With increasing concerns over how consumer data is being used by modern day marketers, it’s now more important than ever to explore the link between data consent and display marketing. Of late, reliable statistics have indicated that there’s more than just a surface-level connection between consumer data and advertising patterns. After all, there’s a reason why companies like Facebook have come under fire over the years for sharing user data with third parties.
What the latest stats on the matter report could come as a surprise to many marketers, both experienced and inexperienced. These stats (based on surveys) indicate that many users have no qualms with companies using their private data to run ads by them. Yes, you heard that right. So what’s all the fuss regarding privacy concerns all about? Well, apparently, a lot rides on the type of data being collected and the type of ads that are being used.
So, for instance, more users are amenable to the idea of sharing their data for personalized ads (probably because they haven’t yet heard about Facebook Ads’ nano-targeting) than they are for personalized services. You can see what this means for those marketers that use Display Ads. These ads are generally targeted based on a number of factors relating to individual consumers which is why data consent plays a major role here. After all, if all users made a hue and cry about sharing their data with display advertisers, then creating targeted ads could be challenging and consequentially, sales for advertisers and the brands that they’re advertising could suffer.
A majority of advertisers agree that using consumer data enables them to make better-informed decisions regarding the targeting and placement of their ads. For instance, details such as name, age, and other demographics can influence major advertising decisions in the world of display marketing. After all, it’s not easy to locate interested buyers in the vast ocean of the internet and anything that narrows it down can cut costs for advertisers and boost revenue both in the short and in the long run.
However, it’s not just name and other basic details that could help ad targeting for display marketers and PPC experts. Additional relevant information relating to browsing history and purchasing history (and trends) could be highly useful as well. Think about it, why wouldn’t you be interested in the last site that a potential consumer visited if you’re trying to figure out which products/services they’re interested in? Even location data is found to be useful in this regard.
Unsurprisingly, stats have shown that nearly 67% of all smartphone owners in the U.S. alone are not happy with the idea of sharing their location with marketers. Honestly, we can see their point…no one wants the feeling of being spied upon! Granted, as a sincere marketer, your intentions regarding accessing location data might be purely honorable (or profit-driven…these don’t have to be mutually exclusive), but that doesn’t mean that your display ads will be ineffective. After all, there are ways in which you can target users other than by accessing their location.
Besides, it would be interesting to note here that not using too much personal data from consumers can give you an edge over your competitors. How? Well, sometimes, brand perception truly is everything. If a consumer perceives your brand as one that wishes to keep their data safe and is willing to go the extra mile to avoid using too much private information, then it’s easy to see why they’d view your brand favorably. In a potential customer’s eyes, your brand is a lighthouse in a dark sea of profit-hungry companies that will do anything to invade their privacy for selfish motives. Okay, that’s taking it a bit too far, but you get the idea.
The choice that you’ll have to make here is obvious: better targeting or better brand image. There’s no saying which one outweighs the other in the short run (though it could be better targeting in many cases), but it would be safe to say that better brand perception endures the test of time. If customers view your brand as one that respects their privacy, they’re likely to be more amenable to viewing your display ads as well. Now, it doesn’t take long (a split second, really!) for a view to turn into a click and a click to turn into a sale. So, if you’re willing to compromise on boosting your sales in the short run for better growth opportunities in the long run, then you may yet survive these new attacks on companies that collect user data.
Remember, those who use the internet are beginning to make their peace with the fact that complete privacy is a thing of the past and marketers will require their data at some point to improve their online shopping experiences. Whether they’re safe or uneasy in this knowledge is another matter entirely but the fact remains that an increasing number of people are growing comfortable with sharing their data online for marketing purposes. However, it would be wise to tread lightly here nonetheless so you don’t exploit the little license that you have as an online marketer who wishes to improve the targeting of their display ads.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new company or an experienced one, a fall from grace in the eyes of audiences regarding your approach towards data consent can be difficult to overcome. In this day and age when privacy concerns are taking precedence over short-term profits, it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the curve and only access that much data as is required to reach out to your intended consumer base, nothing less and certainly nothing more.
Sasha is the kind of person you'll always find with a book in their hands. She believes writing is also a way of learning, and apparently there's nothing better to learn about than PPC & Advertising.