Data Privacy Impact on Marketing Strategy

6 cookies crumbling in row frameworkOne of the casualties emerging from various data privacy-related mandates and initiatives is the traditional digital advertising model.  Traditional models have primarily relied upon massive surveillance mechanisms such as 3rd party cookies and device identifiers to deliver relevant ads and enable critical measurement use cases. 

However, new regulatory requirements for consent and transparency, along with heightened consumer awareness for data privacy, are forcing browser and mobile platform vendors to remove 3rd party cookies and device identifiers. As a result, those traditional surveillance mechanisms are going away, which is upending the advertising industry’s standard methods for acquiring and retaining customers.  

Marketers are now facing a challenge to continue to build direct relationships with customers in the absence of these surveillance mechanisms.  Adding to the complexity is the need to now continually acquire consent and provide transparency to consumers for their use of their data.

Against this backdrop, how can companies continue to grow their business – especially with heightened consumer awareness for data privacy?  Even though this new restricted operating environment disrupts traditional marketing methods, it also presents an opportunity for marketers to build more robust direct relationships with their customers.  

There are three fundamental business questions marketers have to ask themselves:

  • How to build direct relationships with existing customers
  • How to boost marketing and advertising performance for acquiring new customers
  • How to provide value in exchange for data

The latest data privacy landscape provides challenges for both retaining existing customers and acquiring new customers.  To offer practical answers to all three questions, we have to think about solutions within the context of customers’ data privacy, consent, and intent requirements – all at once.  

The answer lies in zero-party data with inherent privacy, consent, and intent.  At its core, zero-party data signifies a direct relationship between a customer and a business.  

How to build direct relationships with existing customers

A business can acquire intent along the customer journey for an existing customer, such as when they create an account, sign up for a subscription, or purchase merchandise.  However, existing customers now expect the business will protect their data, use it responsibly themselves, and hold their 3rd party business partners accountable. Companies must add privacy and consent elements to the data chain across internal and 3rd party systems.  

How to boost marketing and advertising performance for acquiring new customers

For acquiring new customers, casting wide surveillance nets for ads is no longer possible.  So, acquiring customer intent becomes more critical.  It turns out the exact mechanisms that allow a customer to provide consent and gain transparency can be utilized to obtain and deliver their intent to businesses but, in this case, with guarantees of consent and privacy along with it. 

The result is customer data enriched with intent and consent that also provides privacy guarantees to the customer.  

How to provide value in exchange for data

For existing customers, companies learn about them through each interaction with them.  However, for new customers who they have not interacted with so far, businesses have to take deliberate steps to offer value in exchange for their data.  This value can be delivered in the form of discounts or cashback awards in exchange for their intent.  Customer intent delivered upfront to businesses provides a much better return on investment because product offerings and incentives are delivered based on an already established desire to purchase on the part of the customer. 


Data enriched by potential customers with their intent, consent, and privacy reduces the overall risk and liability for business in this age of data regulations and provides a much better return on investment for business vis-à-vis advertising spending on traditional surveillance-based targeting. 

The demise of traditional marketing and advertising models for privacy reasons does not have to leave a lasting negative impact on business.  Businesses that recognize and leverage the opportunity to provide privacy guarantees and honor consent will benefit from these data privacy trends with more enriched knowledge of the customer and lasting and trusted relationships with their customer audiences.

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