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On March 17, The New York Times reported that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica misused personal data on more than 50 million Facebook users in order to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. Though politics are the central theme, the incident has also raised questions about the implications of marketing influence in a modern world – marketing driven by data.

We understand that marketers may be facing questions and second-guessing strategies involving data science, predictive analytics, targeting, data privacy and Facebook itself. This POV breaks down the reported scandal, clarifies what pertains to pharma marketers, and lays out recommendations in light of the news.

Short on time? Here are our seven key takeaways:

  1. Go small. Capture only the minimum data needed.
  2. Be transparent about how you use data.
  3. Ask the right questions of your agencies and vendors regarding data collection, use and ownership.
  4. Understand regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR, which goes into effect May 25.
  5. Seek pharma-friendly partners that understand the regulations and risks.
  6. Protect your own privacy. To protect your own privacy on Facebook, see this guide from Wired.
  7. Don’t despair. Don’t let current events sour your view of the powerful possibilities of marketing in a data-driven world.

Have time to read the entire POV? Download it here.