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Data Protection Tips for Promotion Marketers

Offering sweepstakes and other chance promotions are a great way for a business to attract and retain consumers.  Executing a sweepstakes not only helps marketers to build consumer good will but also to collect personal information, such as email addresses and more personal information like age and gender.  This personal information is valuable — it is the currency of the digital economy.

But, with the collection of personal information comes the responsibility to protect it.  Consumer data stewardship — systems for respecting the information privacy and security rights of consumers — is good business.  Studies show that how well consumers perceive a company’s protection of their personal information is a business differentiator.

A business that does not properly protect the privacy and security of the personal information it collects from or about consumers faces the risk of a ransomware attack, data breach and cyber espionage, among other problems.

To kick off our 2017 series on promotion marketing, we offer our five favorite consumer data stewardship tips:

Tip #1: Say what you do…

Tell consumers what you will do with their information in advance …

Tip #2: … and do what you say.

… and don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.  If you tell consumers you will “never” share their email addresses, then don’t.

Tip #3: Protect what you collect… or pay the price.

Good information security is essential to privacy: without good security, a business cannot protect privacy.  Without good information security practices, consumer data is at risk for misuse by business insiders (disgruntled employees) or outsiders (hackers).

Many of us have already received a letter or email notifying us that a data breach has occurred.  The costs of these notifications, together with the forensics needed to determine the cause and the remediation to prevent a recurrence, is significant.

Tip #4: If something goes wrong with your information security systems, respond quickly.

The longer a business waits to address an information security issue, the more legal and business risk it incurs.  A business that takes too long to respond may be accused of a cover up or of not taking privacy and security seriously.   (Make sure you know the facts about a breach’s cause before responding.)

Tip #5: If you don’t need it, don’t keep it.

Personal information is attractive to hackers — hackers have listed for sale on the Dark Web data bases filled with stolen Twitter and LinkedIn account credentials.  More personal information means more risk for a business.

To help minimize the risk, a business should properly dispose of personal information when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected.

About Promotion Fulfillment Center

At PFC, our clients’ success is our number one priority. Since 1974, PFC has delivered outstanding results, with turnkey solutions in fulfillment, eCommerce, rebates, sweepstakes, coupons and contact center – all backed by leading technology. Brands who partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35 percent and have significantly improved their program success. PFC allows clients to focus on their big picture business goals, while skillfully managing all the details. For more information contact PFC.