Why ISO 27001 is Important for Marketers

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Data security has always been important, but urgency around security only grew during the pandemic when many industries – such as healthcare – experienced all-time highs in the volume of security breaches.

Marketing has also transformed over the past several years. Customers don’t just prefer personalized experiences – they demand them. And if you miss the mark on personalization, a customer will delete your marketing emails, keep scrolling online, and ultimately lose interest in your company and products. So it’s no surprise marketers are spending more on technology to support this increased demand around personalization. But this technology depends on data, and having more of it requires greater security. 

As you shop for technology, you might have heard about ISO 27001. But what is it? 

ISO 27001 is an accreditation that shows a company has a strict set of standards for securely handling customer data. As you consider what it means for your marketing department, here are a few things to consider.

Why ISO 27001 is Important for Marketers

Helps Keep Customer Data Confidential and Private 

With the rise in security breaches, customers care more than ever about the safety of their data. If a customer hands you personal information, they want to know they won’t regret it later. The challenge is that customer confidence around data security is already pretty low, with 70% saying they don’t think businesses do enough to secure personal information and that it’s likely been compromised without their knowledge. With trust levels already so low, it falls on marketing to rebuild that trust. 

Many governments have already stepped up to help, with Europe creating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California creating the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). But in addition to meeting relevant regulatory requirements, marketers can choose technology partners that have undergone optional ISO 27001 certification to strengthen their security. 

Supports Personalization and Improved ROI

Customers are getting pickier about how they expect to be treated. Send a customer the same email they positively responded to a decade ago; today, that person will skim and delete it without a second thought. Customers want more, so marketers are responding to the call. 

Over half of marketers say that personalization is their top priority. At the root of this priority is giving customers a better experience, according to 88% of marketers. Audience segmentation is required to do this successfully, helping you speak to people in a way that makes them feel known. But it’s impossible to personalize without data, so you must convince prospects and customers that it’s safe to share it. 

Working with partners that have adopted recognized security standards, such as ISO 27001, tells customers your business does things the right way. As security becomes more important to customers, businesses that can’t prove strict security measures will quickly be taken out of the running. 

Helps Build Brand Loyalty 

Nothing erodes brand loyalty faster than a data breach. Once trust is broken through a breach, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to rebuild it. A recent report found that nearly half of the organizations surveyed suffered reputation damage due to data breaches, and almost one-fifth struggled with reputation and brand damage due to a third-party security breach. And the cost of breaches is rising fast, reaching a 17-year high of $4.24 million in 2021. 

Working with ISO 27001 certified partners helps reduce security breach risk through ongoing work to spot and fix security weaknesses. ISO 27001 certification means your partner is working to evolve security policy, objectives, risk assessments and more to keep customer data safe. 

This extra due diligence supports brand loyalty. Customers who have successfully shared data with you in the past will feel more comfortable doing so in the future. Sure, they could make a switch to a competitor, but if they’re concerned about data security, this factor weighs heavily on the decision. 

Supports a Competitive Advantage 

Does it feel like marketing is getting more competitive? You’re not imagining it; the statistics support that competition is, in fact, getting more difficult. Eighty-seven percent of companies report that their market has become more competitive in the past few years, and 49% say it’s become much more competitive. 

So what can marketers do? 

It comes down to your ability to personalize, meeting customers exactly where they are on the customer journey. And, of course, to do that, you need data. Getting that data requires you to prove trustworthiness, and this trust gives you a competitive advantage. 

Keeping your company’s name out of the headlines by upping data security is a good first step to getting an edge on the competition. Then you need to communicate to customers what you’re doing to stay more secure so they trust you. 

With customer data in hand, you can do a better job of personalizing, which is where the big payoffs start to happen. Talking to your customers in a way that feels like you “get them” gives you a vote of confidence, so they open more emails, download more content, and speak to your salespeople. According to McKinsey & Company, personalization drives performance and better outcomes. The fastest-growing companies drive 40% more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.

Marketing Automation and ISO 27001

You might already use marketing automation, and if so, you know how powerful it can be to building a business and growing revenue. Marketing automation helps you segment customers fast, send more relevant messages, create trigger emails and reach out at a time that feels serendipitous to customers. But back to security … how can you ensure that your marketing automation technology is secure? It’s a great question and one that more marketing teams are asking. And it comes down to data. 

Data is one of your marketing team’s biggest assets, and it’s part of your job to protect it. One way to do that better is to work with a marketing automation partner with international certification, such as ISO 27001. A partner with this certification gives you confidence that: 

  1. Security processes are continuously reviewed. Ongoing review is part of the ISO 27001 framework. Feel certain that processes are under ongoing scrutiny. 
  2. The risk of exposure is minimized. ISO 27001 certification requires vendors to undergo a rigorous process, ensuring that data is handled securely at every turn. The framework is designed to reduce security risk and costly exposure. 
  3. Customer confidence is built. You can build trust, confidence and loyalty by showing customers that you’re serious about security – it’s a top priority. 

Meeting ISO 27001 requirements isn’t a one-time process. It’s a constant commitment to security, the security framework and protecting one of your team’s most valuable assets – customer data. The framework makes sure that you never let your guard down, and with this assurance, you can feel confident that you have what you need to build and keep customer trust. 

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