News & Thinking

Mastering privacy-centric marketing: A strategic must

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News 29 Jan

In light of Data Privacy Day, or Privacy Day outside of Europe, an international awareness campaign held every year on January 28th, we’d like to share some of our observations on how businesses are shifting towards privacy-focused marketing in 2024 and beyond.

As the deadline for third-party cookie deprecation approaches, companies that neglected first-party data strategies are scrambling to adopt contextual activations. This means instead of relying on cookie-based signals for targeting, companies are increasingly targeting consumers based on the context of their digital experience. While appearing straightforward, this approach hinges on a profound understanding of the customer base: who they are, what drives them, and where they engage. Sophisticated analytics and access to a wealth of first-party data is the key to success in contextual.

Unfortunately, many organisations are still grappling with siloed data collection and lack a cohesive data strategy. Fragmented data collected from various sources across the organisation hampers effective decision-making. To remedy this, businesses must take a unified approach to data collection, pooling data from across first- and third-party sources to form a holistic and singular view of each customer. But this is no easy feat.

Research that we have conducted in this area suggests that dismantling data silos might just be the first hurdle for many businesses. A substantial number of them don’t have permission from their customers to acquire the data they need. Here, businesses will need to think about how they can encourage their customers to share more of their data, likely through rewards or the promise of a best-in-class customer experience.

Businesses that aim to be privacy-first should also be examining their tech infrastructure. Legacy tech systems often lack the necessary design principles to protect user data. Therefore, as businesses navigate this evolving landscape, they must ensure that their infrastructure prioritises data privacy and adheres to privacy regulations. Investing in necessary updates or upgrades may be required to guarantee this commitment.

Finally, alignment between in-house insights & analytics teams is essential. Teams conducting primary or secondary research should collaborate with those managing first-party data. Collaboration ensures research objectives align with internal data strategies, painting a comprehensive picture of customer interactions and informing insightful decision-making based on a robust understanding of customer behavior.

In summary, privacy-centric marketing represents not just an ethical imperative but a strategic advantage in the digital age. Companies that adeptly navigate this transition, prioritising customer privacy while harnessing the power of data and research, will emerge as leaders in the new era of privacy-centric marketing. This journey demands adaptability, strategic vision, and a commitment to leveraging technology in ways that respect and protect consumer privacy.

If you’d like to explore some of our work in this area, you can find our CX trends paper and CI maturity paper, authored for Acxiom here.

Written by Imogen Nightingale

Imogen Nightingale
29 January, 2024