Anti-Spam and Data Privacy Impacts on Marketing

By Madison Taylor
January 2, 2022
colorful macaroons on top of each other, scattered in a white bowl

User data is a priority in the modern digital landscape, personalizing outbound marketing for optimized results. However, the rise of data attracts a barrage of cyber threats that target unprotected parties. Market research shows that 67% of internet users in the US are unaware of national privacy and data protection rules, while 9% of users believe that digital privacy is nothing more than a myth.

These worrying user statistics have led to a renewed focus on anti-spam and data privacy laws in the US. State-issued initiatives include California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), and Virginia’s HB 2307 Consumer Data Protection Act.

These statutes are likely to leave a lasting impact on the privacy and marketing strategy of organizations across all sectors. Marketing leaders and decision-makers need to redefine their outreach methods to engage customers and prospects while complying with the latest regulatory changes.

Developing a Core Marketing Concept

Customers have always been the central force behind marketing success – deciding their preferences, expectations, and privacy settings. The recent lineup of anti-spam and data privacy statutes has only served to highlight the urgency of giving customers much-needed control over their buyer journey and data management.

With the latest guidelines, companies under the jurisdiction must acquire explicit consent from recipients before sending a promotional email or initiating a digital interaction. Individuals who did not provide express consent have the right to lodge a complaint and take legal action against senders.

Additionally, under some privacy statutes (i.e., CCPA), customers have the right to request that companies remove data from their sites despite prior given consent. Organizations need to comply in response to customer requests and submit evidence of the actions taken.

Reframing Marketing Funnels

The stringent requirements for consent empower customers to decide the trajectory of their buyer journey. Marketing teams will need to deviate from conventional funnel management standards (i.e., ToFu engagements and touchpoints).

Instead, teams will need to identify the target outcomes of customers according to various stages of the buyer journey and provide support through the steps to achieve them.

Prioritizing Customer Marketing

Increased anti-spam and data challenges may require companies to focus marketing efforts on existing customers. Acquiring new customers is costly, often far more so than putting in the requisite customer retention work to encourage existing customers to make repeat purchases.

Acquisition costs may inflate with the implementation of additional data requirements and strategies for lead conversion too. More companies may decide to invest in the known (i.e., current customer preferences) rather than pricier guesswork (i.e., the chance of acquiring new customers).

Rethinking Standard Marketing Decks

As the authorities continue to roll out additional anti-spam and data privacy requirements, companies must change demand generation methods. For example, marketing teams need to avoid equipping sales representatives with purchased email lists.

Failure in compliance with anti-spam and data privacy laws may eventually result in hefty fines, similar to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), charging up to millions per violation.

Leveraging Partnerships and Networks

Companies may see increased collaborations with business partners, groups, and industry contacts to extend their customer reach while maintaining data privacy compliance. The approach serves as a legal and effective means of tapping on shared contacts who have provided express consent, improving the ROI of marketing initiatives.

Responsive Anti-spam and Privacy Policies

Some organizations have responded to the latest anti-spam and data privacy statutes with revisions of their marketing policies. These added measures include implementing proof of compliance clauses in marketing and sales contracts and a broad shift from push to pull marketing through tailored customer engagements.

Advantages of Data Privacy Laws

Aside from improving user data protection, anti-spam and data privacy regulations provide organizations with valuable customer-led insights through a first-person database. The supplied information elevates customer outreach strategies through accurate information, optimizing engagement with precision marketing across omnichannel technology.

Additionally, data privacy laws can instill trust in a brand. Market research shows that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to purchase from them. Transparent data privacy practices can help eliminate doubt and disinterest that may arise from the first contact with customers and improve conversion rates.

Embracing the Data-sensitive Future of Marketing

Marketing strategies have transformed over the years, from traditional methods to rapid digitization and data optimization. Companies need to navigate anti-spam and data privacy regulations by replacing old habits with new practices that respect the confidentiality of customers.

According to McKinsey, the bulk of company marketing research devotes itself to activities such as developing market potentials (for both existing and new products), analyzing customer buying habits and requirements, and measuring advertising effectiveness.

Rather than identifying the large-scale adoption of anti-spam and data privacy laws as a stumbling block, marketers should take it as an opportunity to refine, streamline, and qualify their customer base.

By recognizing the interests of target demographics, acquiring express consent should be a frictionless process that marks the beginning of a long and healthy relationship.