Customer data ethics makes its first appearance on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing 2020 as it has moved into the Innovation Trigger phase of the Hype Cycle, according to Gartner, Inc. Customer data ethics focuses on aligning business practices with moral and ethical policies that reflect a company’s values.
Marketing operations where customer data ethics will be particularly important include: mobile marketing and advertising targeting, marketing campaign design, customer segmentation, passive data collection, and customer service and loyalty programs. However, Gartner expects customer data ethics to take at least 10 years to reach full adoption.
“The need for customer data ethics arises from two factors – concentrated market power of a few digital tech giants controlling massive amounts of customer data and consumers’ deep seated concerns about how their data is collected and used,” said Mike McGuire, vice president analyst in Gartner’s Marketing practice. “In five to 10 years demand for the ethical treatment of customer data will intensify as consumer trust decreases. To win back consumer trust, marketers must talk about customer data ethics and demonstrate, in transparent ways, their commitment to be more than legally compliant.”
Among the 21 technologies represented in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing, 2020 (see Figure 1), customer data ethics and four other technologies have the capability to transform how marketers respond to changing conditions.