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Privacy Tech | Revamped solution helps marketing teams comply with privacy laws Related reading: New ICO project aims to facilitate privacy and innovation

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It is no secret that with the deluge of privacy regulation emerging around the world, privacy technology solutions have been sprouting up in response to help tackle compliance efforts for a variety of industries and organizations.

One vendor, however, wants to offer a tool for a department it claims has not seen much love from privacy tech: email marketing.

Munvo seeks to dive into this untapped ocean with campaignQA, a solution allowing companies to create their own set of rules for marketing campaigns to ensure there are not violations of laws like the EU General Data Protection Regulation or Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

CampaignQA is an on-premise application designed to monitor the information within all marketing campaigns to ensure any data subject who either wants certain information omitted from a campaign, or to no longer receive any form of correspondence, has their requests honored. Organizations can do this by setting up rules within the tool. Munvo has pre-selected lists to choose from based on laws such as the GDPR, or customized rules for whatever an enterprise needs to follow through its Rules Wizard feature.

“It’s very common in these softwares where people are doing their marketing for someone to sneak back in who you didn’t intend on contacting and you need those rules to omit people who must be omitted,”  Munvo Software Development Manager Brad Penwarden said. “You have these marketing automation tools that run, and we live after the fact as a goalkeeper and check against these GDPR rules for things like PII, information that they have requested not being included, and really anything you want to check for.”

campaignQA's dashboard

One of the other features of campaignQA is its Dataset Wizard. Rather than Munvo maintaining information such as an opt-out list, the tool will use a company’s preexisting data as the baseline to ensure there are no compliance violations.

“We will pick that data up and load it into our system and then next step is that you ask for a rule to confirm that everyone who has opted out is actually opted out. We will do a cross-reference against what you have identified as your opt-out list and if there is a match, we will flag you and send you a notification that says here are the rows that are offended, and we can pull them out of the list,” said Penwarden.

Munvo’s application tracks every single run of the datasets and rules and saves the results in perpetuity, allowing a marketing team to access both the reports the tool can generate, as well as the raw data from each decision that was made, giving enterprises an audit trail to showcase their compliance efforts.

CampaignQA is currently in its second iteration and is designed to support Adobe Campaign, IBM Campaign and SAS Marketing Automation, though, according to the company, it can work with products that use SQL or Excel to generate lists.

The GDPR motivated Munvo to create a product focusing on flexibility, rather than the static set of rules that were built into its first version. The tool itself was created based on the vendor’s observations regarding where quality assurance fell in the list of priorities for its clients.

“In our years working with these clients, we realized quality assurance and data validation are not something they are really thinking about. They might do a spot check here or there, but a lot of clients are not investing heavily in QA,” said Penwarden. “It’s really about trying to QA the automation process, and now with things like GDPR coming down and I’m sure more coming from North America, there is a lot more incentive to get this right.”

Creating a rule within campaignQA

As has been the case with many other GDPR-adjacent privacy-tech solutions, Penwarden believes the reason why marketing compliance products have been slow to develop has been a matter of where it stands within an organization. Marketing is usually a smaller team within a company. They need tools to help avoid being stretched too thin, especially within larger corporations with massive datasets.

With the advent of the GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, and other privacy laws around the world, quality assurance can no longer be ignored, Penwarden noted. Munvo is hoping to leverage those laws and their penalties, as well as the small number of competitors offering less flexible tools, as a path to stand out in a fresh field.

“There’s not a lot focusing on the marketing space, and this is good for us, because the industry is changing,” said Penwarden. "The pressure is starting to mount on our clients where they have to start considering it, and it’s not going to be long before it’s happening everywhere, and it will come quick. Our tool is flexible enough with the rules that we can pivot and meet demands.”

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