Internet & Privacy "Convenience vs. Privacy"
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
The digital era given so much opportunity to us and made day-to-day task faster & convenient. So we can say, convenience become first to customers and open door for marketers.
Back in a days, my mom and we used to visit all stores in the market to make sure that we are paying right price for the right product - even if it small item. We will walk all day, check all the stores to compare the price and quality of product. Since its full day activity, my mom likes to bring own food and avoid eating at restaurants. There is this two reasons for that:
One: She believes restaurant food is not healthy
Two: It is an expensive to eat outside. Because my mom is an economical (I avoid using stingy because she just prefers to pay extra for important things) and frugal person, and we used to bring our water, "aaruul" (which is made by cheese curds) or even boiled egg along with us.
Growing a kid in 90s by herself in economic reform wasn't that easy in Mongolia. But today, our life and chooses we make is different and wider - with all connectivity and internet, we don't need to walk all day in the market. The connectivity allows us to compare between products, brands, stores and prices in few minutes. How convenient!?
For marketers, it also helps us to capture, process and analyse customer behaviour. When my mom, and we were hopping stores one to another, those stores are not able to know what she was looking and how much discount to offer in order to make her to buy. There were no footprint in rick-and-mortar stores (at least in Mongolia).
With digitalisation, marketers easily tailor their approaches based on their customers' behaviour and it basically opened a goldmine in data - every time we visit one website or App to another, we leave a trial of data:
... I am able to find and connect with my long lost high school friend, get tagged on my family photo, get certified online, and able to get a job and work online regardless of where I live, for dinner I am able to order a freshly cooked pizza without flying to Italy, find a life partner from App, and make a video call and tell my mom that I met the "One". But while it opened many doors and made processes undoubtably convenient, it also brought disadvantages - like privacy and personal data. We are all familiar with negative consequences when our personal data gets into wrong hands. One of the example, in March 2018, 87 million Facebook profiles were exposed to third party, and voters decision was manipulated.
Again my mom is one of the person who doesn't trust internet and online purchases. Here is the reasons why:
One: She prefers to buy products that made in backyard - basically she doesn't trust the quality of product
Two: And she thinks people are hearing our conversations without consent
Three: If our conversations are heard, there is no privacy. In her opinion, privacy is the most important thing and person who shouldn't share much to another unless you trust them.
Basically, it is all down to the "Trust" - trust the brand and trust the product. Even with trusted people, we still should keep that boundary.
In many cases, customers we are aware of their data has been collected and trade our data for convenience - even getting 5$ voucher code. But we have no transparency of how much of them has been used and in what purpose. So there is no boundaries.
Recently in January 2021, Tim Cook spoke about Privacy and Data Protection which is raising big concern to marketers - Safari allows users to choose not to be tracked, and more privacy features will be introduced this year with new iOS. As per Statista, there is 4.37 million apps published in Apple App store which means this all apps need to comply Apple privacy change.
This change might hurt millions of businesses around the world, but from customer and from marketer point of view this reform was coming and it is necessary change. Today's customers are much smarter and their expectations has raised - exchanging our data by 5$ voucher wasn't going to go any further. If today Apple didn't step up, there will be someone else will make the change. In Apple case, they are stepping into new challenge and raising the bar higher in digital world. This bar will decide to be or not to be?
Instead of resisting the change, marketers we should accept the change and think what is the next. The question is how to be trusted? How to keep up with upcoming change and meet customer expectations?
To Be Trusted or Not To Be Trusted?