While discussing IoT and its possibilities of adding value to businesses, one major concern that was highlighted was consumer privacy and concern. Almost 44% of all Americans are concerned about their personal information getting stolen from their smart homes that would lead them to be hesitant to buy smart devices. It estimated that that less than 10, 000 household can generate 150 million discrete data points every day according to a Federal Trade Commission report – “Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World”. An AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report that surveyed 5000 enterprises found that only 10% of the 85% enterprises who are in the process of deploying IoT devices are confident that they could provide security against hackers.
With such alarming scenarios, it becomes extremely critical for marketers to respect privacy and security concerns of consumers while using data to develop strategies, as well as address the concerns in those strategies. While there is no way a company can prevent 100% prevention from a security or privacy breach in IoT environments, but what companies can do is to educate and prepare customers as much as possible to mitigate risk.
A responsible marketer could include this as a crucial part of their IMC strategy by including various initiatives to reach out to consumers –
- Determine Objectives of Data Collection : While marketers can be super motivated and excited about data, it is almost mandatory to ensure that data be collected with an objective in mind. Let’s face it – we do not need all the data. If a marketer has clarity on the marketing objective, followed by identifying specific requirements of data, and avoid data collection that has no relevance to the objective, there is a high possibility, the marketer is contributing in safeguarding a consumer’s personal data. 87% of consumers (Source :TRUSTe) are concerned about the type of information collected through their smart device – thus making it important to keep data collection relevant.
- Content Marketing Initiatives: Develop and share detailed tips and guidelines, from experts (hackers, programmers, developers) to prevent security and privacy breaches. These content may be disseminated through various channels regularly irrespective of whether a breach has occurred or not.88% of consumers want to control the data being collected from their device thus educating consumers about the existence, and the importance of opt-in culture is also very valuable.
- Social Media Engagement : Engaging consumers on social media, and educating them on security and privacy breaches, and actions to be taken on real time can provide a sense of trust and confidence about the brand among consumers.With 85% of consumers wanting to understand more about data being collected, their brand trust and loyalty would me more towards the company that takes initiatives to educate them.
- Paid messaging on IoT environment concerns : Nothing works like educating consumers – existing and potential. Not only they value the brand as an expert, but there is a sense of confidence and trust built as well. Billboards, advertisements, sponsorships in areas of IoT environment privacy and security are some of the great ways marketers can educate consumers about the brand.
The more a marketer goes to the root of the IoT threats and concerns and understands consumer anxiety about IoT adoption through devices and solutions, the better equipped they would get to address them.