How Data Privacy Is Changing The Way We Advertise

By Aimee Meester
February 23, 2023
The Piccadilly Lights in London with ads

When it comes to marketing and advertising, few topics have received more attention than consumer data privacy. Over the last decade, there has been a large-scale increase in the collection and utilization of customers’ personal information for marketing and advertising purposes. With this increase in personal data collection, there has also been a corresponding increase in concerns about individuals’ right to privacy. These concerns have changed how companies do marketing and advertising.

Privacy-Driven Changes to Marketing and Advertising Practices

In response to growing customer privacy concerns, companies have started changing their consumer data collection approach. Take, for instance, Apple. During its 2021 update, Apple launched features such as App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection. Through this update, Apple gave people more control over the ways their data is used and shared — a change that many customers greatly appreciated.

Apple’s new update reaffirmed the growing need for customer data protection and catalyzed widespread changes to marketing and advertising practices across multiple businesses and industry sectors. Following these changes, companies everywhere had to shift their data collection strategies, balancing the need for ethical privacy protection and effective campaigns.

Implications for Future Privacy Protections

While companies have made steps toward increased data privacy, personal data collection remains a pressing issue for today’s consumers. Here’s how customer data privacy protections will continue to change the way we advertise in today’s marketplace:

The Importance of Trust and Transparency

At its core, advertising is a science of human connection —and connection needs to be built over time with trust and transparency. However, many of today’s businesses neglect to cultivate a sense of openness and trust in their data collection practices.

To access a product or service, many companies still ask customers to share their data without clearly communicating the specifics of how it will be used. This ask creates a forced decision that many customers would prefer to avoid making. Moreover, from a marketing standpoint, it isn’t easy to cultivate trust when customers feel there’s ambiguity around their relationship with the company — especially regarding how the company uses their data.

To help customers make a more informed decision, companies must be up-front about how they use customer data. Whether it’s through creating in-app pop-ups asking for consent to share information, publishing privacy policies online, or developing other customer-facing privacy features, brands must communicate their data collection practices with honesty and transparency.

Data Sharing Value Propositions

Not only does transparency go a long way in cultivating consumer trust, but it also goes a long way in communicating value. Over 86% of today’s customers report wanting to know how and when their data is used, and about half (51%) feel like businesses know too much about them. At the same time, however, 76% of respondents in a 2021 survey reported that they would share some personal information to get a more personalized experience. The bottom line is: while customers are hesitant to share their personal data, they are more willing to do so if they clearly understand the benefits and data privacy policy.

In other words, data sharing has a value proposition of its own. Companies should identify how they can provide clear value for customers who share their data in making an appeal proposition. Whether it’s through outlining whether customers will receive discounts, better content, more relevant ads, or even personalized purchase recommendations, brands need to tell customers exactly what they’ll get in exchange for sharing their data. Most importantly, though, companies should ensure that what they offer in exchange for data sharing is actually seen as valuable.

Building Trust, Conveying Value, and Respecting Privacy

Consumer data privacy is one of the most pressing issues in marketing and advertising. With concerns about personal data collection mounting over the last decade, today’s companies must understand the ethical implications of collecting consumer data. Not only must brands navigate changing data collection practices, but they must work diligently to implement and engage in practices that build trust while conveying value and respecting privacy.

For more information about how to build effective marketing and advertising strategies around ethical data collection practices, check out Madison Taylor Marketing.