When it comes to email marketing, data is worth its weight in gold. That’s why so many brands and agencies alike watch the development of laws and regulations regarding data privacy with a suspicious eye; without data, effective email marketing is next to impossible. As debates rage on and governments the world over debate the best regulations to protect consumers while not hampering businesses, a new idea for the data marketplace has increasingly gained traction: nicknamed “dollars for data” by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, among others, it is the simple premise that businesses should pay the consumer directly for the data that they use. Site Impact is--it’s no secret--very interested in data and everything that goes with it, so we’re watching the developing mainstream acceptance of the idea with interest--and questions.
The premise is fairly straightforward: Andrew Yang, among others, believe that the best way to settle the issue of data privacy and consumer worries is to charge businesses for the use of said consumer data. In short, each business that wants to access a person’s data for the purposes of marketing to them would have to pay the consumer themselves for the access. The concept has been around for a long time--certainly Yang didn’t come up with it himself--but until it became a campaign focus for a presidential candidate, it remained on the fringes of consumer privacy advocacy. There are some points to be made in the idea’s favor: it creates a direct relationship between consumers and brands, and creates a very transparent exchange (hence dollars for data).
The benefits of the “dollars for data” concept include a more informed and potentially more engaged marketing audience, and also lower rates of direct government intervention in data collection and privacy. Of course, there’s a degree to which this would necessarily have to be overseen by the government: prices would have to be set and maintained, and some form of accountability would have to be ensured. But it would achieve greater consumer control over data without as much need for direct regulation from governments. The drawbacks are considerable, however: at the most basic, this would mean an increased cost for every email marketing campaign, since every piece of data used for the campaign would have to be paid for in addition to the usual costs. For brands that work with agencies, the cost of data leasing or buying would go up accordingly.
Dollars for data may not be a new concept, but it’s one that is gaining a lot of mainstream traction after being championed by former democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. While there are definitely benefits to the idea, there are some pitfalls that may make it untenable for brands who engage in marketing--but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on to see if it turns into a viable solution for privacy and data management. Contact Site Impact to hear how we take the best of care of all of our data.