The fastest thing in the world list usually looks something like: cheetahs (duh), the world’s fastest rapper (up for debate), bullet trains, and how fast our cell phone does NOT charge. Now, if you asked a marketer to make a list of really quickly approaching things, it might look more like this: “the amount of time I have before my next deadline”…and repeat. 

One thing we can agree on is that data privacy is changing, fast. And, as with most changes in the business world, it pays to be an early adopter. So, rather than waiting and making the necessary adjustments when there isn’t another option, now is the time to consider how to be proactive. 

Here are five things you need to know about data privacy as it relates to marketing.  

1. Cookies

Not the kind you eat, and saccharine jokes aside, they’re absolutely important to know about for your marketing. We’ll cover the differences between first-party data and third-party data, and why this difference matters to marketers. 

Let’s start with third-party cookies. These are cookies that are created by websites other than the website currently open in your browser. They are used to track individuals across multiple websites, providing advertisers with detailed information that can be used for highly-specific retargeting ads, and they are not going to be around much longer. In order to protect consumer privacy, web browsers are phasing out support for third-party cookies. This represents a significant change for the advertising industry and it’s widely seen as a step forward for consumer privacy.

This shift away from using third-party data will place more importance on businesses to use first-party data (i.e. information collected directly from a user who has given consent or opted-in to receive marketing emails from businesses). Many websites collect first-party cookies, which are used to enhance the user experience on a website. In fact, first-party cookies, which track basic data for your own website visitors, are  important to maintaining a good relationship with users and for improving the experience on your website. First-party cookies help users interact on your website, by remembering data or preferences for future visits. A first-party, data-centric approach is essential to the success of your marketing efforts yesterday, and moving forward.

Watch our recent AIM webinar to learn more about data privacy and how Google is changing the rules on 3rd party information.

2. Browser-Based Changes

Web browsers are owned by various private companies, and therefore, their approaches and standards for data privacy vary. On the privacy-centric side, there are browsers like Brave that block all ads and trackers by default. Chrome, and other browsers, range from the middle, to the make-the-private-public end of the spectrum, and their stances about consumer privacy and third-party cookies are changing. While these changes are very weighty for many in the digital advertising world, working with a best-in-class MarTech provider, who is already focused on first-party, data-based marketing, will make sure these changes aren’t felt by your property or community’s marketing. Want some good news? G5’s Customer Data Platform relies on first-party data to power your marketing efforts. 

3. Apple iOS 14

Amid this landscape of quickly shifting data privacy stances, Apple has one too. They’ve announced that iOS 14 will include a new feature that requires users to give apps permission to track them across various apps and websites. Until now, this has always been buried in service and privacy terms (you know, the things many of us scroll past and then click accept). So what changed? With this update, users will see something, like a pop-up, that requires them to provide consent for the apps to track them. The number of people who do not want to be tracked is a non-zero number. Ultimately, this will reduce the information, aka data, that apps and advertising networks, like Facebook, have available for targeting. This change will impact some industries. But, a best-in-class MarTech provider can help your advertising perform throughout these changes. Thanks to working in multiple industries, G5 is very familiar with advertising under what Facebook calls a “Special Advertisement Category,” which was established in order to prevent discrimination. When you advertise under a “Special Advertisement Category,” your ad targeting is already limited. Which is why, we learned to use property or community features including location, places of interest, and amenities to attract renters. 

4. Transparency

The bottom line is: for too long marketers have viewed users as data points, tracking them however possible. And, this directly conflicts with the fact that customers value their online privacy, with 81% of users saying they think the potential risks of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. This means we need to make shifts, and one thing we can change is how transparent we are about the data we collect and why. This ethos of transparency aligns nicely with customer values with 66% of consumers saying that company transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. Data transparency demands data consent. This could look like creating an individual user login, or a cookies consent pop-up. Your company likely has different systems and platforms, and it is essential that your data is connected on the backend because it ensures uniform user data consent. 

5. Make the First Move

There is a huge opportunity to make the first move in changing the narrative on how we talk about data. Rather than letting your renters assume the worst, show the value in how your property uses data. It could be a list of things your property does and doesn’t do. There is a chance to build brand affinity with your property because of your values-based approach to data privacy. For example, Starbucks has a catchy approach to cookies consent. Their pop-up gives users the option for different cookie settings, from required cookies that are needed for core site functionality, to helpful cookies that allow them to analyze the site usage so they can measure and improve website performance, to advertising cookies that serve ads that are relevant to the user. Options like these are growing in popularity, both with users and with early adopters, when navigating a new way of looking at data. 

Do Not Pass Go

It can feel hard to catch up when things are moving fast, which is why we compiled everything you need to know about data and modern marketing into one place. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do download Part 4 of the G5 MarTech Series. Still Cookie-Monster-hungry to get more out of the report? Download the Data Workbook