These are dark days of trust. For marketers and advertisers the darkest.
Only 3% of people trust marketing and advertising, the lowest industry or practice, and this trust falls fastest among the millennials, a menacing sign of the future.
We have no one to blame than ourselves.
Like everyone else, the promise of technology, "big data solves everything," dazzled us. Martech is currently driving the dialogue in our industry, and they talk about it. When we collect as much consumer data as we can, regardless of the actual value of that data and regardless of our consumer's interests, a magic growth formula becomes visible.
That's a farce. There is no magical growth formula and the technology does not do your job for you. Believing that accumulating data saves your business, rather than focusing on fundamentals, has led to sluggish marketing over the last two years, lowering consumer confidence and doubling the number of expensive Martech solutions.
The public awareness of the surveillance the economy hones. The press is increasingly dedicated to business and advertising practices. Consumers vote with their purses and move away from companies that do not practice the values they preach. This is a trend that will accelerate and not slow down. The skepticism about Amazon's new Alexa announcements is just the latest example.
How quickly do marketers and advertisers end up on the nasty list of The New York Times? How long will consumers tolerate the hypocrisy of brands claiming to care for them while they absorb their personal information? Is the risk worthwhile for your brand and your company?
Doing the right thing for your business means doing the right thing for your consumers.
If you're a marketer that reads this: you can do better.
Being a lean data company does not mean being a martyr ̵
In times of Big Tech and Adtech, however, this means that many marketers have no idea. It means capturing only the consumer data that you really need to return your customers the same or higher value – and protect them. It no longer means selling, sharing and buying user data. It means being transparent about your marketing practices.
When you do this, you no longer focus on data collection, but on understanding your customers' needs, making them more valuable and regaining trust and respect.
This is not just empty talk.
At Mozilla, we underpin this commitment to lean data through action. To put the interests of our users in the spotlight, the latest version of the Firefox browser blocks third-party cookies by default. Honestly, we had expected some setbacks from publishers, but instead they told us that they did not experience the expected effects. This causes them to question the true value of the data they collected and to rethink their own practices.
A lean data movement is growing. Others have also taken action, and there are many who believe that what is right for your business also means what is right for your consumers.
Whatever your own commitment to lean data looks like, do it now before it's too late. As marketers and advertisers, we've weathered some seismic changes in recent years, but no one can survive 0% confidence.