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Unpacking the Crucial Role of Security in Managing Intent Data

Melody Selby
March 20, 2024 6 MIN Blog

Intent data is a powerful tool that helps B2B marketers prioritize in-market accounts, know which personas to engage across the buying committee, and understand what content is most likely to convert.

When used in an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy, intent data helps you develop more personalized experiences, reveals how engaged accounts are progressing through the purchasing journey based on buying committee behaviors, and identifies areas for optimization. Yet, this increased reliance on data to build better campaigns also brings challenges around ensuring privacy and security across every touchpoint. With cyberattacks on the rise and data protection laws and regulations becoming stricter, keeping data safe and compliant is no longer just good for business—it’s a business requirement.   

How can you balance the need for buyer intent data to create more relevant marketing collateral that engages customers while maintaining customer privacy and security? Let’s delve into why intent data security is essential for successful marketing motions and how to place stronger safeguards around it. 

Why Intent Data Privacy and Security Matters

Intent data captures sensitive account and buyer information, including personally identifiable information (PII) that needs proper care in how it’s collected and protected. When it falls into the wrong hands, this data provides a treasure trove of personal details. Therefore, you need robust privacy and security measures around your intent data. 

Companies that mishandle the collection, use, and storage of intent data face the erosion of customer trust, steep financial penalties, and damage to your brand’s reputation. Taking proactive data privacy and security measures not only helps you build and maintain customer trust but also protects your businesses from legal repercussions, allowing you to leverage intent data as a strategic asset rather than a liability.

How to Take a Proactive Approach to Customer Privacy and Data Security 

Protecting customer privacy and securing data involves following internal procedures and complying with national and international regulations. Following these rules, guidelines, and best practices demonstrates your commitment to data privacy and security to fortify your organization against threats and build customer trust.  Here’s how:  

Enforce Strict PII Data Security Controls 

PII is any information about a specific individual that can be used to uncover their identity, such as their social security number, full name, email address or phone number. 

Securely handling PII isn’t just a legal obligation but represents a key pillar of a company’s ethical commitment to data security. Remember the Twitter/X breach in January 2023, where over 220 million email addresses were exposed, leading to potential phishing scams and malware attacks? Implementing robust encryption methodologies, secure authorization controls, and stringent data management practices can mitigate the risk of unauthorized access and potential data breaches. Leveraging techniques such as anonymization and pseudonymization enhance protection and reduce the potential exposure of sensitive personal data. When evaluating your security protocols and engaging with third-party data providers, ensure you follow these PII protection methods:  

  • Encryption: Scramble PII to make it unreadable without decryption.  
  • Access Controls: Limit access to authorized individuals or systems.  
  • Data Masking: Replace sensitive data with fictional but realistic values like symbols or scrambling the characters.  
  • Secure Transmission: Use secure communication protocols like HTTPS or VPNs when handling secure data.  
  • Regular Auditing and Monitoring: Detect and prevent unauthorized access through ongoing monitoring and audits.  

Adhere to Global Security and Privacy Regulations  

Locking down your internal system with methods like encryption and access controls is one part of your fight against trouble and preserving data quality—the other comes from maintaining and following global security and privacy regulations, particularly in the context of intent data collection and use.   

Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) have established stringent requirements for the collection, storage, and usage of personal data. These mandates require businesses to establish comprehensive and rigorous data security practices. Failure to do so can result in substantial penalties, legal consequences, and damage to corporate reputation.  

Regular audits of data handling processes, comprehensive data protection policies, and consistent training on appropriate data management and handling procedures can significantly enhance compliance. Your business must understand these regulations clearly, integrate them diligently into your data security frameworks, and hold third-party partners or vendors accountable. 

Working with organizations that adhere to strict guidelines and global regulations through SOC-2 compliance shows a strong commitment to customer privacy and data security. This voluntary compliance standard for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), specifies how organizations should manage customer data. The standard is based on the following Trust Services Criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. 

Establish a Data Security Culture   

Data privacy and security regulations are constantly changing, with new mandates and updates to existing laws significantly impacting compliance requirements. Your organization must stay vigilant, be conscious of regulatory changes, and adapt data security practices accordingly. Taking a proactive approach can help your company avoid legal issues and maintain a reputation as a reliable custodian of customer data. 

Implementing solid data security protocols also improves lead generation quality by ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the data used to source leads. This allows you and your teams to focus efforts on potential customers who are genuinely interested and more likely to convert, thereby enhancing overall conversion rates. 

Here are some other tips to create a stronger data security culture at your organization: 

  • Strengthening alignment with your IT and security teams on data security practices fosters greater collaboration and understanding, leading to improved results. Forrester research finds that only 17% of decision-makers in enterprise risk management said that marketing had supported their efforts in the last 12 months. Combat these concerns by playing a more critical role in protecting customer data and preventing problems with data corruption that affect business processes and decisions.  
  • Focus on relevant data you need for account validation and avoid excessive personalization. 
  • Exercise caution with public generative AI models to prevent data leakage.

Establishing a stronger data security culture throughout the business helps secure your future success in the digital landscape. 

Turn Data Security into a Competitive Advantage 

While intent data is a B2B marketer’s secret weapon in converting their best accounts faster, the mishandling of how it’s obtained, stored, and used can lead to severe consequences. Data privacy and security compliance isn’t just about following the rules—it’s about reinforcing an ongoing commitment to data security. By prioritizing customer privacy and integrating compliance with your overall data security strategy, you make a clear statement: you are dedicated to protecting your customers, your data, and your reputation. It’s a strategic move that pays dividends in trust, reliability, and market positioning.  In securing your intent data, you’re not just preventing a data breach but also propelling your business toward growth, success, and a dominant market position.   

At Madison Logic, our commitment to data security and data integrity stands as the cornerstone of our operations. We adhere to strict guidelines and global regulations, including SOC 2 certification, GDPR, CCPA, CASL, and more, that help employ robust security measures to safeguard sensitive information. You can find out more about our commitment to data quality, data security, and privacy practices through our Trust Center.