Data and its analysis are the gold standards for digital marketers.
Unfortunately, options are becoming increasingly limited, either through laws that evolve and change or through companies that enact policy updates.
Much like anything in digital marketing, small businesses must adapt to the changing laws in order to survive, impacting the privacy of digital marketing.
What Was the Norm
Cookie policies were the norm, and they have been for years. Everyone knows them and sees them when they pop up on the bottom of computer screens.
And there are also terms of service and written privacy policies on software.
But not everyone reads those policies. And some of them are so vague when they mention “third parties” it’s hard to figure out what that means.
And there are a ton of third parties, like apps and software, that can utilize an original piece of software to improve it.
Apps are one example. Extensions in Google Chrome are another.
These third parties have special privileges with the software companies they partner with, and potentially having access to data is one of them.
Big software giants are paying attention to third parties accessing their customers’ information, whether on their own or due to regulatory oversight.
Apple’s iOS Change
Beginning with Apple’s iOS 14.5, users are required to opt in to share information with apps through their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).
If someone opts out, their digital tracking information is not shared with advertisers, such as any apps someone downloads to an iPhone or iPad.
Facebook would not be able to utilize the information on those devices. Neither would Google. Not opting in would mean only Apple, per its privacy of digital marketing policy and terms of service, would be able to leverage someone’s personal information for users of Apple’s operating system.
Advertisers and platforms with paid advertisers would lose money. Data analytics and metrics wouldn’t be as accurate.
Google Rules the Roost
Google’s vaunted search engine and advertising metrics are a boon to companies making advertising decisions.
Unfortunately for marketers, the search engine giant plans to pull the plug on third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by the end of 2023.
Not to mention older Google Analytics platforms will be outdated in a year when GA4 comes fully online.
Facebook, known for its horrid privacy policies and vaunted tracking metrics, now has an easy way for people to opt-out of third-party tracking.
It’s like a video game that’s only exclusive to one gaming console. Soon, each silo will have its own metrics for its own properties and partners while eschewing the data of third parties.
Perhaps companies will have a pay-to-play model, or there will be mergers and acquisitions as the larger tech companies buy up smaller ones to increase their advertising base.
So, what can digital marketers do to help their clients weather these changes in the coming years?
Knowledge Is Power
First, they can train their staff and their customers on what changes are coming and how they can affect tracking analytics. Small businesses may see dips in traffic or fewer clicks.
But knowing about these changes ahead of time can give companies a strategic framework to plan for.
Learning to Reach Audiences in New Ways
If marketers rely less on metrics due to changes in data privacy, then the way around that is to understand human behavior.
What drives a company’s audience? What are the pain points? Why would someone interact with a certain brand? What brand messaging can a company use to hit the point home?
Understanding a buyer and an ideal buyer is one way to start. Companies should understand their target markets very well, and customer personas represent one way to do that.
A/B testing of web pages offers another practical method to see how an audience responds to a website. The testing site allows a company to compile the data in-house without having anything to do with third-party data or cookies.
Creating quality content is a third way to learn how to connect with your audience. Content is king, and it always will be.
Look at the Big Picture of Data
Drilling down to see exactly where traffic is coming from may soon be a thing of the past.
However, companies can still derive many insights by looking at the big picture.
One key metric for websites will be click-through rate.
When more data goes away, the best thing small businesses can do is determine how and why a click-through rate fluctuates.
A website with 100,000 daily impressions is great! But if only 30 users click on the content, is it really engaging enough?
What if that same website, after making some changes, had only 30,000 impressions but 100 people clicked on it every day?
That bespeaks engaging content that people want to interact with.
Partnering With Vervology
Small businesses need a partner with knowledge of how the future will play out with digital marketing, metrics, and data privacy.
We’ll develop a marketing strategy that can help your company achieve better results from your digital marketing efforts.
Contact us for more information.