Privacy rules are getting stricter as protecting customer data becomes more important. Here’s what marketers can do to adapt and comply.
Collecting user data for use in personalized advertising has become commonplace. Some consumers say, too common. For many, this feeling of being followed around online is kind of icky, and trust is eroded as a result. Google’s Ad & Commerce blog says:
But things are changing. Privacy rules are getting stricter as protecting customer data becomes more important. And, consumers are more privacy-conscious every day. What can marketers do to keep up?
In March, Google announced a plan to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome, and is working to build innovations that “protect anonymity while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.”
The announcement undoubtedly marks a huge shift, but the conversation is not new. In 2018, the EU passed the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to increase data privacy requirements. Also passed in 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was a major legislative step towards a more privacy-first web.
Cookie consent and “cookie banners” requiring you to click and accept or reject cookies have arisen to comply with the EU’s GDPR and ePrivacyDirective laws. If you use advertising cookies, and you offer goods and services in the EU (or have web visitors from those countries) you’ll need a cookie consent solution, too.
However, other places are also starting to introduce privacy laws inspired by EU law. Examples in the U.S. include the aforementioned CCPA, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
It’s clear the trend is headed towards stronger protections for consumer data, and marketers will need to comply. What does that look like?
Strong customer relationships have always been mission-critical for building a successful business. And it’s even more so in a privacy-first world. Rather than relying on Facebook pixels or other third-party analytics, you can get first-hand data from willing research respondents through market research methods including focus groups, surveys, and consumer panels.
Consumer data protection affects how market researchers gather information in terms of storing the personal information of survey respondents. One solution is to have companies send survey links directly so that the researchers aren’t storing confidential information. You should also confirm that your market research partners will delete all personal identifiers from previous projects, have processes for deleting personally identifiable information (PII) upon request, and have policies for data retention and data privacy.
Even if you operate primarily in the U.S. you can’t control where your web visitors come from. And international brands can’t afford to risk major fines and loss of trust with European consumers. Besides, as we said, other countries including the US are following suit with requirements.
Related reading: Your Customers are Telling You Something – Are You Listening?