Digital Marketing and Privacy: What is Changing and How to Adapt?

3 min read

The interaction between brands and consumers has become much easier, courtesy of the internet. It would take loads of effort to reach out to the audience in the past. Today, it’s just a matter of seconds. It has gifted companies the opportunity to snowball and reach for the skies much faster than was possible earlier.

The instant access to customer information 24/7 has increased the reliance on technology. It has also made consumers worry about their data privacy and how companies use it. This question haunts many digital users, and companies slowly come to terms with the new normal.

Thus, it is no longer acceptable to perform questionable data practices. Unfair or inappropriate can even lead to fines, with some companies learning this the wrong way. So, let’s see what has changed and how marketing specialists need to adapt.

The Dawn of a New Era

Consumers already know to avoid making online purchases from unsafe websites. However, your data can be mishandled even by well-known and seemingly reliable companies.

In 2018, the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed in Europe to strengthen data privacy protection. 2020 saw California passing the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

These regulations have given consumers more control over what personal information companies collect about them, how they ensure its security, and how they use it. There are a variety of steps marketers have taken to abide by the new regulations like,

  • Including opt-in checkboxes seeking consent before users are put on the mailing list.
  • Making consumer access to privacy statements and disclosures much easier.
  • Adding web pages dedicated to giving consumers the option to access, modify, or even delete the personal information they had shared earlier.

With the passing of the GDPR and the CCPA, protecting consumer privacy has become easier, but they are not enough. Technology pushes forward at an alarming rate, and regulations struggle to keep up with the demand. Thus, specialists themselves need to know what actions might constitute negative responses.

How Can Marketers Adapt to the Changed Environment?

With the introduction of privacy laws and the changes in marketing platforms, we must study how advertisers can adapt. There are various ways this can come about as marketers realize that collecting everything is no longer an option. Therefore, new strategies need to be put in place.

Thus, the best way to balance the need for consumer data and protect its privacy is to:   

  • Be responsible when collecting data.
  • Be resourceful while communicating with the audience.

It is also essential to understand what the modern customer needs. Furthermore, privacy-conscious users might no longer use Google Chrome or its default search engine. Instead, they might go for more privacy-focused options like Brave and DuckDuckGo. Moreover, users can choose to encrypt their traffic and hide their IP addresses. Such actions are typically performed with the help of Virtual Private Networks. Deciding to initiate a VPN download means users will enjoy more private, anonymous, and safer online experiences.

As a result, marketers should make privacy something they can market. For instance, be open about how your product protects data: modern users will certainly appreciate this.

Focus on Quality Content

Matching content to only specific metrics has been a common practice among marketers. The focus now needs to shift to creating quality content — it’s vital. Instead of reaching out to smaller demographics, the ads marketers now make should cater to the needs of many people at once. Doing so will help marketers adapt to the new “messaging for many” strategy.

Increase the frequency of ads

For a better-structured approach, marketers should stop sending direct messages that target the customers’ hearts. Instead, the frequency of ads and communication should be increased.

An example is repeatedly stopping showing the same ad and switching to multiple ads giving out interesting messages for a well-rounded approach. For better brand recognition, marketers may increase the number of times they interact with the audience.

Adopt a More Transparent and Compliant Methodology

With the passing of stricter privacy laws, marketers must focus on transparency and compliance while collecting personal data. They may do so by controlling some aspects of their websites.

They can ensure that consumers find it easy to access privacy policies and other site guidelines. They must also give consumers the option to opt-out of some aspects like email campaigns.

Go for Integrated Brand Metrics

Marketers must adopt integrated brand metrics to deal with the changing environment. It involves marketers checking the effectiveness of their ad campaigns at the macro level, not the micro level.

The focus should shift from the effectiveness of individual ad campaigns to evaluating every aspect of the marketing campaign, like the overall spending on ads, the ROI, and customer satisfaction. It will help marketers with their overall messaging effectiveness.

Consider Your Privacy Policy

All services have privacy policies. However, even if users open them, they rarely read them. Lengthy documents might be done with good intentions, like explaining all the details and leaving no stone unturned. Sadly, it is a problem online as people avoid reading them. Additionally, the language in these documents usually requires some legal knowledge. And in some cases, specific terms might be written between the lines.

For instance, a service might be vague about how it deals with users’ data. As an open and reliable business, it is essential to look for ways how to adapt. Customers will appreciate quick introductions to how companies deal with their data. And even if some users won’t regard such documents as an advantage, there is an audience and market for you to explore with such strategies.


Laws like GDPR and CCPA have made ensuring consumer privacy more challenging. With increased consumer awareness, marketers are putting more effort into protecting consumer privacy, like opting out of email campaigns. The changing environment has brought about a strategy that focuses on more transparency and quality content. The days ahead will tell us how companies adapt to the changing environment. In many cases, companies that change their operations earlier will be the first ones to reap the benefits.

Shaukat Ali An enthusiastic writer, gamer, and foodie, interested in helping people and becoming a veteran in all things technical. Cybersecurity is her passion, and the fight for digital privacy is one of her favourite subjects to dig deeper on a regular basis.

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