Data Privacy and Reputation: Protecting Your Business

TLDR: Data privacy regulations are evolving fast, and businesses in breach face harsh financial penalties and reputational damage. Bring RevOps, legal, sales, and marketing together every quarter to set the agenda for your data privacy strategy, review your processes, and plan around new compliance requirements. Hiring a data privacy officer and investing in cybersecurity are strong measures to properly process and protect customer data.

The data privacy landscape moves fast. As regulations emerge worldwide, businesses that collect, store, and use customer data face a complex web of compliance responsibilities.

Businesses that breach data privacy regulations, even unintentionally, face steep consequences. Regulators can place data handling restrictions on companies and issue sharp fines. To date, EU regulators have enforced over €1.5 billion in penalties to organizations in breach, with an average of €1.4 million per fine.

In a time when people are more conscious than ever about how businesses handle their data, falling foul of regulations is an easy way to shatter customer trust.

Now is the time to act. To stay compliant, your RevOps team needs to know how the interlocking data privacy regulations apply to the territories where you handle customer and prospect data. In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn to identify where the challenges and blind spots lie within your company, and the processes you should implement to keep on top of your responsibilities.

 

Challenges with data privacy

Companies tend not to proactively review their data privacy policy, which causes them to fall behind the times and incur fines. Many major markets (EU, Japan, India, Australia, Brazil, and some US states) have regulations that place responsibility on the organizations operating in these territories or collecting data on their residents.

While data privacy is more complex for organizations operating internationally, multiple regulations can apply even when doing business in one local market.

As the regulatory landscape evolves, it’s important to stay in the loop with how these frameworks shape your legal obligations and data practices. It’s particularly crucial if your business is considering expanding into international markets.

Organizations typically focus on online practices when designing a data privacy strategy, sometimes, to the detriment of offline behavior. The age-old challenge of sales and marketing alignment becomes relevant to compliance here.

Important: As Sales Ops and MOPs send customer and prospect data between platforms, both teams should know how they’re allowed to use and store this data to avoid taking actions that violate the privacy rights of people in the dataset.

 

Measures to take

To set the agenda for data privacy strategy, RevOps should get together with legal, sales, and marketing every three to six months. Across teams, you want everyone to have a good grasp of their responsibilities and have an eye on the regulatory movements that could impact their work.  

 

First, answer these questions during an initial meeting:

  • How are privacy and cookie policies evolving?
  • What are our regulatory requirements for each market we do business in?
  • How might our usage of tools and the web need to shift to meet new requirements?
  • What gaps do we have in implementing compliance policies?

 

Next, review your data processes:

From there, review your data capture, storage, and deletion processes. When capturing data, timestamp the date and time people submit contact forms, why they’re contacting your business, and whether they’ve opted in to receive marketing communications. For logging and auditing purposes, this creates evidence that you’ve lawfully obtained the authorized data.

For sales ops and marketing ops, set up filters to segment the people in your dataset based on the communications they’ve opted in or out of receiving. Read our piece on data hygiene to learn more.

For prospects who’ve unsubscribed from your communications, check in with legal to decide when to delete their data entirely. And it helps to test regularly that your measures are working as planned. Are your filters and timestamps working correctly? Are you deleting data when required? Are you storing it in secure places that don’t violate compliance policies?

 

Finally, hire a data privacy officer:

Hiring a data privacy officer is a smart move. DPOs are experts in:

  • keeping up with regulatory evolution
  • guiding policies and processes, and
  • educating people on the risks of non-compliance is a smart move to advocate.

 
If the budget to hire for such a role is a concern, it’s worth mentioning the penalties that regulators can apply. E.U. authorities, for instance, can enforce the GDPR with fines of up to €20 million, or up to 4% of a company’s global annual turnover.

For similar reasons, cybersecurity training and tools are worth pushing for. Data breaches decrease customer confidence and brand strength while making fines and legal action all the more likely—so by investing in data protection, you invest in protecting your customers and your reputation.

 

Create trust

People want to do business with organizations they trust.

By making a cultural and financial investment in data privacy, you get to:

  • keep your business from appearing under the limelight for the wrong reasons
  • avoid fines and restrictions on how your RevOps team uses data, and
  • better understand the processes to implement if you’re expanding into new markets.

 
Want to learn more about the actions you can take to remain GDPR compliant? Get in touch with us.

How Can I Manage My Deadlines?

Hey Jo,

I’m drowning in deadlines at work.

The pace has been particularly fast for a while now, with multiple campaigns and events happening at the same time. I’ve got lots of different tasks on my plate, and it seems like I’m always playing catch-up to complete them all.

I need to manage my workload more effectively, but I’m not sure where to start. What can I do to keep on top of my deadlines?

Thanks,

Deadline Dana.

 

Dana, it’s good that you’re asking these questions.

After several years as the only marketing operations person in my company, I understand how tricky it can be to catch your breath. When your day-to-day involves a constant scramble to meet deadlines, you’re left with little time or energy to reflect on why that’s the case.

When the heat is on from mounting deadlines and expectations, I’ve found there are usually a number of dynamics at play.

From my experience, you want to think about ideas like how to:

  • structure your work
  • communicate with your team, and
  • stay on the same page using the systems you have in place.

5 ways to manage deadlines:

1. Plan in advance

Rushed turnarounds tend to arise from poor planning, so as eager as your team might be to get the ball rolling with campaigns, don’t implement without a solid plan in place.

Start with a target launch date, then budget how much time you’ll need to sort out all the steps, dependencies, and approvals to make that viable (be generous).

Share that plan a good distance ahead of your deadline, and you’ll be in good shape to deal with any setbacks.

2. Prioritize your tasks

List all the responsibilities on your radar ahead of each day. Then, focus on the most urgent items to keep your projects on track.

Start with any low-effort tasks that take less than 15 minutes. This strategy can shorten your list and make you feel accomplished.

Then switch gears to take on the more demanding work.  The less pressing items on your list are good candidates to put on the back bench or delegate.

3. Have ongoing check-ins

Proactively reach out to your colleagues to figure out ways of dealing with heavy deadlines.

Schedule regular chats with your manager about bandwidth. Talk about where your time’s spent and what your capacity is.

Also, schedule progress updates with your stakeholders on what’s on track and what’s at risk. This gives you an opportunity to surface any workload issues and collaborate in good time on a solution.

4. Get outside help

You only have so many hours in the day.

Outsource any tasks you don’t have the resources to handle effectively. Getting time back for more important tasks is money well spent. (Psst… see how we can help).

 

5. Implement transparent systems

To prevent excess deadlines from coming all at once, your tech should make it easy to understand where your teams’ activities and requests fit together.

A central project management tool, campaign calendar, and dedicated channel to submit requests can all accomplish this.

You’re in a stressful position right now, but you can easily turn it around. The more proactive you are with planning and communication, the better you’ll get at keeping deadlines under control.

 

You’ve got this,

Jo Pulse.