In the past year, there has been a significant increase in user privacy, which has really affected how marketers collect and analyse user data. In the digital marketing industry, change comes often and fast, meaning marketers have to continuously adapt their efforts so they can continue to lead effective campaigns. As platforms and websites have become more aware of how their users’ data is being used, there has been a surge in demand and focus on protecting their information.
- Control how their data is collected, retained and shared.
- Decide whether the data collected can be used to deliver personalised ads.
- Delete Analytics data by submitting a request to Google.
GA4 doesn’t collect IP addresses nor store cookies, giving its users an extra layer of privacy.
Social media heavyweight, Meta, has also removed “sensitive” targeting options, including health, religion, race, political views and sexual orientation. The release of Apple’s iOS 14 affected targeting, reporting and optimisation in Meta’s ads platform. With the update came the option for users to opt-in to sharing data or not. If a user chooses to opt-out, you can still track single conversions and get data such as:
- The number of purchases made.
- How profitable they were.
- Cost per purchase.
These changes to data tracking have only encouraged marketers to think more creatively to use their own delivery systems to find the best users for broader targeting.
It’s not all bad news
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. Before the emergence of digital marketing, marketers were never able to track print media as granular as digital media once could be; that didn’t stop print media from happening and succeeding. When GDPR was first introduced, everyone predicted that the industry would collapse, but it didn’t.
What we’re trying to say is that marketers evolve. We’ve adopted and found new methods to collect user data to aid with their campaigns. So no matter the scale of the change or the seismic waves that they cause in the industry, we’ll all be okay in the end.
With all of the tighter tracking restrictions in place, marketers and advertisers need to look at having a more holistic marketing approach to ensure they’re targeting the right users and reporting on the correct information. Such tactics may include creating customer email lists, gated content, sign-ups, contests, subscription or membership models and exploring marketing automation tools. The tighter tracking restrictions are a golden opportunity to create a new trusted ecosystem that can deliver a better experience for everyone involved from start to finish.