Brands told to prioritise data privacy in consumer engagement
Stakeholders in integrated marketing communications industry have urged brands to adapt to the evolving consumer journey, maintain transparency in data collection and usage, prioritise customers’ data privacy, and continuously engage consumers.
They added that brands that prioritise customer-centric approaches are more likely to succeed in the evolving digital landscape.
They made this known at the maiden Media Consortium Conference and Awards (MCCA) 2023, which held recently at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers in Ikeja, Lagos with the theme ‘Consumer Journey in a Digital Age: Prospects and Challenges’.
In his welcome address, Mr. Adetunji Faleye, co-convener, MCCA said the event was conceptualised to be the foremost thought leadership platform to dissect industry issues, share insights, and reward outstanding brands and individuals for their contributions to the industry, consumer journey, and the business landscape.
Speaking on the theme, the keynote speaker, Chief Operating Officer, Clan Africa, Obafemi Darabidan, said the digital age has ushered in several exciting prospects for businesses that can adapt to the evolving consumer journey.
He added that consumers are becoming more concerned about their online privacy and urged businesses to maintain transparency in data collection and usage.
According to him, “the digital age has fundamentally altered how consumers interact with brands, products or services, offering both opportunities and challenges for businesses. Those who adapt to this shifting landscape and embrace digital channels stand to thrive in this era.”
He, therefore, tasked brands to map the customer journey, offer a personalised experience, integrate their digital channels, prioritise data security, increase reach, and improve customer engagement and data-driven insights.
The second keynote speaker and the immediate Past President, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, Tony Agenmonmen, said the rise of the digital era has fundamentally transformed the way we interact, purchase, and engage with products and services.
He also explained that the challenges in the digital consumer journey in Nigeria are enormous. Some of these are the digital divide, data privacy concerns, information overload, security risks, infrastructure limitations, and competition in a crowded space.
“The digital world has lowered barriers to entry for businesses, resulting in intense competition. Companies must find innovative ways to differentiate themselves and stay relevant in an overcrowded market.”
Some of the strategies he proffered that brands should consider include investment in infrastructure, seamless user experience, data-driven personalisation, innovation and adaptation, transparency, and trust, investing in cyber security, and localised content.
“Nigeria’s digital age presents immense prospects and challenges in the consumer journey. As businesses and policymakers, understanding the digital consumer in Nigeria and leveraging digital tools effectively can lead to enhanced engagement and growth.”
However, it is essential to address challenges like the digital divide, data privacy, and cybersecurity to ensure a secure and inclusive digital future for Nigerian consumers,” he stressed.
Panelists also added more insights to what the keynote speakers had said. The panel session was moderated by Dr. Oludare Ogunyombo, Principal Partner, D’Intel Pearls Services Ltd, and had experts from Sandra Amachree, Lead, Marketing Communications, Nigerian Breweries; Timothy Ogundele, Head, Marketing, Checkers Africa; Obinna Inogbo, the Principal PR Executive at Worktainment Limited, Nelson Ochonogor, Head, Production Management BaaS &Integration, FCMB; and Mr. Segun McMedal, Immediate Past Chairman, NIPR Lagos State chapter shared their own point of views, citing the example of how their organisations have put the consumer at the centre of their operations and how they are responding to consumer concerns.
They disclosed that most customers don’t know that by clicking on a cookie on a website they have given access to their information and for it to be shared. In summary, they urged brands to prioritise data security, get familiar with all data protection laws, reach their consumers wherever they are, and ensure they are transparent with their business operations.
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