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privacy
7 min read

Understanding Digital Marketing in a Privacy-Focused World

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram or Facebook and saw a sponsored post for a product you and your friends were just talking about? You can thank your browser history, personal interests, and ad targeting for that. And if you’re starting to think more about how and why ads are targeted to you, you’re not alone. Over the past year, 62% of people have taken notice of how their personal data is used

Kathleen Perley, DECODE’s founder and CEO, often speaks on the most effective ways to market to people who highly value privacy. Now, we’re taking her tips and tricks and leaving them here for you.

Frameworks Protect Consumer Privacy 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) all serve to protect consumers’ privacy and information. These frameworks give consumers the ability to prevent companies from selling their data, require companies to alert consumers to the types of data they collect and what they will do with said data, and prevent companies from gathering certain types of data. 

Essentially, this reduces the ability of marketers to buy information from data brokers for targeting purposes. 

Activate Marketing Efforts in a Privacy-Safe Way

This leaves marketers with the need to find new and innovative ways to reach their ideal audience effectively. In doing so, they’ll need to find safe ways to target that don’t rely on private information

Marketers can segment their audience based on data they are allowed to use, such as demographics, life stage, socioeconomic status, consumer behavior, health behavior, health interests, and more. They can then determine which targeting methods will get their marketing materials in front of the right audience, such as demographic targeting, interest-based targeting, look-alike targeting, retargeting, and more. Using these different segments, marketers can change up the messaging to be more impactful for each audience. 

However, with the block of third-party cookies by three major web browsers by 2023, ad targeting will become a little more difficult. Cookies allow businesses to identify leads along any stage of the consumer funnel. Come 2023, businesses will have to find new ways to reach potential customers. Different options might include the following:

  • Companies will have to gather first-party data with consumers' consent.
  • Businesses will partner with large publishing companies to collect first-party data. 
  • Companies will use contextualized advertising instead of targeted ads.

Harnessing the Power of First-Party Data

The bad news: the third-party data that has been shaping your targeting strategies won’t be around much longer. The good news: first-party data is at your disposal, and if you start using it now, you won’t be in trouble when cookies are gone for good. While third-party data can direct you to someone who might not know your brand yet, first-party data can give you insights to your existing customers and help you market to them on a more personal level.

You can gather this data in a variety of ways, like CRM systems and customer service interactions. However, one of the best ways to gather first party data is through a data management platform (DMP). DMPs take your targeting to the next level by allowing you to gather and store data in one place, create audience segments, and run personalized campaigns.

Hit the Right Campaign Metrics

Finally, marketers need to be ready to monitor the key performance indicators that matter to their campaigns, such as the number of new appointments and audience reach. It might be necessary to alter campaign tactics if the results aren’t where they should be. With an adequate understanding of the restrictions and opportunities available on the platforms you’re using, there is every opportunity for both meaningful business results and privacy to coexist.

Taking the time to reach the right audience can be extremely profitable for your brand, and now is not the time to scale back. DECODE has years of experience reaching audiences in innovative ways to produce the results our clients want. We have the ability to improve your targeting while saving you money and effort, thanks to our in-house tech stack, complete with DMP and DSP services. Contact us today if you’d like more information on how we can help your company reach the right audience, particularly if you’re working in a regulated environment.

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