Consumers are taking more control of their personal data, and it is beholden on businesses to give them the tools they need to do that.

That’s the view of Blaine Carter, Chief Information Security Officer of Franklin Covey, who has watched both the change in consumer attitudes and the emergence of technology to meet it.

He made the comment during a panel discussion on Trust, Privacy and Consumer Consent, run by Which-50 and SAP, which also featured speakers including Adam Fraser, Director of Customer Practice at EY, Samantha Gavel, NSW Privacy Commissioner, and Aarron Spinley, Growth and Innovation Evangelist for SAP.

“Attitudes are changing and we are seeing the emergence of privacy-centric services. Honestly, I don’t know if you would have seen even a market for that five years ago.” Now, however, there is enough demand that new companies are really gaining ground on the incumbents, he said.

Carter said that privacy and consent have become product differentiators.

“We’ve seen that with Franklin Covey. We’ve seen a lot of customers who do want to feel like they can trust you with their information.”

Trust, consent, and a genuine value exchange sit at the heart of the new relationship between buyer and seller, he said.

“When we’re talking about value exchange, we started rolling out features where we’re very honest and upfront with how we offer value in exchange for personal information.”

He offers by way of example a recent initiative where Franklin Covey rolled out a feature designed to help it gain analytical information about some of the survey responses people were putting into its systems.

“In order to do that, we wanted to offer the results to the customers themselves — so they could actually benchmark themselves against the results. And that was one of the ways we found to build acceptance.

“People would give more information to us because we prepped [them about] what they were going to get out of it — that they would be able to have a benchmark report that they would be able to share with their company, to show that they reached a certain aptitude on certain things.”

As a result, the company was able to gain the information it needed for its own purposes.

“And they also gained value out of it. It was really a good example of value exchange.”

A closer relationship

Another change Carter said he has seen is that the relationship between Marketing and Information Security — or IT more generally — is given higher priority now.

In the past, he said, it would have been rare for him to meet with the Chief Marketing Officer. Marketing always seemed to be too busy to meet with Information Security.

“Plus, they didn’t see much of an overlap. We were two separate parts of the business, doing separate things. But we started to realise that the more we interact with our customers online, the more we really do need to work hand in hand to have a successful customer relationship.”

Together, Marketing and Information Security understood that they really needed to be honest and upfront with how they were gathering information, as well as what kind of choices needed to be made.

And, Carter stressed, it is not simply a matter of one party handing off information to another and leaving them to get on with it. “It really does have to be that partnership.”

Learn how customer consent drives trust and builds great experiences. Download the report here

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