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Online Privacy and Digital Marketing’s Future

DBS Interactive
Online Privacy

Attention business owners and digital marketers, whether you realize it or not, you’re potentially sitting smack in the middle of the Golden Age of online marketing. Something else you might not realize (and if you don’t… you need to) is that you need a backup plan in case online marketing changes drastically.

Online privacy is not a new topic, especially for digital marketers. We got our first big taste back in 2011 when Google, for user privacy reasons or to drive more digital marketers to spend ad dollars, started serving us with “Not Provided” keywords in Google Analytics. Then, in 2013, a gent by the name of Edward Snowden (maybe you’ve heard of him) leaked all sorts of information about how the NSA uses technology to keep tabs on citizens. Now, most recently, we have the news of Apple’s iCloud service possibly being hacked and personal images of celebrities being leaked all over the internet. So, for digital marketers, why is all of this important?

We have to plan for the potentiality of the day when we no longer have access to the types of customer information we have currently. Let’s look at Facebook ads for example. At an average of around $0.25 per 1,000 impressions, they are considered one of the least expensive advertising mediums in history. They are an inexpensive advertising medium that allows you to directly target potential consumers based on information they willingly share with Facebook. From specific demographic information to your audience’s direct interests, it is amazing how narrow you can focus your advertising on Facebook in order to reach your desired consumer base. There are companies out there right now, who are working to create ways for everyday internet users to have more, and better, control over their highly desired personal data. What should we, as digital marketing professionals, be doing about it?

We have to be better for our clients, plain and simple. Even though it may never come to fruition, we have to plan for the day that the amazing access we have to all of this personal data, at incredibly inexpensive costs, disappears.

How do we do that?

1. We use the data, while we do have it, to build as robust a following for our clients as is possible. (If you’re not doing social and/or Google ads right now, start).

2. As we’re building this community for our clients, we need to make sure that we are either creating WOW moments for the consumer, or we are communicating to our clients how and why they should be creating them.

3. Give consumers something useful in exchange for their contact information. This isn’t as easy as it use to be. Think about how hesitant many of us are to give out your email or phone number these days. Consumers will be much more willing to hand over their ever-so-valuable email address if we are providing them with a newsletter stocked with information & tips that will help them in their daily lives, or if you’re providing them a free tool to help them perform a task.

4. Be more than a logo. With social media today, the walls between consumers and companies are becoming blurred. Consumers are coming to expect that, if they say something about your company on social media (especially if they are complaining), then they are going to get a response and this trend is just going to continue to grow as the kids growing up with today’s tech become the consumers of tomorrow. The days of calling a phone number and pressing #0 to speak to a customer service rep are fading.

Engage, be transparent, act like a human. Consumers are much more willing to be open, and share back, if they feel emotionally invested and connected to another human than if they feel they are dealing with a faceless corporation. Make consumers feel listened to and cared about and they will give you just about all the personal data about themselves you could ever need.