When it comes to bridging privacy gaps for brands, there’s little time for procrastination. People care about how their information is used, and businesses need to be privacy-ready to prevent loss of trust and impact on the bottom line. In APAC, marketers and publishers are aware of the privacy imperative, but they also recognize their gaps in privacy readiness and the need to do more.
A recent study with BCG surveyed 178 advertisers, publishers, and app developers across 10 markets in APAC, and 87% of them said they expect privacy to be of greater importance to people in the next two to four years. More than 70% of those surveyed also agree that not being privacy-ready would have significant consequences, including the loss of people’s trust.1
Businesses recognize their privacy gaps
Although businesses in APAC are mindful of the consequences of not being privacy mature, they also appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. More than 40% surveyed said they haven’t taken any concrete actions to become more privacy-ready. Furthermore, fewer than 40% of companies have started to learn and experiment with new privacy-first solutions.2
It’s important for businesses to act now. In addition to rising consumer expectations, governments across the region are strengthening their privacy regulations. Almost 90% of businesses surveyed expect stricter regulations on privacy in the next two to four years,3 and already, many markets in APAC are introducing new privacy legislation or updating regulations. China’s Personal Information Protection Law came into effect last November and Thailand's Personal Data Protection Act becomes fully enforceable this year.
Another reason to close the privacy-readiness gap: business results. Companies that have taken steps to be more privacy-safe enjoy between 5X and 10X sales lift and 50% increase in transactions from logged-in members. Some are also finding themselves saving up to 10% of their digital media budget.4
Bridge the privacy gaps to reap business results
The study points to two ways businesses can be privacy-safe and secure long-term business success. One is by gaining user trust and improving the user experience across platforms to collect robust first-party data that is important for privacy-safe success. The other is by investing in privacy-safe technology and infrastructure.
Two ways businesses can ensure privacy-safe success
People expect companies to treat their information responsibly, and gaining user trust is about cultivating relationships based on transparency and informed consent. For example, privacy policies on websites or apps should be honest, clear, and easy to understand. People should also be allowed to give consent directly and have the choice to opt out at any time.
A privacy-safe user experience can also influence people’s willingness to share their personal data with brands. A transparent user experience, such as one where only essential information is collected and the process is simple and seamless, makes people comfortable choosing a brand and sharing their information. This, in turn, enables brands to level up their privacy-focused marketing capabilities and sales outcomes.
Invest in privacy-safe technology and infrastructure
Another way brands can secure long-term success is by having the right technology, data infrastructure, and measurement solutions. These enable businesses to stay agile and respond to evolving regulatory and industry practices, especially as third-party cookies and other identifiers are being phased out.
For example, marketing technology powered by machine learning can deliver relevant experiences to users without asking for personal information such as email addresses or names. Measurement methods such as marketing mix modeling can assess the impact of ads while respecting people’s privacy. And a reliable data infrastructure ensures that any information collected is secure.
Brands must remember, however, that privacy maturity is a journey. To stay ahead and consistently provide privacy-safe customer experiences, they need to regularly update their technology and infrastructure capabilities and be open to testing and learning new measurement solutions.
As APAC becomes more privacy-aware, brands need to bridge trust gaps to ensure long-term business success. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, being transparent, honest, and responsible in customer data collection is key, along with investing in privacy-safe technology and infrastructure. And concrete actions need to be taken today to secure long-term privacy-safe success.