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How do companies find a balance between their marketing strategy and user’s privacy?
28 Jan 2020

Today, on january 28th, the world celebrates The International Data Privacy Day. This day was set by the European Council in order to alert not only the users and consumers about the way companies use their personal data, but also to raise awareness on those companies about them using those data in a more conscious and transparent way.


With the entry into force, in 2018, of the General Regulation of Data Protection, data privacy became a theme that is constantly on the daily agenda, demanding that companies learn to find the best of both worlds: a marketing strategy that uses personal data from users in a responsible way. In this sense, Google published an arcticle where they developed a smart approach that companies should adopt. But, before we get there, there are certain things to keep in mind when talking about the concept of privacy.


First, ask yourself: “why does my company need to rely on consumer’s data? Well, the answer is simple: every marketing strategy should also be a performance marketing strategy. Why would you focus all your efforts and money on genious actions if, in the end, you don’t analyze the results those actions brought you? The marketing world is and will always be submerged in data.


In second place, remember that the word “privacy” may have different interpretations for different people. Your company might be using user’s data in a way that they consider as being invasion of privacy. The solution? Always set up high patterns of respect for this concept. In this way, even with new and more strict regulations, your company won't have to change its practices, since it was already doing things right.


But, in practice, what really changed for marketers? We’ve seen mass marketing lose its place for actions that allow users to choose if they want (or not) to receive that content. For companies, this means they will constantly need to come up with creative ideas so they can leave a meaningful impact on their audience. More and more, professionals are placing their bets on networking practices, in order to change their communication to a more personal, direct and targeted approach. It is also crucial that you explain which information are you collecting and what will you use it for, as well as you’ll need to give users the opportunity to delete their personal data, if one day they feel like doing it (the right to be forgotten).


After all of this, we can understand that this won’t be na easy task, but it is possible to create a balance between marketing and privacy. But this can only happen if the companies are willing to change and to adapt their strategy. Even technological platforms, like browsers, introduced new restrictions to the use of cookies, which has been leading to more targeted ads and a closer follow-up of conversions.


Finally, in order to fight the adoption of non ethical practices when it comes to data privacy, Google developed that smart approach we mentioned earlier, which allows companies to balance their marketing strategy with user privacy, as well as it brings an ecossystem that works for all companies. This approach can be reached in 3 steps:


A smart approach by Google


1. Collect data responsabily: adopt a first-party measuring system. The idea is to always ask your users if you they authorize you to collect and use their data, always avoiding any other solutions that don't meet their expectation.


*According to Adsquare, first-party data are all the data collected directly from your audience, through a relationship based on trust and dedicated communication actions, keeping in mind that these kind of data are the most powerful ones. They have a lower reach but, on the other hand, more quality.


1st, 2nd and 3rd party data by Adsquare


2. Be clever in how you reach your audience: publish ads with editors that preserve the concept of privacy and whom develop a first-party relationship with their users. If you can’t get enough data due to cookie restrictions rely on the context of the ad to target your message.


3. Hire and educate your employees towards privacy: build a team or establish a partnership with agencies that are familiar with responsabile marketing practices, like collecting first-party data. Train your teams so they reflect upon the processes of collecting data and recognize when you should segment your results according to the browser or operating system you’re using, so you can draw conclusions about your marketing efforts.


Just like Google highlights, this is not a one department job. When it comes to user privacy, knowing all about responsible pratices is not something that only the marketing department should be aware of.


Nowadays, sending the same message to an almost infinite group of people and wait for results is no longer enough. We live on the era of conversational marketing, so it becomes crucial that we connect people with the right products/services, the ones that are actually going to impact them on an individual level. So, even thought all of this is a big challenge, there aren’t any doubts that the existence of more restrict regulations arrived to allow brands to commit with marketing practices that actually generate growth, for both companies and users.




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