Why focusing on trust now is essential to your future success

privacy respect trust Jan 14, 2020

[This post is the first in a 12-part series on building trust, privacy legislation, and consumer expectations.]

Have you noticed the "do not sell my data" button popping up on websites you visit or received an influx of privacy policy updates in your inbox?

Here's why! On January 1, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect, and businesses are scrambling to implement compliance updates, including "do not sell my data" buttons and updated privacy policies.

The National Law Review breaks it down: "The CCPA applies to any for-profit business that handles "personal information" of California residents or business-to-consumer contacts, or has California-based employees," and that meet any one of three thresholds:

  1. has annual gross revenues of more than $25 million
  2. receives or shares the personal information of at least 50,000 consumers, devices, or households within any calendar year
  3. derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from consumer data sales

So, what does this have to do with YOUR business? In a word: everything. In this post, we'll cover how evolving privacy legislation and consumer expectations will impact your marketing strategies and future success.

Let's dive in, shall we?

Privacy legislation is picking up speed 

It may surprise you to learn the CCPA isn't the first data privacy legislation in the United States. However, it is the most comprehensive, and it provides sweeping new protections for consumers.

Law firm Davis Wright Tremaine breaks down these protections in five categories:

  1. right to notice
  2. right to access
  3. right to opt-out (or right to opt-in)
  4. right to request deletion
  5. right to equal services and prices

Read their blog post "Consumer Rights Under the CCPA, Part 1: What Are They?" for a deeper dive into each protection.

But before we give California our collective finger, it's essential to understand this whole privacy movement took hold in Europe (GDPR, 2018) and Canada (CASL, 2014) first. And here in the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act has been in effect since 2004. 

In a nutshell: privacy legislation has been heating up for a while, and it's going to get hotter. Nearly 20 other states are considering privacy legislation. Tech companies like Google and Facebook are pushing for a single federal law to rule them all because complying with as many as 50 different requirements will be insanely complicated—and costly. 

Consumer expectations are evolving rapidly

The only thing shifting faster than legislation is consumer expectation. Nowadays, consumers take their privacy seriously. We've all realized, to some extent, that the information we share online—on social media, websites, surveys, etc.—is a product. And that product has been used in some pretty shady ways. 😡

Privacy legislation will shape, protect, and enforce our rights as consumers—and how we approach consumers as marketers.

A consumer survey conducted by Britepool finds 88% of US adults believe it's important to know how their data is shared. And a previous Britepool survey revealed  87% of consumers would opt-out of targeted advertising under CCPA.

Can you see how this might impact your marketing?

Marketing strategies are shifting

The world and your clients' expectations are changing—as are the laws that will govern how you market your business. Greg Sterling summed it up nicely in his recent Marketingland article

"Ethics and trust will also be critical features of a brand's long-term value. Indeed, there's early evidence that privacy is becoming a competitive advantage. The way forward for marketers involves a wholehearted embrace of privacy and the creation of genuine value for consumers in exchange for their data. There is no other alternative."

Right now, respecting your clients' privacy and consent to marketing presents an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors. But in the future, it will be the law—shape and form TBD.

If you want to capitalize on the opportunity privacy presents, here are three ways to bake it into your marketing and build trust.


Stop relying on third-party data—your people trust YOU. Collect information from clients and leads yourself, but be transparent about what information is collected, how you intend to use it, and how it will make their experience better.


Ask for permission to send clients and leads your marketing materials. Permission-based marketing is all about r-e-s-p-e-c-t. And you will build better relationships and do better business as a result of taking this approach.


Gone are the days of sending something instead of something of value—if you want to be successful, that is. Consumers are smart and expect real value from your business. Delivering that will help you build trust.

Now what?!

I know, I know, this is a lot to digest. Do not freak out. As 2020 rolls, you'll see many of the terms and concepts in this post show up in your newsfeed. You'll hear the privacy topic come up in conversation, and you may even field questions about it.

Deep breaths, people! You have time to digest, strategize, and make your play. And throughout 2020, we'll dive deep into trust-building strategies and stay informed on privacy legislation, consumer expectations, and how to proceed in this brave new world.



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