Social media

How Apple’s privacy changes are forcing social media marketing to evolve

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Direct-to-consumer companies that previously relied heavily on Facebook (now Meta) as a way to target and advertise through social media are now beginning to realize the dangers resulting from privacy policy changes instituted by Apple. These changes have disrupted the digital advertising strategy of hundreds of thousands of businesses and forced these companies to find new routes to their coveted customers.

Some brands have stuck with Facebook and Instagram, but many others are making abrupt pivots to embrace more zero-party and first-party data while turning to new social platforms for one-to-one connection-based marketing. such as TikTok.

Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPad, has changed the way it manages the privacy of its users. Specifically, it now gives customers more control over privacy settings, giving them more control over the personal data that is provided to brands.

Big data-generated ads have helped companies target people on social platforms such as Meta and Instagram, platforms that in the past could message users who possess characteristics indicating that messages and offers are likely to be of interest.


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Of course, Big Data is the process of purchasing data from a third-party vendor – collecting online activity, purchase history, social media content and more to identify people who may be interested in what companies have to offer.

How are brands of all sizes changing their marketing?

But today, Apple’s privacy changes have made this process more difficult, causing more companies to seek alternative channels to deliver their marketing messages. Aside from privacy, this pivot isn’t bad news for businesses, as these big data-driven ads were based on outdated or inaccurate data.

As a result, a growing number of brands are taking a more community-focused approach to building relationships and producing their own content on social platforms and blogs, while also working with influencers on a smaller scale and returning to other “traditional” forms of marketing such as direct mail and email. These brands believe that engaging more with consumers on social media through direct messages is almost the opposite of targeting consumers at scale that they previously employed through third-party lists. By taking a more individual approach to each individual client, they can make a more lasting impression.

This pivot has helped companies leverage zero-party data, which is information that a customer freely and intentionally shares with a brand they trust. This can include personal ideas such as preferencescomments, profile information, interests, consent and purchase intent.

The result is more trust, empowerment and control over data

This step is a step in the right direction as customers should have more control over their data. The advantages of using zero-party data are:

  • It is unique to the brand and no other brand has the same data.
  • It is the ultimate source of truth as the customer offers their own insight, rather than the brand making assumptions based on Big Data.
  • It is relationship-based and therefore relies on a higher level of trust with the customer, which means that the company must be transparent about its use of data and the relationship must be mutually beneficial.

Every communication throughout the customer lifecycle (lead, purchase, registration, customer service) creates rich potential for zero-party data collection. For example, you can send customers a survey to better understand their unique perspectives on the company, products, or services. You can create a quiz in your welcome email, which can be both engaging and insightful. You can send a text message soon after a customer makes a purchase and get a little creative to entice consumers to share data and set yourself apart from others. Many companies today also use pop-ups on their websites that ask some interesting questions, with the promise of providing something valuable in exchange for users’ time.

Even B2B-focused companies are seeing changes in the way they market. The FTC is currently considering whether to maintain its business-to-business telemarketing sales rule exception, which, if discontinued, means B2B-focused companies could no longer use telemarketing as the government cracks down on market abuses. telemarketing. This change would mean that B2B companies would also have to identify new marketing methods, such as zero-party data approaches.

The changes implemented by Apple have made Meta and Instagram less attractive as marketing channels. It did zero-to party Data and even more valuable new social platforms and engagement through blogging and traditional marketing. Brands that move in this direction and seize new marketing and consumer engagement opportunities will see great benefits in the years to come.

Scott Frey is Founder, President and CEO of Possible NOW.


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