferred communication channels.

Savvy companies understand that when you embrace customers and give them control, only then can you accurately you can target and engage these motivated customers.

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