Customizing Digital Marketing in a Privacy-Driven Climate

Personalization is a double-edged blade for marketers. On one side, you want to fully understand your users and deliver the most customized experience possible in order to address their needs. On the other, concerns about data security and privacy protection can make it difficult to thoughtfully collect the information that you need in order to deliver that highly curated experience to each and every one of your unique users.

It seems like every week, there are new conversations surfacing about the best ways to employ technology to protect your users’ data. But just as frequently, there are news stories about incredibly large, powerful companies experiencing data breaches.

So marketers are challenged with assuring users that they will have a fully customized, unique experience, and also that their data will be protected. Because, let’s face it, you can’t deliver that kind of experience without collecting user data.

Or can you?

One workaround is to infer user data without collecting it. For example, understanding similar purchasing patterns by people from different regions, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. If you know that women in their 30s and 40s with about two children on the West Coast are the most common buyers of both toothpaste and toy cars, or when they subscribe to your “moms” newsletter and then click on an ad for Lakers PJs, then you can infer who your user is when they mirror those patterns.

Of course, you can also ask for some basic information. Obviously, asking people to accept cookies when they visit your website is one way to learn about who they are and how engaged they are with your brand—but you can also simply ask people to volunteer basic information about themselves, even if it’s anonymous, such as their age, location, profession, household size, and so forth. This can help you start to further customize experiences based on general knowledge about your user groups.

General is acceptable. Boston Consulting Group presented research showing that while two-thirds of people want to see ads that are relevant to them, they don’t want to share data that is specific to them. More and more, people are noticing highly personalized advertising—and some find it, if not intrusive, then, well, “creepy.” So why do marketers need to waste resources trying to deliver these difficult-to-achieve results, anyway?

The final thought boils down to transparency. People are more likely to share their details with you when you give them the option, when you state how it will be used, and when you disclose how your data-gathering and data-protecting measures align with current laws and ethics. Then, the people who do want more personalized marketing experiences can receive it, while attaining an even higher level of trust with your brand, while others can simply opt out…while preserving their high level of trust with your brand.

The more people are “targeted,” the more they want it to translate into a valuable experience for them—rather than a more profitable experience for the brand. Privacy protection can lead to a greater level of access, and you need to reward that access with wonderful, timely content.

To learn more about these tradeoffs, what level of personalization your audiences might desire, and how to best deliver it to them—while protecting their data—reach out to the experts at Mad 4 Marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts