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Cris Xiong

Published on

January 17, 2023


future spotting, Marketing Trends

We take a look at insights to help brands tap into customer data and use it with care, adhering to new laws and regulations surrounding privacy.

Data and privacy will change forever in 2023.

The data pulled from our personal devices, along with our trail of electronic transactions and data from other sources, has provided the foundation for some of the world’s largest companies.

Personal data is also the wellspring for millions of small businesses and countless startups, which turns it into customer insights, market predictions, and personalised digital services.

For the past two decades, the commercial use of personal data through third-party cookies has grown rapidly. But now, because of consumer mistrust, government action, and competition for customers, those days are quickly coming to an end.

Nowadays, internet users care more about their data, and have become more aware of that trade off between privacy and convenience, to add to this, regulators continue to challenge the marketing industry upon which much of big tech profits rely.

Using insights from our data partner GWI, we share insights on how brands can tap into customer data and use it to their advantage with care, adhering to new laws and regulations surrounding privacy.

#1 The need for better security – Consumers will get more conscious of their privacy in 2023

Consumers’ privacy concerns are rising as a result of the rise in identity theft and data breaches, with sensitive information such as email or credit card data being disclosed outside of their control throughout Asia Pacific. Only 29.3% of internet users in APAC feel in control of their personal data online.

As consumers are taking steps on their side to safeguard their data. It is likely that in 2023, data-sharing practices and policies online will become of huge importance when consumers choosing one brand over another.

What’s next?

As consumers are getting more knowledgeable and conscious of their rights and taking more control over their online experiences, transparent and authentic marketing is quickly becoming the only way forward for brands. Brands should be responding to privacy concerns by being open and up front about why they’re collecting consumer data, and how it’s being used.

For example, WhatsApp pushed its privacy features in a U.S. marketing campaign that compares a standard text message to mail that was opened before it was delivered. The campaign promoted end-to-end encryption technology that WhatsApp uses so that user messages only exist on the device where a message was sent or received, not on Meta servers. It follows backlash the app has received after integrating more closely with Facebook, which has had certain privacy concerns in the past.

#2 Rise in adoption of consumer tools – Users are fighting back

Today’s consumers are highly aware of how they’re being targeted online through the use of their data, and they’re not afraid to take action when it’s being misused. Users are using a number of tools including VPN, and ad blockers to help protect their privacy or to block annoying and irrelevant ads. In APAC, 39% of internet users use an ad-blocker and 29.7% use a VPN.

Nowadays, Ad blockers have been termed as “selective ad blocking,” which is defined as rather than rejecting all ads, you have the option to see ads that are relevant and unobtrusive. There are approximately 46.2% of users worldwide participate in this new kind of ad blocking.

What’s next?

Native advertising has become the favoured ad style for several advertisers. Since they are discreet, they are said to be “faster and more successful than traditional advertisements”. In most media channels, consumers are more likely to accept ads when they don’t have to pay to subscribe or can pay less for a subscription. Consumers are also more receptive to lighter, less intrusive ad experiences and incentivized ads that give them more control, such as rewarded video ads.

Today’s consumers expect personalisation, and brands who use data-driven marketing campaigns to deliver this are seeing the results.

#3 Goodbye Third Party Cookies – Zero party data is the future of digital advertising

Today, the digital advertising industry is worth over $600 billion, and cookies are responsible for a large part of that. Nowadays, 35% of internet users in APAC decline cookies on a website. The loss of third-party cookies will make it much harder for advertisers to track users across the web and serve them targeted ads. This will lead to less effective advertising and could reduce the overall size of the digital advertising industry, however, there alternatives for brands, and different ways to adapt, such as Zero-party data.

What’s next?

Brands need to adopt Zero-party data. This is data that is collected directly from users, typically through interactive data collection methods such as surveys, polls and quizzes. The data is voluntarily shared by users with businesses and can include things like preferences, interests and contact information.

Zero-party data is more valuable to businesses than cookies because it is more accurate, specific and reliable. In addition, zero-party data is collected with the user’s consent, so there are no privacy concerns.

Related content: Getting Ahead in a Cookie-less Future

#4 Cloud Adoption – Keeping customer data secure on the cloud

Cloud infrastructure services spend in the Asia Pacific region (excluding China) reached US$8.7 billion in Q2 2022, up 35% and accounting for 14% of worldwide cloud spend. According to a survey of Centrify, 48% of IT decision makers’ companies had to accelerate their cloud migration plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As cloud adoption is predicted to rise even further in 2023, cyber attacks are also set to skyrocket. Of all the cloud migration barriers for enterprises, 61% of companies listed security as the top concern. Companies need to maximise their cloud security efforts and overall cybersecurity strategies to protect their databases.

What’s next?

Brands can keep consumer data secure and protect against cyber attacks by taking the following steps:

  1. Setting up Multifactor Authentication and encrypting data and files
  2. Regular training sessions to keep employees updated with cloud security best practices and cyber awareness
  3. Investing in a cloud security platform which provides a real-time inventory of servers, storage, and network elements in the cloud helping to manage resources, monitor security, and meet compliance standards

#5 Privacy in AI & Machine Learning – AI designed to prioritise data privacy

AI can be a powerful asset but also present a threat to data privacy and security, and issues with regulation, especially as it evolves. This triggers users’ concern, especially with APAC being the fastest growing AI market in the world. Excluding Japan, APAC’s investments in new tech such as AI is expected to account for close to 40% of total information communication technology investments by the end of 2023.

AI systems need lots of data, and some online services and products could not work without personal data used to train their AI algorithms. But can AI actually help protect customer privacy and data and contribute to compliance with privacy laws? Is there responsible AI use?

The answer to all of the above is yes, with AI potentially being used to create good opportunities for organisations to mitigate risks of data processing.

What’s next?

Brands could use large scale data analysis, such as that done by AI systems. This is not just limited to the world of customer-related behaviours. For example, AI could be used for analysis to find patterns or trends relating to consent and its management, anomalies in user access to data, or data security from collection through processing and storage. AI could also be used to consistently and thoroughly perform anonymisation activities on data sets to ensure identifiers are removed from the aggregate sets and the data cannot be deanonymised.

Related content: Future Spotting: 5 Ecommerce Trends For Marketers

Curious about the trends impacting your brand? Get in touch with our data and insights specialists here.

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