How evolving data privacy regulations are impacting marketers
POSTED : March 24, 2021
BY : Blair Edwards

The beginning of 2021 has kicked off a flurry of proactive measures that big brands like Apple and Google are taking to address evolving consumer data privacy regulations. The regulations and subsequent measures across big tech combined are quickly impacting more businesses. Data privacy laws have been around for decades, typically driving oversight in the financial and healthcare sectors.

Recent policies, however, are cultivating stringent data privacy regulations, impacting industries across the board as governments aim to protect individual consumer privacy more broadly in the age of the internet. As a result of these regulations, it is imperative that brands shift their marketing and technology roadmaps now to address how they will survive and remain competitive throughout the future of data privacy legislation.

How evolving data privacy regulations are impacting marketers

The shift in consumer privacy regulations

Now that almost all marketers are being held accountable for understanding and complying with a new set of standards, it is important to understand the basics of the expanded data privacy regulations. Prior to 2018, data privacy laws applied mostly to the healthcare and financial sectors; however, the rollout of the General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) within the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States meant that data privacy regulations now affect businesses across all industries.

Apple iOS14 privacy
Source: Variety

For most marketers, these specific policies are not new, but what is new are the additional pending regulations that, when passed, would cover more consumers across the U.S. and other parts of the world. Also, most marketers now face the widespread consequences of large tech brands implementing proactive measures in anticipation of data privacy policies expanding soon.

The changes that big tech brands have made this year include:

  • Google announcing that it is eliminating 3rd party cookie collecting practices by 2021, in addition to eliminating practices that target users based on browsing behaviors.
  • Apple’s iOS14 software update that adds an explicit user opt-in or opt-out requirement for data sharing when downloading apps from the Apple app marketplace.
  • Facebook’s reactive measures of adding additional opt-in language to its platforms that aim to combat how Apple’s changes could impact its marketplace.

The additional pending data privacy policies, combined with the unknown of what proactive measures large brands could take, mean that business marketing will need to get ahead of the curve in how they collect and use data. Most brands have implemented compliance measures for GDPR and CCPA, but the evolution of data privacy in 2021 and beyond warrants marketers to take a second look at their overall approach to marketing, and moreover marketing automation, in this expanding landscape.

Take inventory of current, and potential, tactics

This starts with understanding the difference in first party, second party, and third-party data collection practices to assess current marketing strategies, and to develop new ones that thrive in the future. To remain competitive across the future of marketing, brands will need to deliver personalized experiences, which require marketing automation strategies that are fueled by first party data and data governance models that allow for managing them at scale.

Pivot your data strategies

When you have a firm understanding of your current data collection processes, you can begin to understand how landscape changes impact your efforts in the near-term, but also begin to refocus your organization on the development and expansion of your first-party data strategies. First-party data should capture buyer persona information that informs content strategy so that you can attract and engage the right audiences, at the right time, with the right messages.

Focus on quality over quantity as well as the strategy behind how you move your audience through the marketing funnel. Use Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as a key performance indicator of success over the number of contacts in your database. Don’t forget that establishing a robust data governance model to manage this effectively at scale will require more streamlined data management and database reputation management.

The implications of data privacy laws are quickly expanding, so it’s imperative that your business is ready for this new reality. Now is the time to assess CRM and marketing automation strategies that focus on establishing scalable solutions that could thrive in a cookie-less future. Doing this now will help you to enhance your marketing strategies that lean into using first-party data and position you well in an evolving ecosystem of data privacy regulations.

Learn how leading marketing executives are approaching their technology stacks.


About the Author

Blair EdwardsBlair Edwards is a marketing automation lead at PK. She is an advertising and marketing professional with more than 15 years of working for global and Fortune 500 brands in the financial services, manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical and luxury hospitality industries. She is passionate about developing strategically targeted, results-driven, multichannel integrated campaigns that thrive on creative execution.

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