Five ways B2B marketers can go the extra mile with data privacy

Nobody is closer to customer data than marketers. Here’s what you can do to maximize data privacy and stay compliant with customer data regulations.

Five ways B2B marketers can go the extra mile with data privacy

In marketing, almost everything we do is driven by customer data in one way or another. It helps us understand customer sentiment, expectations, and needs, enabling us to create relevant, high-impact campaigns and content.

But with great power comes great responsibility. Following the great GDPR panic of 2018, we all know not to put personally identifiable information into the public domain, or seriously misuse it. But beyond that, how much time do we really spend thinking about data privacy and our day-to-day role in upholding responsible data practices?

To mark Data Privacy Week, here are five things B2B marketers and copywriters can do to safeguard data privacy, without compromising on the value customer data can deliver.


#1) Personalise, but don’t go overboard

We’ve all come across content, ads, and offers that feel a little too targeted to us. It’s an unsettling feeling that gives people the impression they’re being monitored, rather than simply catered to.

But overpersonalisation doesn’t just put people off; it can be bad news from a data privacy perspective too. The more customer data you gather and use in your campaigns and content, the greater the risk of that data being exposed or compromised.

Encountering overpersonalised offers and content brings privacy right to the front of your audience’s mind, leading them to ask questions about what you’re gathering and why. Suddenly, a campaign that you wanted to drive sales starts driving a very different kind of engagement – changes to cookie settings and personal data visibility.


#2) Get rid of data and materials you no longer need

Under EU GDPR law, people have the right to have their personal data erased if it’s no longer necessary for the purpose you originally collected or processed it for. But how often do you go back and clear out old data once a campaign is complete?

As copywriters, it’s our responsibility to dispose of the sensitive data and materials our clients provide us with as soon as they’re no longer necessary for us to do our jobs. Marketers should follow the same principle. Once reference materials no longer have practical use for you, get rid of them. The less sensitive data you hold, the less there is to be compromised.


#3) Be cautious when using public AI models and tools

In 2023, marketers everywhere began experimenting with public AI models – most commonly, ChatGPT. But in the rush to see what they could get out of it, very few people spent time thinking about the security and privacy of what they put in.

AI models learn from the prompts users give them as well as the gigantic datasets they’re trained on. If you use sensitive data – such as your own proprietary research or details about a specific customer you want to target – as part of an AI prompt, it can leak and begin to appear in future outputs from the AI model, creating privacy issues.

Specific AI-related regulations have emerged to help account for its potential impact on data privacy. So, any marketer who wants to use public (or even private) AI models to generate content or make decisions should do so very carefully and understand the privacy risks AI can expose them to.

AI models learn from the prompts users give them as well as the gigantic datasets they’re trained on.


#4) Use data to answer specific questions

One of the key principles of GDPR is purpose limitation. It says that any personal data you gather should be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes. So, whenever you’re using or gathering customer data, you should start with a specific question in mind.

Plan out exactly what you want to know about your customers, and what you intend to do with that insight. All too often, people start with a scattergun approach and aim to learn everything possible about a customer and their needs. That quickly takes marketers into dangerous privacy territory, and annoys customers too.


#5) Champion prudent, high-impact data use

Marketers collect a lot of personal data from their customers and audience – but they’re not alone. Virtually every team in the modern enterprise uses customer data in some capacity to drive their operations and make informed decisions.

As the team closest to customer data (and the origin point for a large proportion of that data), marketing has a unique opportunity to champion responsible data practices.

By demonstrating how the right data, managed and handled in the right way, can drive business value without sacrificing customer privacy, marketers can help other functions maintain compliance.


Mindfulness is half the battle

It’s not rocket science. As the team closest to customer data, marketers should be the first to think about the impact of how it’s used.

The good news is that when they do, everyone wins. Organisations avoid compliance breaches, their reputations remain intact, and customer trust in their brands grows.

So, next time you’re using sensitive data to make decisions or create content, think carefully about what comes next and keep privacy in the front of your mind, so your customers don’t need to.


Steve is one of Radix’s most experienced and expressive writers. Beloved by our clients for his ability to turn simple ideas into high-performing content and campaigns, he blends strategic thinking with deep copywriting expertise to consistently deliver copy that gets results.

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