What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Data Privacy Today

Data Privacy in B2B Marketing

Data Privacy in B2B Marketing

You enter a dim and shadowy room. Sitting before you is a wizened fortune teller, staring deeply into the mysterious glowing orb before her.

As her hands hover over the crystal ball, she notices your skeptical frown. So, in order to validate her mystical powers, the stranger begins reciting facts about you: your name, where you’re from, where you went to college, which restaurant you ate at last week.

“What is this sorcery?” you cry, your face growing pale.

She pauses, smirks, and turns around her orb for you to see within. Turns out it’s merely a computer display, with your personal online data aggregated and readily available. The fortune teller reaches up and pulls off her mask to reveal… she’s an advertiser! And suddenly she’s pitching you on accounting software!



You awaken from your nightmare with an unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach, knowing it was all too real. One might expect their personal details to supernaturally emerge in the fortune teller’s booth, but not during their leisurely exploration of the web. Oh, wait a minute …

For B2B marketers and customers alike, data privacy is a hot-button issue that won’t be going away anytime soon, with only 17% of consumers believing their personal information is “very secure” online. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know, both now and as you look ahead to your future.

What is Data Privacy?

We all know that when we use the internet, our activities and information are often recorded and stored. But data privacy governs the way this info is collected, shared, and used.

There has always been a contingent of the population with concerns around online data privacy (my mom refused to enter her credit card information on the internet for a good 10 years), but now these concerns are becoming more rampant and pervasive amidst prominent news headlines and frustrating first-hand experiences.

Data privacy is now a part of our societal consciousness. Every business must account for it — especially as trust becomes an increasingly essential factor and regulations begin to clamp down.

The State of Data Privacy in the business World

We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being implemented in the European Union. The sweeping new data privacy law showed its teeth in January when a $57 million fine was levied upon Google for disclosure violations.

Essentially, GDPR comes down being clear about how you’re collecting and using data, and gaining explicit consent to do so — which is especially applicable to marketers as we strive to be more data and insight driven to create personalized experiences.

Companies that operate in the EU have already been forced to reexamine their data privacy practices to ensure they’re aligned with the new guidelines. And across the world, proactive business leaders are showing support for the initiative, recognizing without the need for a crystal ball that this path represents the way of the future.

Privacy Statistics in Light of GDPR
(via Demandbase)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has suggested that the U.S. should follow suit. “We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States,” he said during a keynote speech in Brussels late last year, adding that our personal information is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency.”

This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy. – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opines that the GDPR is “a fantastic start in treating privacy as a human right. I hope that in the United States we do something similar, and that the world converges on a common standard.”

We seem to be heading that way. There are already regulations in place governing commercial communications, such as CASL in Canada and CAN-SPAM in the U.S., but it seems inevitable these will eventually give way to broader data privacy laws.

As a result, brands everywhere should take a hard look at their own customer data practices, not just because of these looming legal implications but even more so because it’s plain-old good business. In fact, a study by SAP found that 79% of consumers will ditch a brand if they learn their personal data is being used without their knowledge.

Considerations for B2B marketers

In discussions of data privacy, there’s almost always a focus on the consumer impact, which can make it seem like more of a B2C issue on the surface. But of course, business buyers are people too, and when brand assets are at play, the scrutiny around data protection can be heightened.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you contemplate data privacy and how it relates to your B2B marketing strategy.

Transparency Holds the Key

The tricky thing is that while we can all understand the reservations people have about their data being leveraged for marketing purposes, we also know that customers (whether B2B or B2C) want personalization. And the only way we can really deliver on that is by leveraging data for marketing purposes.

Therefore, it’s all about transparency. Whenever possible, be up-front and clear about when you’re collecting data, and why. Clarity is key: don’t bury them in small-print legalese.

[bctt tweet=”It’s all about transparency. Whenever possible, be up-front and clear about when you’re collecting data, and why. – @NickNelsonMN #B2BMarketing #DataPrivacy” username=”toprank”]

Be Cognizant of the Company You Keep

When polled by DemandBase last year, 80% of B2B marketers expressed some level of concern that their marketing technology vendors could expose them to risk for running afoul of GDPR guidelines. This speaks to another potential hazard: people will hold our brands accountable if they have a bad experience with us, even if we’re not the ones who ran afoul.

It’s smart to be rigorous in vetting the data privacy practices of other businesses you partner with, especially if they influence customer touch points.

Collect Only the Data You Really Need

Have you ever downloaded an app and had it ask permission to access information on your phone for no obvious reason? “Why is this calculator asking to get into my contacts?” That kinda thing immediately sets off alarms.

Quality over quantity. Be judicious in the data you seek to acquire and make the most of it.

[bctt tweet=”Quality over quantity. Be judicious in the data you seek to acquire and make the most of it. – @NickNelsonMN #B2BMarketing #DataPrivacy” username=”toprank”]

Protect Your Customers, Protect Your Brand

Will.i.am is a musician, not a fortune-teller, but he still laid out a compelling vision for the future in a piece he wrote for The Economist recently.

“Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs will create virtuous companies that honour people’s data,” he foretold. “They will make use of my data with my consent but I will always own it.”

Why wait until tomorrow? B2B marketers would be wise to adopt this mindset now. I’ve argued before that data-driven marketing can play a major role in restoring the trust that has diminished amidst high-profile corporate breaches and fraud.

Be virtuous in your approach. Honor as sacred the personal information of those you serve. Gather consent but understand that you don’t own the data; you’re only borrowing it to be helpful.

This is a new world and we’re all figuring it out together. There are no magical solutions. But the first and most important step to a strong data privacy program is to be thoughtful and purposeful about how customer data factors at every level of your B2B marketing operation.

Hungry for more insights on this topic? Check out my recent post to learn about the state of trust in marketing, how we got here, and where we’re heading.

The post What B2B marketers Need to Know About Data Privacy Today appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

7 Ways to Instantly Increase Your Authority Online

7 Ways to Instantly Increase Your Authority Online

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

You’ve spent dozens of hours to bring people back to your website… just to see them go away. And never come back.

The number of comments, social shares and returning visitors? Embarrassing.

How many subscribers? Too little.

How about sales and fans? It’s just disappointing.

It feels like people don’t care about your message and the value you bring to them.

How is this even possible?

And more important…

Can you change all of that?

Maybe if people start seeing you as an authority, you can change that. If you become an authority, people will listen to you.

And with people listening to you… subscribers, sales and fans will be just a part of your daily routine.


How do you become an authority?

Let me show you a few tricks…

1. Upload the right photos

I see too many website owners who underestimate the power of a picture. Someone said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Just a single picture can have a huge impact on the way people perceive you.

The idea here is to use your pictures to boost your authority.


You have many ways to do that…

The specifics depend on your niche, the pictures you have and the ones you can make.

Here’s an interesting example by Kulwant Nagi from Blogging Cage.

Upload the right image like Kulwant Nagi from Blogging Cage for increase authority

You can see him with Neil Patel in the picture… and if you’re interested in internet marketing, the chances are that you already know who Neil Patel is.

By showing a picture with a big authority in the field, Kulwant is basically communicating that he is an authority too.

But that is not the only way to harness the power of pictures. Here’s another example by Donna Moritz:

Upload the right image like Donna moritz for increase authority

You can see that she is speaking in front of an audience. That is conveying authority.

If people gather to a place and pay to listen to you, it means you have something valuable to share.

Don’t limit yourself, you have so many options when it comes to using pictures to increase your authority:

  • Do you teach dance on your blog? Post a picture where you are at the center of the stage for an exhibition.
  • Are you a nutritionist? Upload a picture of you in a coat.
  • Are you a life coach? Show a glimpse of your cool lifestyle.

2. Write a case study

Case studies are very powerful: you basically show people that you know how to get results – either for yourself or for someone else.

And a person who can get results is considered an authority.

Now, there’s a good and wrong way to write a case study.

The wrong way is to have just a mass of text with no proof.

The right way is to insert visual proof of anything that you can think about.

For example, you can take a look at my blog post “1700% Traffic Increase with a Simple Digital Marketing Strategy“.

You’ll notice lots of screenshots. Not only did I insert screenshots that prove my results, but I also placed a ton of images to show the process that I am teaching: this shows that I really know the topic.

Write a Case Study for increase authority

Other than showing your own results, you can write about your clients’ ones.

A perfect example comes from this LeadQuizzes’s case studies.

LeadQuizzes Case Study for increase authority

I love what they did there.

They created a page with all their case studies and made it super-prominent – it’s in the menu near their logo, you just can’t miss it.

LeadQuizzes for increase authority

3. Get some testimonials

Testimonials work perfectly but are hard to get…

… unless you use a simple Jedi trick.

If your website provides value to people, you’ll get an email from a person who wants to thank you –  at least once in a while.

That’s the perfect moment to collect your testimonial: just ask the person if you can show his/her message on your website. The chances are that he/she is going to say yes.

By the way, this works also if you get a tweet, a message on Facebook or a comment on Instagram.

Notice that you can do this even without clients. A reader who thanks you is good enough.

And let me tell you that this is also retroactive: as long as you don’t delete your emails or messages, you can still capture your screenshot.

Once you have your testimonials, use them wildly.

Do you know how many testimonials Ramit Sethi has on one of his sales pages?


Get Some Testimonials for increase authority

That’s a ton of testimonials.

Your home page, sidebar, about page, emails, and sales pages are all perfect places for your testimonials.

4. Get associated with other authorities

The human mind, unconsciously, judges a person based on who he or she surrounds himself/herself with.

So, if you have interactions with other experts in your field, you’ll be associated with them – thus people will perceive you as an authority too.

Now, hanging out with authorities in your niche may be quite hard…

… but you don’t need to!

You just have to show that you can interact with them.

The simplest way is to interview some authorities.

The interview route has been taken by some very famous bloggers. For example Pat Flynn.

Get Associated with other authorities for increase authority

Most of the time experts will say yes to an interview – it’s free publicity for them.

And it will take you just a few hours between contacting, recording and editing!

And if you are shy or don’t like to talk in front of a recorder, you can always make a written interview.

The result is the same though – people will associate you with the authority you interview.

Another chance is to publish a round-up post.

You’ll have to work harder, but you’ll be associated with more experts in one shot.

5. Show your certifications

There’s a strange phenomenon that I still can’t explain.

When people apply for a job, they craft a marvelous curriculum full of all kinds of certifications, accomplishments, titles, etc…

… but when they craft a website, they forget altogether about these!

It is not like a degree doesn’t count on the web.

You probably spent dozens/hundreds of hours to get a certification – of any kind. Use it!

Do you have a relevant degree?

Take a picture of it and slam it on your about page.

Are you a certified yoga teacher?

Don’t limit yourself to writing about it, show it!

Here’s an example by Lindsay Kirsch:

Show your Certificates like Lindsay Kirsch for increase authority

Even if you don’t know anything about DigitalMarketer, ActiveCampaign and Lean Six Sigma, you’ll have a better first impression of Lindsay thanks to these logos.

Certifications will simply increase your authority. The more you have, the better.

6. Share interesting stories

I am flabbergasted by the number of people who don’t leverage stories in their Online business.

An interesting story is a very powerful tool to convey authority and bond with readers at the same time.

Stories are so effective, that I am using one in the first couple of emails of my autoresponder sequence.

Share Interesting Stories for increase authority

Of course, not every story is good.

First things first: your story has to convey your expertise.

Then, it’s better to show some kind of transformation – so that readers can identify themselves with you.

And finally, be sure that everyone reads your story.

Once I believed that everyone would read my about page… so I put my story only there. Then I discovered that almost no one was reading it!

Now I take any chance to share my story – including my sales page:

My Story for increase authority

One of the best decisions of my life!

It increased my sales by a lot.

7. Talk about a weakness

Everyone has weaknesses.

But few people talk about them.


It requires confidence to do it.

By sharing a weakness you have, you show confidence and you can bond with your readers.

Take for example this amazing post by Jon Morrow:

Talk about a weakness like Smart Blogger for increase authority

It’s one of his most popular blog posts – it counts 261 comments at the moment.


So… can you talk about any weakness?

No, some of them are better than others.

First of all, you want to share a weakness that has been an obstacle in your field.  Among them, you want to pick a weakness that you have overcome.

In this way, you’ll show that you both are human and have experience in your field.

Think about it…

Let’s suppose that you want to lose weight. There are two personal trainers close to you: one has always been in great shape, the other was previously overweight and then lost a ton of fat.

Which one would you prefer hiring?

I’m pretty sure that the second one will resonate more with you and will seem more experienced than the first one.


Now it’s your time.

You can decide to be ignored or you can get to work and be the authority you want to be.

Imagine how it will feel when loads of people will come to you for your advice…

… how will it feel when you have lots of clients and raving fans?

Does it feel good?

Well, then it’s time to accomplish all of that.

Guest author: Andrew Morrison is a digital marketing strategist who helps bloggers, marketers, and entrepreneurs turn their websites into fine-tuned businesses. He has been an Online business owner since 2011, but he didn’t get to work on a tropical beach yet because his girlfriend loves winter! Follow his blog for practical digital marketing tips.

The post 7 Ways to Instantly Increase Your Authority Online appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Why DuckDuckGo matters

The growth of DuckDuckGo suggests users are in the market for a platform whose value proposition is built on protecting privacy.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.