Compliance Benefits of Open-Source Marketing Automation
by Chandler Craig
The most essential ingredient to marketing automation software is customer data. You need to know, for example, when a customer interacts with a particular product feature in order to automate well-timed email responses with relevant feature tips. You need to know the age of a customer when running campaigns that require age-specific segmentation. Marketers rely on their engineering teams to connect customer data from CRMs, CDPs, and data warehouses to their marketing automation software. Once the data is flowing in, the magic begins. Event triggers, messaging automation, complex workflows, and analytics all synchronize with your customers’ movements online.
But these once magical tools are slowly becoming a liability as the global regulatory environment shifts towards increased protections of customers and their data. Gartner predicts that 75% of the global population will have its data protected under new regulations by the end of 2024. While increased data protection is good, it requires corporate changes to current practices. Third party marketing software like Hubspot Marketing Hub, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign ingest your customer data from your source of truth: Salesforce, Snowflake, Segment, etc. They store copies of your data on their platforms, making it more vulnerable to misuse and attack. If Marketo has a data breach and your company uses their software, regulators could hold your company accountable even though it wasn’t your company’s fault. The more places your customer data lives outside of your internal systems, the more risk you take on.
Beyond data breaches, there are other reasons to consider wrangling your customer data back to an internal database. GDPR, The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, gives individuals many new rights with regards to who has access to their personal data. The “right to be forgotten” allows customers to request that a company delete all record of them. Imagine a customer coming to you with this request. You’d have to go to each third party software provider that stores your customer data to request data deletion. How do you know if they’ve done a thorough job? How much back and forth communication will it take before the job is done? How is this scaleable if multiple customers make the same request at the same time?
Thankfully, there’s been a recent renaissance of open-source software that allows companies to self-host many of the tools they currently use in the form of third-party hosted software. Dittofeed is building open-source marketing automation software to give companies the option to safeguard their customer data within the walls of their own castles. This allows for easier compliance within the global regulatory environment. It also means you can use the software forever without the risk of price changes or exits interrupting service or impacting your bottom line.