In 2020, Google reported that searches about privacy increased significantly. Whether that is due to stories in the media, concerns about fraud or frustration when being chased around the internet with ads for a product viewed once days ago, companies need to take note.
Google have recently announced that they are making changes to protect users’ privacy. While first part cookies will continue, this will mean the end of third party cookies on Chrome. In addition, with Apple’s iOS 14 update that users will have to opt in for certain data to be collected about them. This could affect marketing activity such as Facebook pixels.
There will be some companies worried about these changes, about reduced reach or ability to target potential customers. However, that is missing the point.
What do privacy changes mean for marketing?
While companies such as Google and Facebook will still use data to create target audiences for advertising, rather than worry about campaigns being less effective, is this now time for marketing to get back to basics?
Marketing, done properly, is about putting yourself in your customers’ or potential customers’ shoes. Marketing done properly is about understanding what customers need and developing a product or service that will benefit them. Companies who get it right are able to communicate in a timely and relevant way, developing meaningful relationships with their customers.
We often have conversations with companies who want a steady stream of enquiries starting tomorrow, as though marketing is a tap that can be turned on and off at will. However, those who demonstrate authenticity, relevance and integrity, will be far more effective in the long term.
Marketing is about building your brand and reputation, about raising awareness of your company supported by tactical activity to drive sales. So privacy changes or no privacy changes, these are the things you should really be focusing on.
Making your marketing more effective
Depending on the type of industry you are in, the emphasis on each of these areas will vary.
- Website. Does your website simply talk about you or does it contain relevant, informative content? If it does people are more likely to come back time and time again.
- Social media isn’t about shouting about what you do. It’s about engagement. educating, guiding, possibly entertaining as well as promoting what you do.
- Client emails – if you offer relevant information and your customers value what you do they will be happy to receive email communication from you.
- Online advertising. Of course this will still be effective, but focusing on relevance and timely communication is key to success.
- A return to more traditional advertising such as newspapers, magazines, inserts, leaflet drops, or direct mail, print advertising is less intrusive than digital advertising. With the swing towards online advertising, some businesses are finding print more effective and, as with any marketing, if this is where your target market are, then it should be a focus for you.
- Face to face contact – whether you run a shop or a restaurant where you meet customers daily, or a service business where your contacts might be at networking meetings your face to face interaction are so important to establishing your expertise and developing relationships. Harder during COVID when retail is online and business is done via Zoom, but still possible.
But of course, as with any marketing, if your marketing activity is working for you then don’t swap or change. As they say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Google privacy searches 2020
Sixth Sense Marketing is a Hampshire marketing agency supporting clients in Southern England. If you want to get in touch for a chat, or are considering reviewing your marketing, get in touch. Give us a call on 01252 213131 or email us. Or find out more here.
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