“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Maciej Zawadziński, CEO at Clearcode.
It seems like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) leaves marketers with only one choice: Comply with the new law and say goodbye to our beloved user data. It’s time to change our mindset.
If you are still hoping that Google or Facebook will find a loophole, create a backdoor or workaround, then the latest decision of Brussels court against Facebook’s tracking and consent approach is probably bad news for you. Through various legal battles, European courts have demonstrated that Facebook is not above the law and its vision of data protection won’t pass.
The rules have been set and the clock is ticking. The fines are serious, as should our approach to building new advertising and marketing strategies.
The first thing marketers can do is use this opportunity to build trust with our customers.
By now, most internet users have heard something about the GDPR and what it means for their privacy. Many will notice if they are kept opted-in as if nothing has changed. Perhaps the worst thing marketers can do is declare GDPR compliance and still send them emails without their consent.
The only reaction we can expect from people who don’t consent but are still targeted with personalized ads after the May 25 is rage. For companies hoping to see gains in their 2019 earnings reports, it’s best to think about how to impress their customers with their GDPR compliance.
While for marketers it may only take creating a consent-taming call to action, advertisers and publishers will face an uphill battle to obtain consent. But there is no other way around it.
There are many tools and widgets that will enable them to collect consent in an elegant, customized way. In this case, “lawful” means “clear” but no one will be sued for explaining to customers how much they will lose if they won’t opt-in. Who knows, maybe even 50% will agree, as in the case of Axel Springer.
Creating real value
I know content marketing sounds a bit 2017, but it works. If advertisers have a different experience and their campaign results have always been dissatisfying, it could be their content that is failing, not their content marketing.
Keeping in mind that by content I mean everything a user can consume on a website, starting from beautiful photos and useful product comparisons and ending with trustworthy, user-generated content – whatever works and can be shamelessly offered as a sign of a brand’s dedication to customers.
The GDPR is a fantastic moment to accept that there is no point in having a blog that no one reads or sending emails that no one opens. But there is a point in starting it all from scratch and asking a simple question: “Would I feel inspired by this content if I came across it?”
If the answer is no, it will be evident in the number of opt-outs. The solution is to create a solid and creative content strategy based on customer insights. Give customers as many reasons as possible to stay engaged with the brand.
Data-driven, not data-hungry
Switching from collecting every single piece of data to really thinking through what data is needed will be a beautiful moment for our industry. This is the time for world-class personalization, qualitative research and a real customer-centric perspective.
The garbage in, garbage out problem will no longer exist when we realize that we can ask for only as much data as we’re able to justify in a single-sentence consent request. That is the real test for the direction we choose to take in our data-driven race.
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