Michael Kalman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MediaCrossing Inc., a leading, award-winning digital advertising agency.
Digital advertising for product and service discovery is experiencing a boom. A 2021 study found that 90% of respondents (e-commerce merchants) said their online revenue increased at least a bit during the global lockdown in Spring 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic period. Fifty percent of participants reported it grew by more than 100%.
According to Google’s 2021 Retail Marketing Guide, retail searches tripled compared to the same time last year in Q4. The report also shares that consumers are trying new brands due to digital access: 81% of consumers in surveyed countries across the globe say they’ve discovered new brands online during Covid-19.
With more consumers shopping and researching services online now more than ever, marketers must accelerate digital adoption to remain competitive, or suffer the consequences of lack of innovation. Digital literacy requires understanding the shifting landscape of digital media, and that includes how privacy laws and regulations can impact your business.
Rather than focus on tried-and-true “old hat” methods, it is imperative that marketers embrace the changing ecosystem of digital media, including new privacy changes.
That being said, what do marketing leaders need to know about Apple’s new iOS 14.5 rollout and how it will impact business?
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iOS 14.5: Apple and Privacy
Recently, Apple (finally) launched its iOS 14.5 update. It comes with some useful features: Apple will now allow people to unlock their iPhone with their Apple Watch. People using Apple Maps can now report accidents they see on the road. There are also some new emojis (to be expected). But the biggest concern, and the reason iOS 14.5 is making headlines, is the addition of new privacy considerations.
The New Privacy Capabilities
Apple has introduced a new privacy tool called App Tracking Transparency. Essentially, in response to privacy permissions and consumer interest, Apple has launched the ability for users to have a more active participation in consent in data usage. Specifically, each user will need to opt in to each individual app consenting to have their data tracked across apps or websites for advertising purposes.
As of early May, Flurry Analytics estimated the opt-in rate of 15% globally.
The Impact on Tech Platforms
With these changes, we will see tech platforms adjust to the new regulations with opportunities for marketers to use their own first-party data — the information that companies collect directly from the user. Ownership of data, with user opt-in, will enable users to have a more active participation in the use of their data in the digital ecosystem.
While many tech platforms offer the option for advertisers to utilize their first-party data, many brands have yet to actionalize this valuable information.
Preparing With First-Party Data
Advertisers can prepare their marketing teams by not just understanding and communicating the performance/reporting changes in advance, but also by building a more robust first-party data collection process.
As the future becomes increasingly more “cookieless,” marketers must rely more on first-party data across marketing programs.
First-Party Data Collection Best Practices
It’s important to enhance or start your first-party data collection process ASAP. First-party data collection does not have to impact your user experience either. Great first-party data collection takes into account existing processes and creates opportunity to collect data and behavior information as part of your existing workflows.
First-Party Data Examples:
• Website visitors and interactions with content.
• Demographic data of visitors and customers.
• Segmented interest groups, such as email newsletter subscribers.
• Users segmented based on time spent on site.
First-Party Data Collection Samples:
• Creating a sign-up workflow that includes email input.
• Requiring account creation when checkout for e-commerce.
• Encouraging self-segmentation by interest in email newsletters.
• Social media contests and acquisition programs catered toward building psychographic profiles.
Marketing teams must be smart about collecting — and effectively using — consumer first-party data. Communication, preparedness and agility will be key to providing the ideal personalized experience for customers with consideration of privacy concerns and platform regulations.
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Author: Michael Kalman, Forbes Councils Member