Dunstan Rickard, ESL FACEIT: “We’re not data owners, we are custodians”

“We’re not data owners, we are custodians”

By now, the industry has realized the immense potential within the gaming industry, with a completely new target audience that’s been unlocked. But we as an industry are still struggling with the basics, such as data privacy and trust.

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum's Director Customer Success, Max Toulliou, sat down with Dunstan Rickard, Advertising Sales Director at ESL FACEIT Group, to discuss gaming, data privacy, trust, collaboration, and more.

"We need to help consumers understand the relationship of their digital identity and how that relationship affects us and how it affects them. And that all comes down to trust, right? [...] And the industry itself inherently distrusts everyone around it and, to some extent, even itself. [...] It's a case of knowing that there's all this distrust and if we as an industry inherently distrust each other with this data, then how do we expect consumers to trust us with it?"

So true. And what it really comes down to is being transparent, educating the consumers, and realizing what Dunstan so clearly said: 

"We call ourselves data owners, which legally on paper that is what we are. But we're not. We are custodians of data. [...] The consumer has the right to say, I don't want you to have my information anymore. [...] So we don't really own it. We own it for a short amount of time. We are the custodians of that information and our relationship with that user data is therefore sacred."

This comes back to it all being about the consumer. There has to be some sort of value exchange, otherwise consumers will not entrust their data to organizations for long. And as Dunstan put it, giving value back to the consumer results in value for the business, for example, through better engagement with the players.

“It's really important that the user feels appreciated. But more importantly, whatever you ask of them, there's a reason for it, and then they're going to get something back from that.”

This is why it is so important for companies to set expectations and boundaries, and finding the right partners who share the same values. Because:

“The danger with our industry is that we've got so hooked on technology and data, we've forgotten that actually there's a message at the end of this and we think the tech should do all the heavy lifting. It's there to support that decision. But if the advertising’s rubbish, it's going to fail. The end user doesn't care how the campaign was delivered. [...] They remember the advertising message. That's what triggers their interest and I think we've in danger of losing sight of that.”

So, our question naturally was, how can we do better, especially within the gaming industry?

“In all honesty, the future is going to be defined by what we're going to be able to brag about, and how are we going to be able to own it. I think how the industry could shape itself to really differentiate would be to continue down this consented personalization path but understand that the world of the virtual and the physical are very different. The future for me is bridging those two together, matching those virtual identities and real identities so that you really have a clear understanding of who your users are. Because they're often very different and what you express from a game data perspective versus what you express from a consumer data behavior are two very different things.”

We are looking forward to seeing and making that happen!

Thanks, Dunstan, for the chat!