While businesses have had to adapt to POPI requirements recently, newer international data regulations like EU ePrivacy Directive CCPA and LGPD are further increasing the need for transparent customer data collection. This is having a knock-on effect on any business wanting a global audience as there is now a pressing need to incorporate privacy-first marketing strategies. Meaning that now marketing departments are really having to carefully consider ethical ways to give their customers even more transparency in order to better serve their customers and improve customer experience. In this way, a privacy-first world is one where creating and maintaining authentic relationships with customers is the only way to really understand and serve them. 

So what is a Privacy-First world?

Privacy-first marketing refers to marketing strategies which take data privacy extremely seriously. A privacy-first world prioritizes the handling of sensitive information by treating it with the utmost respect. This includes any information like customer emails, addresses, contact information, preferences and financial information. While this is an ethical necessity, improper handling can also land you with hefty fines. This can have an adverse effect on any marketing efforts, so best it is taken extremely seriously. 

Due to this, all your strategies and tech need to adhere to the customer’s right to top-notch data security measures. This shift has been building for some time and increasingly, customers are not trusting big corporations with their personal information. Coupled with this is a worry that customers don’t really know what businesses are actually going to do with their data, and consumer protection laws like the POPI Act are beginning to make strides in curtailing this growing concern.

Why does Privacy-First matter?

Customers are raising their standards when it comes to handing out their personal information, and this directly impacts marketing and advertising campaigns. This ultimately encourages businesses to place an emphasis on building strong relationships with their customers by being totally transparent. In years to come, this position is sure to become a competitive advantage.

Preparation for a Privacy-First world - what does this look like?

At the heart of this, company growth should never come at the expense of the customer’s trust. This will involve shifting to a first-party data model which holds the potential to generate double the revenue from ad campaigns. 

What are the different types of first-party data?

Behavioural data includes information about what users are doing on your company’s website or app including what pages they are visiting, their length of stay and purchase activity. This is collected through back-end analytics tools. Demographic data refers to data that understands the customer’s characteristics including age, interest, area and gender. This data is collected through registration forms and surveys. The combination of these two types of data offers a wealth of information to the business and can be combed and analyzed in order to understand how to create customized marketing strategies with specific customers in mind. 

The bottom line

To make the most of a privacy-first world, business owners need to use clean, first-party data to build their marketing strategies. While this kind of change will always feel strange, first-party data will soon become normalized and will cause an important shift of power - out of the marketer’s hands and back into the customer’s. In fact, soon advertisers will realise that gaining a customer’s trust is a privilege and these are the necessary steps required in order to make that happen. 

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