What Marketers Need to Know About the Future of Data

Learn more about what the marketing field needs to know about the future of data in the narrative piece below. ...
What Marketers Need to Know About the Future of Data
Written by Brian Wallace
  • Over the years, new tech has changed the way data is used in professional and personal lives. The opportunities for digital efficiency and integrations are continuing to increase. People have enjoyed the benefits, but the advancement of technology has brought new issues and concerns to light as well.

    The convenience of digital integration has been groundbreaking for many, but it’s important for marketers to not get too comfortable. With more ways to integrate life with digital practices, consumers’ data and privacy have become more at risk. Data breaches have been a common headline topic over the last decade. Businesses must improve their processes to prevent loss, legal battles, and most importantly, their consumer’s information.

    New legalities in 2024 will bring some limitations to marketers. However, there are still other ways to gather data and make strategy improvements ethically. The following are trends to expect from the new year and how to navigate the evolving world of data management. 

    Data Regulations

    Data protection has become critical in the online world and in companies’ processes. With individuals being more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud, businesses need to take a big step forward in solidifying data security. In the new year, teams will have to make adjustments to their data strategies in response to new laws and regulations. States across the country are beginning to enforce data laws to protect the privacy of citizens.

    One feature that is currently being reduced across the web has been the use of cookies. Cookies are a tool that collect personal data and information like web history and behavior. This information has been useful for target marketing, but it often comes at the risk of invading the consumer’s privacy. Google has begun to restrict the use of cookies and is planning to completely phase them out from web browser practices. As you plan your 2024 approach, take note of this change and ensure that none of your strategies depend on this tool.

    Data Collection

    With new laws and policies, businesses will need to find new ways to learn about customer behavior and characteristics. In a world that protects privacy, you may find yourself needing to use first or zero party data. First-party data requires collecting insights through online registrations, subscriptions, and other touch points on websites or apps. Data collected this way is safe to use and can still help teams personalize experiences for consumers.

    Teams can also safely use zero-party data, which involves collecting information from the consumer directly. Email subscription preference centers and post-purchase surveys allow businesses to collect data and feedback without jeopardizing data privacy. These types of data collection, while not new, will become more important during the phase-out of cookies. These methods are more obvious to consumers, but are still effective in learning about your audience and what they want to see from your brand. 

    Employee Education

    IT reps aren’t the only stakeholders in protecting company privacy. Branches of any given business may have access to consumer data for several reasons. Whether it’s applicant data or purchase orders, employees without a data background will have their hands on sensitive information in their work. Teams need to be trained on data ethics, and how to protect sensitive information especially when working from home. 

    Companies need to build a solid infrastructure without loopholes as well. It can be easy for data leaks to happen just from human error, so companies must be strict in the management of their databases. Connecting to public wifi, for instance, is an easy way to put company data at risk. Installing and enforcing the usage of a VPN in and out of the office stops employees from using unreliable web services. Using a VPN will also prevent data breaches from someone being connected to unstable public wifi. 

    Artificial Intelligence

    As brands begin to feel limited in data collection in the new year, advancements in AI have created new opportunities. Machine learning can analyze consumer behavior without depending on third-party tools. By using this technology, you will get a full scope of your customers and how they navigate your website. You may also use this data to make predictions and introduce new strategies to your marketing approach. 

    AI is also a strong tool for managing data and improving internal processes. Smart assistants like Microsoft Copilot can analyze automations and processes as well as make recommendations for improvement. Introducing automation into your process will help protect you from human error, improving your risk management. However, with this technology still being new, it’s important to be cognizant of data bias created by the system.

    Data Analytics

    While the world is being met with more roadblocks in data collection, analytics are as important as ever in determining marketing strategy and measuring success. Your data should be protected, but it should still be accessible to the employees making business decisions. Analytics will give perspective on the real changes happening in consumer data and the steps needed to improve weaknesses and encourage growth.

    It’s also crucial to have a good platform to review and organize data. As more businesses are focusing on segmentation, teams need an easy way to identify consumer groups and target them. Utilizing a CRM will help your employees identify trends and engage those who are active members of their audience. Integrating technology that is easy to use will make your team more efficient, accurate in their predictions, and better as a whole at analyzing data.

    A Changing Terrain

    Data privacy is incredibly important to the integrity and reputation of brands. Businesses want to grow, but no one wants to put their customers at risk. Introducing new data collection methods in the new year will protect people from digital harm while retaining important data for your business’s progression. Identifying holes and improving your processes will support the overall growth of your business and will keep consumers’ trust in your brand.

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