Regulations on data usage have led to uncertainty amongst Digital Marketing agencies. Learn what marketers & agencies can do to future-proof their marketing approach.

Businesses give utmost importance to the data they collect about their customers. Through this information, companies can send out targeted advertising, predict sales trends and improve their products. But, consumers see this with a different perspective. Recent data scandals have created a feeling of doubt in the minds of consumers regarding the management of the data collected. For a wide range of people, collection of data is an infringement of their privacy and a practice that can easily be abused, leading to mistrust and suspicion towards many businesses.

The way that customer data is gathered, used, and regulated has changed tremendously over the past decade, more so in the last 2-3 years when lockdowns swept across the globe as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. There was a tremendous increase, 44% to be precise from 2019 to 2020 creating a mountain of data for marketers to leverage for future campaigns and target consumers.  Tracking tools such as web cookies have opened the door for an enormous increase in the sophistication of advertisement personalization and targeting, but they have also enabled occasional privacy violations.

Regulators and tech companies are taking action to reassure customers. Government regulations, have already begun to place limits on the use of customer data. Apple has enacted ever its restrictive privacy updates to its mobile operating system. This is already affecting the foundations of digital marketing and the delivery of highly personalized ads.Facebook is somewhat concerned about its $84 billion a year ad revenue that could be significantly affected by Apple’s move.

The final nail in the coffin is the death of the cookie. Google plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome in a year’s time. This shift is expected to have profound implications for digital marketers, who may no longer be able to rely on cookies to boost the efficacy of customer outreach. Those marketers and companies that do not figure out a strategy to maintain — and even grow — their access to first-party data may have to spend 10 to 20 percent more on marketing and sales to generate the same returns.

A new approach to data-driven marketing should therefore be considered. This is not only about technical fixes or work-arounds. Instead, a strong, trust-based relationship with customers may be the key to a sustainable, effective data strategy.

Companies need to give sheer importance to permission-based marketing that has a strong value proposition in order to maintain trust among consumers. Companies that invest in these elements of data relationship management have an opportunity to take the top position around data security that could be remunerative in the forthcoming years.

Responsible Data use infographic

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