As the internet and our phones have become an integral part of our daily lives, consumer behaviors like browsing and purchasing have become increasingly digital experiences. Consumers now realize that whether they are ordering groceries for pickup or delivery, recording health information or refilling a prescription, or even paying a bill, their personal data is being stored by the organizations they’re working with. Customers are now more aware than ever how that data can be used for advertising. As consumers have become more wary about trusting companies with all kinds of information, tech giants like Apple and Google have sought to give internet users more control over their privacy. These tech giants are giving control back to the users both proactively with the coming deprecation of third-party cookies, as well as in response to changes in regulation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
As marketers, we have to balance consumer privacy expectations with satisfying the needs of the brands we help. That means understanding what privacy means to consumers and what it takes to comply with privacy regulations so we can help brands meet those needs and expectations. But it also means doing what marketers do best – and what both businesses and consumers expect from us: getting the right brands in front of the right potential customers with the right message.
How Can Marketers and Brands Meet Consumers’ Online Privacy Expectations?
While some consumers understand that cookies and other data tracking can make their online shopping experience smoother and more relevant, they now expect to browse and make purchases online with more control over their data and more transparency over how it is used. Apple, Google, Firefox, and other companies are giving consumers more control over what data is shared, and well as how, when, and if it may be used. Marketers and brands would do well to follow their lead with their own data collection – and they need to be transparent with consumers about that data collection. Meeting these consumer expectations is one key step to building trust with potential customers.
Marketers and businesses have to ensure their data collection practices meet regulations and laws, and we can continue to earn customer goodwill by going above and beyond to find new ways to deliver on protecting consumer privacy. Google is already pointing the way forward with their work on the Privacy Sandbox, which seeks to create a privacy-first web that still allows marketers to reach consumers with targeted marketing. As other industry leaders come up with similar developments, marketers must help businesses take advantage of these advancements.
How Can Brands Reach High-Value Customers While Preserving Consumer Privacy?
Privacy is important to consumers! But even consumers who want control and transparency around their personal data still expect a useful web experience. And businesses continue to want ads to be both relevant and timely to potential high-value customers. Marketers provide a service to both companies and to consumers by helping connect brands with the customers who actually want to buy their products. But with third-party cookies going away, it’s up to marketers to find new ways to make this connection happen.
While some ad tech companies have come up with tracking options that mimic third-party cookies’ ability to identify individual consumers — which may violate the spirit of consumer privacy expectations even if these options don’t run into trouble with regulations — Google has come out to say that once third-party cookies are gone, they won’t create “alternate identifiers” for tracking individuals across the web or for use in their products. Instead, Google is developing ways to create cohorts of individuals with common interests, as well as exploring how to use data stored on consumers’ devices to connect them with relevant content all while protecting privacy and identifying information. Chrome aims to give users more control over their privacy settings and we can expect other industry players to strive for this, too.
Developing strong relationships directly with consumers is one of the best ways to ensure a business can collect the data it needs to successfully market to its customers. Customers are more likely to consent to brands they know and trust accessing and storing their data, so making every effort to build that trust is in a business’s best interest. By taking steps like instituting brand loyalty programs and creating compelling content for web and social media, your business can reach new and existing customers and market to them directly with the products and services that will most interest them.
How Can NetElixir Help My Business Meet Privacy Needs While Reaching Customers?
NetElixir stays on top of industry updates so your e-commerce business is always ahead of the curve. We’ll make sure your business is complying with privacy regulations and laws while taking advantage of the newest tools and opportunities to meet consumer privacy expectations while serving up digital marketing campaigns that will put your brand in front of the right customers. Whether it’s time to switch over to Google Analytics 4 so you’re ready for third-party deprecation, or you need a web presence refresh to make sure your UX is on point while complying with the latest regulations in your market, NetElixir is here to support you.
Ready to Learn More?
Contact NetElixir to discover how we can help your e-commerce business meet consumer privacy expectations while developing marketing strategies that will effectively reach your best customers in the post-cookie world.