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3 ways to stop pissing off consumers with your privacy policy

3 ways to stop pissing off consumers with your privacy policy David Zaleski
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Get rid of the lengthy 20 page privacy policy

Today's consumers are pretty fed up with companies writing and making you agree to a privacy policy that's longer than most novellas. There's no reason your conditions need to be so lengthy, and to the average consumer it clearly looks like you're either trying to hide something or really don't want to get sued. Having a clear, legally sound policy is important, but it doesn't mean it can't be succinct and concise. If you re-write your policy to be short and easy to read, you will be giving power to the consumer that will make them feel much better about engaging with your brand. Transparency from companies is critical in today's world, and a multi-page obnoxious privacy policy just won't cut it.

Amy King, VP of product marketing at Evidon, speaks to iMedia's David Zaleski about why huge and intimidating privacy policies should be phased out for clearer, more understandable terms and conditions.

Put privacy at the core of your company's data strategy

Privacy should not be an afterthought. It should be front and center at meetings you have with your colleagues and your CMO. If you put privacy as a priority you will avoid angry customers and users in the long run because you won't be scrambling to come up with a position later when you launch a new product or service. This is a very important point. If you think about privacy from the onset, you will be able to build necessary privacy tools into new products before they even hit the consumer market. Consumers look at new products with a certain amount of skepticism. When Facebook was launched, users were concerned with privacy. To this day, consumers are confused about their privacy rights when they use Apple products or services. Don't take bad lessons from these good companies. Build in very clear privacy options, opt-outs and information in the beginning of product inception.

Amy King, VP of product marketing at Evidon, continues our conversation by explaining why having privacy concerns at the front of your mind when building new products is not only smart, but will also save you from user backlash later.

Take accountability when things screw up

Not everything is going to work out perfectly all the time. Inevitably, there will be consumers who will complain about how you are collecting and using their personal information. The unfortunate thing is that it's the brands that take the heat for bad decisions, not the agency or vendor. Most average consumers aren't even aware that brands hire agencies to do their marketing, and they're certainly not aware that agencies hire vendors. Protect your clients by taking accountability when things go wrong. Change things immediately if a privacy policy or rule you have is causing customer uproar. It's easy for agencies to fight battles like these, but it's ultimately your client who will be taking the punches.

Amy King ends our conversation by speaking about why agencies need to include their clients on every major privacy decision and to be in agreement, so that consumer backlash doesn't come out of left field for agency clients.

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Videos edited by Associate Media Producer Brian Waters

"Angry woman with shopping bags," "Person under crumpled pile of papers with hand holding a help sign," "Privacy Concept.," and "Man standing on his knees and asking for forgiveness" images via Shutterstock.

David Zaleski is the Media Production Manager for iMedia Communications, Inc. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Film & Television Production, specializing in editing, animation and television lighting.  Before...

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