Privacy laws and recent updates to browsers and operating systems are rapidly reshaping the digital advertising landscape. Consumers respond better to personalized experiences and ads but they are increasingly concerned about tracking and data privacy. Many don’t want to be tracked across sites, apps, and have their data sold to other businesses.  

Certain apps have restricted the use of third-party cookies, identifiers, and other elements that played a large role in delivering digital ads. This has made marketing online and accomplishing advertising goals more difficult. 

Laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) make collecting customer data more challenging. Asking for consent is mandatory. Transparency is a must. Apple’s iOS 14 is perhaps one of the single biggest changes that will result in decreased monitoring of consumers on mobile devices as well. More browsers and operating systems are likely to follow suit. This poses a challenge for marketers. Conversion tracking, targeting, and optimization have all been affected. 

How can marketers overcome these challenges to drive growth and better understand their customers? Declared data. This article will teach you how to use data volunteered from customers to improve marketing performance and collect it responsibly.

What’s changed with digital privacy laws and how does it impact marketers?

How companies collect and analyze data is constantly changing. Privacy is becoming an increasingly important concern as the regulatory environment shifts and consumer expectations change. Consumers want to feel protected and safe when shopping online. They are increasingly wary of having their data shared between advertisers, publishers, social media networks and apps. The marketing landscape has seen many large changes in recent times because of this. 

One of the biggest changes was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on May 25th, 2018. This legislation changed how brands obtain, store, and process personal data of European citizens. By December 2018, only 50% of businesses were GDPR compliant.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) protects California residents’ privacy when personal data is being collected. It gives citizens the right to know:

  • What personal data has been collected.
  • If their personal data is being sold.
  • Who is buying their data.
  • How to opt-out of data collection and selling.
  • And more.

Most recently, Apple released iOS 14 with many new privacy features. One of the biggest changes was requiring all apps to ask users for tracking permission. This prohibits certain data collection that’s normally used for attribution and measuring marketing performance unless users opt in.

These updates have affected most ad networks that marketers use to acquire customers. This is because they rely on user information to report on performance, attribute conversions accurately, and many other functions. For example, the Facebook Pixel is not able to track most user behavior, targeting options are weakened, and the ability to personalize experiences has become diminished. 

Google will also phase out support for cookies and offer more controls that let users block sites from tracking them. It’s a fundamental change in digital advertising. Companies that relied on these cookies for understanding their customers’ behavior and preferences must shift their strategy. 

Make no mistake. These changes are big and will cause a fundamental rethink in how marketers track and attribute conversions across the internet.

However, there is still a way to abide by privacy laws, make consumers feel safe, and use data responsibly. That can be achieved by leveraging declared data.

Cookies, data privacy, and personalization

Cookies are files stored on a user’s device or browser that help brands deliver personalized experiences. Cookies can store information like browsing history, IP addresses, and more. This data is priceless as an advertiser because it helps them understand what consumers want and need. What websites they visit. How they shop online and browse the web.

Privacy concerns over cookies and tracking are not new. Consumers have been wary of giving their information and having it sold or misused for years. Google’s changes to cookies sparked from legislation changes like GDPR and CCPA. Competitors such as Firefox also began offering better privacy features. 

Google Chrome accounts for 60% of the browser market share, heavily reducing the number of online consumers that marketers can track through cookies. Apple’s changes to iOS came from taking a strategic stance on user privacy and wanting to deliver a better user experience. It is expected that information shared with app publishers will drop from 70% to 10-15%. Retargeting and measuring digital ads will be increasingly challenging. This is a titanic shift in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Percentage of internet browser market share

How declared data can help overcome marketing challenges caused by privacy law updates

Declared data is information volunteered by customers when they engage with you. Conversational marketing chatbots are one of the best channels to collect declared data. It helps marketers identify the needs, wants, and desires of customers. This can be information about their budget, location, and product preferences. Brands can use this to enhance the customer experience, provide tailored shopping suggestions, and deliver personalized content. 

These are four ways declared data can be used to overcome privacy law hurdles.

Personalize customer experiences in real-time without relying on third-party data

Declared data is information explicitly volunteered by customers. You don’t have to rely on assumptions about their interests or track them extensively across websites and apps. Conversations create an open and honest exchange that enables you to collect first-party data. They reduce a marketer’s dependence on third-party insights that don’t contribute to marketing performance as much as declared data can. 

Conversational marketing chatbots collect consumers’ information like their personal information, product interests, budget, who they are shopping for, and other data that’s difficult to acquire otherwise. You can personalize each customer’s experience based on their individual preferences without cookies or traditional tracking methods.

Purple, an American mattress retailer, wanted to improve its prospecting and find new ways to reach customers. They created a “Mattress Finder” bot built with Spectrm to educate consumers and suggest the best mattress based on their sleep preference. It helped Purple reach 90% of internet users through desktop, mobile, and Google’s audiences. Learn more in the full case study here.

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Deliver value in exchange for customer data

Data collection doesn’t have to be one-sided. Far from it. Declared data is a direct relationship between your brand and the customer at its core. Customers share key information about themselves when they engage with your brand in their moment of need. 

This information compounds over time, giving you a treasure trove of data to learn about your audience. You can use these insights to serve them personalized product recommendations, content, and answers. All of which improve the customer experience while engaging them in a private messaging channel where they feel more comfortable sharing their personal details and interests.

63% of consumers expect personalization to be standard practice. They presume brands will use their information to create tailored experiences and they’re happy to share it under the right circumstances.

Percentage of consumers expecting personalized experiences

Build deeper and more meaningful relationships with customers

Not only can declared data improve every facet of your marketing efforts but also a brand as a whole. There are 5-7 touch points before a consumer remembers a brand. 

Collecting declared data through conversational chatbots empowers you to personalize customer experiences on messaging apps where they already spend their time. Marketers can reach up to 90% of internet users with channels like Google AdLingo and DV360. Keep in touch through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Scale personalization across all channels and give customers memorable experiences no matter where you engage them.

It boosts your advertising performance and ROI

90% of marketing leaders agree personalization significantly increases profitability. Declared data collected through conversational chatbots can be leveraged to guide customers from discovery to action. 

Provide delightful shopping experiences that entice them to come back. Offer product suggestions exactly when they need and demand them. Engage them in their moment of need. Their moment of product research. Their moment of interest. Connecting personally with consumers in these critical moments is how you accelerate purchase decisions and offer experiences that improve your marketing ROI.

Telekom, Europe’s largest phone provider, created a Facebook Messenger chatbot built with Spectrm to help customers find the best mobile phone plans. The contract finder assistant helped Telekom scale customer acquisition, increase conversions, and reach new segments by using click to Messenger ads on Facebook and Instagram.

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The Messenger bot brought the in-store experience online with personalized phone and data plan recommendations based on customer needs. The success of the campaign led Telekom turn it into an always on campaign on Messenger and expand their conversational marketing to new channels with Spectrm.  Learn more in Telekom’s full case study.

Final thoughts on declared data and digital privacy

Online privacy is a growing concern for consumers. This has contributed to regulations such as GDPR and CPAA that protect people’s personal information online. These privacy law changes dictate how businesses collect data and ask for consent. Technology companies, like Apple, are responding with updates that put consumer privacy front and center. Tracking, attribution, and measuring marketing performance have become more difficult with these updates. 

Yet the challenge presents an opportunity. Marketers don’t have to rely on these old approaches to understanding consumers. The solution? Declared data. Information volunteered by customers when you speak with them. Unlike traditional demographics and interests, declared data gives you deep insights into preferences, wants, needs, and desires. Who a customer is shopping for. What their budget is. You no longer have to rely on assumptions or guesses.

Conversational marketing chatbots connected to private messaging channels are the most effective way to collect declared data. Brands can use Spectrm to build chatbots that integrate with platforms their customers use every day. Facebook Messenger. Instagram. Google Business Messages. These enable brands to deliver personalized experiences no matter where consumers engage with your brand while still respecting their privacy.

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