Fully personalized and self-managed messaging experiences
If you want to remain privacy-conscious and respectful of your customers, you must champion transparency, which builds trust. It’s critical that marketing teams start prioritizing first-party data as a long-term customer strategy to target and personalize their advertising.
Marketers started planning for this change years ago and they have continued to adjust their approaches to align with data privacy regulations. It’s a balancing act, but likely to pay off for brands that can find meaningful and intentional ways to treat people as individuals while delivering a personalized and mutually beneficial experience.
Shoppers across all industries expect fully personalized and self-driving experiences. Achieving this goal requires zero and first-party data as well as qualitative insights derived from channels – like email – that successfully convert leads.
I spoke recently with Sunflower Senior Vice President of Marketing Cynthia Price on the current challenges marketers face in prioritizing personalization and data capture as new privacy measures take effect.
Gary Drenik: How will marketing change with the possible loss of third-party cookies and other data privacy measures?
Cynthia Award: In The dark knight rises, Bane is “born and shaped by darkness”, while Batman “simply embraced darkness”. Successful marketers born in the dark (a zero-data, first-party world) have not only adapted to today’s changing privacy landscape, they have thrived. Because they’ve always used this data and optimized structures, they’re not scrambling to adapt in the wake of privacy changes.
Meanwhile, marketers who have embraced “bad” or siled data as an ally have simply lost the trust of their customers. Now, they find themselves adopting new personalization trends intended to mitigate privacy changes, such as Apple Mail’s privacy protection or the loss of third-party cookies.
An Epsilon survey revealed that approximately 80% of marketers depend on third-party cookies. When they disappear in 2023, the key components of digital marketing will face severe disruption. A/B testing and frequency capping might become more difficult. With analytics and attribution based on third-party cookies, performance marketing could become less effective. Marketers who rely on third-party cookies to collect behavioral and browsing data might struggle to personalize their delivery.
Consumers across all generations don’t like social media sites, search engines and mobile apps collecting personal, online and mobile location data, allowing access to marketers who use it. for targeted advertising campaigns. According to a recent Thrive Insights & Analytics survey, nearly 52% of Gen Z, 49% of Gen Y, nearly 63% of Gen X, and more than 78% of baby boomers don’t approve of the collection of personal data without their permission.
Drenik: What should marketers do to start creating more personalized experiences for customers?
Price: According to our Email Status Report 202171% of consumers expressed frustration with impersonal experiences, but 42% of marketers cited lack of resources, including time, people and money, as barriers to achieving personalization goals.
Marketers need a more transparent approach to gathering the information needed to deliver the personalized experiences consumers expect. By encouraging website visitors to authenticate and consent to specific data collection, marketers build trust between brands and consumers.
Readily available data (demographic, firmographic, behavioral, or contextual data, for example) can inform personalization strategies, including email delivery.
Email is one of the most effective personalization channels, starting with a personalized subject line. Use data from your CRM to personalize by adding someone’s name, incorporating timed content to create a sense of urgency, or adding an image or call-to-action (CTA). You can also suggest similar content or products that you know customers like based on what they’ve purchased or engaged with in the past.
Drenik: Does this new focus on data privacy have a greater impact on B2B or B2C marketing? And why?
Price: This focus on data privacy has impacted both B2B and B2C marketing. Customer-centric data privacy policies, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, apply to both markets.
Companies that leverage third-party data across multiple websites, such as third-party collected digital identities, cross-platform ad targeting, reporting and attribution, will see the most significant impact.
Data privacy regulations give users more control over their data. Customers decide where, when and in what capacity to share their information. Companies that build trust are more likely to get the information they seek from current and potential customers.
There is a similarity between personal data and company data. We expect B2B organizations to handle corporate data responsibly, just as we expect B2C companies to be responsible stewards of personal data. But due to the complexity of corporate data ecosystems and the storage of personal information, customers remain wary of information sharing. The same Thrive Insights & Analytics survey, found that an average of 40% of people have enabled private browsing, 32% have disabled mobile trackers, and more than 47% of people have denied mobile apps permission to track them.
Along with data privacy, consent remains the most crucial line of defense. Companies need to tell their customers what data they want to collect and how they will use it. Transparency is the basis for building trust. Greater trust leads to higher brand value. Due to its heterogeneous nature, enterprise data requires more aggregation, analysis, and processing than B2C data. While impact permeates both, B2B organizations have more groundwork and need to think creatively about what data to collect and how.
Drenik: What are some of the biggest challenges marketers face when trying to collect and leverage zero and first party data?
Price: Merkle’s 2021 Customer Engagement Report found that more than 50% of marketers use digital experiences and strategies to collect first-party data. But they face challenges.
Third-party cookies provide unlimited scale that can collect significant amounts of data but sacrifice at least some accuracy. While first-party data has a more limited scale, transactional data or double opt-ins verify it at the source. However, marketers cannot target more customers than they have already collected information from, which limits both scale and reach.
Marketers do not work on equal footing when trying to collect first party data. For some organizations, capturing information is relatively straightforward. Companies may collect data through authenticated logins, subscription information, or website analytics.
But those on the buy side, like advertisers, may find it more difficult to collect data on granted consent. Some businesses, because they don’t interact directly with their consumers or use their own e-commerce channels, may find it difficult to collect first-party data to use in their marketing campaigns.
It’s also difficult to store and aggregate first-party data from multiple sources, whether that’s data collected offline from in-store purchases, website visits, or email opens. emails. Businesses can improve this by consolidating data into a single silo, making it easier to access data to inform marketers’ campaigns.
Drenik: How has email, in particular, been affected by Apple Mail’s privacy protection? Should marketers still consider it an essential part of a marketing program?
Price: Apple launched its Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) initiative in September 2021 to hide recipient IP addresses, prevent senders from identifying locations or linking to other online activity, and prevent senders from seeing and when they opened their email.
For companies that rely on open rates as a measure of email performance, MPP has raised concerns about marketers’ ability to accurately measure the success of email marketing campaigns. However, email marketing metrics are of little value unless tied to specific business goals. Otherwise, these open rates are just a measure of vanity.
Has MPP affected email marketing? Yes — but not necessarily negatively. Instead, marketers need to understand the contribution of email to each industry and move away from tracking click-through rates, click-to-open rates, and isolated open rates, which can stifle opportunities. strategic.
Email absolutely has its place in marketing programs. When integrated appropriately, email provides a wealth of valuable metrics for marketers to optimize campaigns, personalize content, and customer touchpoints along the journey.
Other email marketing tools and approaches include using filtering for reports to exclude MPP opens and instead rely on “actual opens” which more accurately measures overall engagement. emails. For example, real-time personalization tools may include collecting a subscriber ZIP code instead of an IP address. To measure engagement, AI platforms are turning to measuring and analyzing a host of hybrid performance metrics, such as clicks, opens, and conversions.
Drenik: Thank you, Cynthia, for taking the time. It will be interesting to see how marketing changes in the B2B and B2C spaces due to privacy changes and an increase in the use of zero and first party data.