Change is coming. Here’s how to prepare
What’s privacy-first marketing?
Everything you do online – every like, visit, purchase – leaves a digital impression. And every impression is made up of data that’s totally unique to you, and incredibly valuable to marketers looking to use your online behaviour to target you.
In a privacy-first world, brands must provide a true value exchange in return for customer consent.
This transition puts customers in charge of when and where they share their data – and that builds trust. So brands have to be transparent about how they’ll use this data to deliver a better customer experience.
of people feel that almost all of their online activity is being tracked.
Source: Pew Research Center
Trust. A small word with so much meaning.
And there’s been a significant decline in trust between consumers and marketers, with 81% of people saying the risks of brands collecting their data outweigh the benefits.
But this is more than bruised pride. It raises questions about our industry’s relevance, authority and ability to deliver value. After all, you don’t get something for nothing.
Trust us, we’re marketers.
Trust has been eroded, and users are increasingly wary of how their data is being exploited – and that’s not just down to recent negative headlines.
According to a 2019 report from the Ad Association, the advertising industry is at the bottom of the list when it comes to public trust.
And only 15% of people say they enjoy ads, compared to 30% of people 30 years ago (according to research by Kantar).
Once that trust is gone, it’s hard to regain.
The holy trinity of data.
The worry and wariness users experience is a symptom of a deeper crisis. One that raises questions of relevance, authority and the ability to deliver value.
It boils down to this: is your user getting something worthwhile in exchange for their data?
An overreliance on targeting.
Targeted advertising can help you reach people whose needs match your products or services. But targeting alone isn’t enough.
Because there’s a stack of advanced audience targeting tactics available through digital advertising platforms, it can be tempting to overlook ad creative and messaging.
Instead, many brands let third-party cookies do the heavy lifting, depending on them for targeting because they can be used to pinpoint the right audience at scale.
And this is where the problem lies.
The cookie crumbles
Cookies weren’t always viewed as privacy-invasive advertising weapons. They started life as a way to help websites work better and actually benefited the user.
But that changed in the early 2000s when marketers started using third-party cookies to solve two big marketing challenges: large-scale audience targeting and online attribution.
The subsetting of third-party cookies means advertisers lose access to the tracking identifiers they’ve relied on for 20 years. And that has a huge knock-on effect across all aspects of online advertising, which presents significant technological challenges.
Apple takes a bite
out of advertising
In September 2020, Apple released its iOS 14 update. Their feature, App Tracking Transparency, means users can now choose whether apps can collect their data across other apps and websites.
Cue big changes in how advertising works on its devices – and, with 94% of advertisers using Facebook Advertising as part of their strategy – big impacts on the digital advertising industry.
Balancing privacy with the need for relevance.
We’re at a crossroads. Is the shift to a privacy-first internet a change marketing will struggle to adapt to, or will we see it as a challenge to rise to?
The way data is handled is going through a fundamental shift; a change that affects all marketers in all disciplines.
But it’s an opportunity, not a problem.
We need to deliver value for customers and profits for businesses in a way that respects privacy. And we need to start now, not wait for others to come up with the solution.
of customers are wiling to share their information if they see value in it.
So. Do you twist or stick? It’s a no-brainer.
Ultimately, people want an improved experience, and – so long as they feel it’s worthwhile – they’ll be willing to give up their data in return.
That means brands must invest in creating content, experiences and convenience that are worth the data exchange.
People have a right to feel safe online and be in control of how their personal data is collected and used. Now’s the time to communicate this to your customers and explain your brand’s value exchange.
The cycle begins
Everything goes full circle: fashion, interiors, and now advertising. What worked for the Golden Age of Advertising from the 1960s to the 1980s will work again in the privacy-first era.
So what does this mean for marketers?
Advertisers and publishers will need to depend on their own first-party data, or on data that has context. What does that mean? Placing your ads on sites focused on the subject people are interested in or searching for, rather than relying on third-party data or data from social media platforms.
Ask yourself: How do I get the results I need? And how will I effectively connect with my customers in a privacy-first future?
Line up your
It’s time to use data to connect with your customers in a way that respects their privacy. They’re people, not numbers, so think about where and how you target them in a way that relies on their humanity.
Adjusting to this privacy-first landscape requires transformation across business processes, technology, data collection, curation, targeting and marketing communications.
And we can help you adapt.
The early adapter captures the data
We’ve identified four components that should be on every brand’s radar over the next few months:
- Privacy – user consent, data collection and curation
Identity – variables used for media targeting and activation
- Data – reporting and attribution, personalisation and analytics
- Technology – tools and software used to connect the dots and orchestrate campaigns
Use your time wisely. This change is coming, so it makes sense to get ahead.
Start by taking a look at our data privacy hub (we update it regularly), signing up to our email list and talking to us about a marketing data audit so we can help you prepare for and adapt to the shift to a privacy-first internet.
Take the privacy-first internet in your stride
Get a head-start on your competition and avoid being stung by the transition that makes it harder to get hold of data – and leaves you chasing the pack.
We’ll help you get a leg up by reviewing your marketing data maturity level and creating a detailed report on your data usage, technology and reporting.
Then we’ll make unique recommendations that are based on how you work now so you can adapt to the privacy-first future. And so you can lead from the front.
Embrace the future. Don’t ignore it.
There’s no time like the present.
Find out more about our marketing data audits and how we can help you prepare for the