Gary Davis, Vice President of Consumer Marketing at McAfee, discussed what it takes to build trust with consumers during his keynote presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Toronto on September 28. In his presentation, "Cost of Privacy in a Hyper-Connected World," Davis examined various data privacy issues, as well as how marketers can address such problems.
According to Davis, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should be a key consideration for today's marketers. This regulation goes into effect in May 2018 and is designed to unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.
With GDPR, businesses no longer can be lax about data security. Instead, GDPR requires companies to deploy myriad measures to safeguard consumer data, and failure to comply with this regulation could cause long-term harm to a business and its consumers.
"[GDPR] extends the consumers' right to be forgotten, and it puts everything in an opt-in fashion," Davis stated. "It is really restrictive on where you can store data … and if you're a marketing person, I strongly encourage you to bone up on [GDPR]."
Ultimately, data privacy is paramount, regardless of a business' size, stature or industry. Data plays an important role in how a company operates, and more businesses than ever before are exploring ways to optimize the value of the data at their disposal.
"It's going to take you about a year to get back in good working order (after a data breach). Your reputation is going to be tarnished for at least that amount of time."
No longer can businesses ignore data collection and analysis. Conversely, companies must retrieve consumer data and use it to learn about prospects and customers, and failure to do so may cause a business to fall behind its rivals in a highly competitive global marketplace.
"Data is the new currency," Davis said. "It used to be that we drove the monetization funnel … but nowadays, that's no longer enough. Instead, people are now trying to target this mountain of data and use it to determine how we should talk to our customers."
The value of the data that cybercriminals is going after today is worth ten times that of a breached credit card, Davis pointed out. As such, hackers work diligently to obtain consumer data and will use malware, ransomware and other cyberattacks to target companies across all industries.
A company that takes a proactive approach to cyber threats may be better equipped than others to identify and address cyberattacks before they escalate. In fact, this business may be able to protect its brand reputation, minimize revenue losses and, perhaps most important, safeguard its sensitive information if it prioritizes data security.
"Almost every day, it's the nature of our beast … and companies are getting breached," Davis indicated. "Your companies are coming up in headlines (due to data breaches), and when this happens, it's not initially a good thing. Because you want to be in the headlines for good things that happen."
Although a data breach may take place over the course of only a few minutes, hours or days, the time and resources required to recover from this incident can be substantial.
"Data is the new currency. ... People are now trying to target this mountain of data and use it to determine how we should talk to our customers."
In most instances, businesses will need to commit significant time and resources to identify the root cause of a data breach, notify affected stakeholders and implement new security measures. Meanwhile, a data breach may cost a company thousands or millions of dollars, along with cause immediate and long-lasting brand reputation damage.
"It's going to take you about a year to get back in good working order (after a data breach)," Davis stated. "Your reputation is going to be tarnished for at least that amount of time."
Furthermore, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may struggle to rebound following a data breach. These companies generally lack the budgets of large businesses, and even a single data breach could force an SMB to shut down its operations.
"If you're a small SMB and [a data breach] is severe enough, you may never recover," Davis said. "Big businesses are much more likely to weather the storm, whereas it's rare that an SMB can get through a data breach."
A data breach likely will force a company to rebuild trust with consumers over time. But in some cases, customers who were impacted by a data breach may choose a company's rivals in the future.
"All that time, energy and effort that we've spent building the goodwill of our brand and getting out in front of the people that we want to take advantage of our services is quickly washed away (by a data breach)," Davis noted.
When it comes to data privacy, it is essential for a company to do whatever it can to safeguard consumer information. A business that implements data security systems can minimize risk and increase the likelihood of fast, effective responses to cyberattacks.
Lastly, a company should educate and inform its customers about data security. A business that is transparent about how it safeguards consumer data can foster trust with customers. Additionally, a business can encourage consumers to take an active role in protecting their sensitive data, further reducing the risk that this information falls into the hands of cybercriminals.
Gary Davis is the worldwide marketing lead for McAfee’s Consumer, Mobile and Small Business (CMSB) organization. In this role, he oversees the strategies and plans that drive brand/product consideration, preference, and demand globally. Gary is primarily responsible for optimizing the CMSB business for success and ensuring marketing superiority for the Company’s portfolio of products around the world. He closely follows technology and marketing topics to understand how they intersect and influence the behaviors of consumers. Gary is also considered an online security expert frequently discussing security threats and trends.
Gary has appeared on multiple business and consumer lifestyle broadcast outlets, including CBS News, CNBC, FOX News, Bloomberg, WSJ MoneyBeat and several Bay Area television stations; and quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, CNN, Forbes, TIME Magazine, LA Times, Huffington Post, MSNBC, PC Magazine, CNET, and PC World. He is a sought-after speaker discussing contemporary marketing techniques and activities. Prior to joining McAfee, he held senior leadership positions for more than 15 years in technology companies. Gary served on the board of directors of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
You can find Gary on Twitter @GaryJDavis.