Digital privacy is constantly under evaluation, evolving as more consumers become frustrated (or downright creeped out) by the level of data companies have on them – and how they use it. Luckily for consumers, data privacy is now being prioritized by the largest brands (like Apple, Google and Facebook) in a variety of ways that put users’ preferences before brands’ access. If we’re being honest, this is great for consumers everywhere and privacy as a whole. But, where does it leave marketing? Here’s a look at how you can still reach your customers even as third-party data becomes less and less available.
Build A Relationship
If you knew your customers inside and out, and spoke with them regularly, you wouldn’t have much need to draw up a report to find out what topics interest them based on where they’ve clicked online… right? Yet, this is the way that marketing and sales have largely gone in recent years. As we’ve seen the possibilities that data provides, businesses have become hungry for more, more, more.
This is not entirely selfish, but it’s not entirely altruistic either. After all, they generally want to know what their buyers care about so they can give them relevant content and products. At the same time, they want to do this because it helps boost revenue and grow their company. There’s nothing wrong with either of those things; it’s just good to know what’s behind all the data grabbing and why consumers have finally started to say enough is enough.
So, this leaves us with relationships. If you can’t get the same individual-based information about a prospect from Facebook that you used to, how else might you connect with that person? Could your salespeople research your prospects on LinkedIn and find something out about them, like their alma mater? Then, send an introduction along with something thoughtful from that school? Or, what about even going back to basics. Set up coffee meetings (or virtual meetings), make a phone call or send a genuine email. When you start with a relationship, you can never go wrong – and sometimes, you might even find out loads more than you would through data.
Ask For It
Of course, the problem with 1:1 relationships is that they’re hard to scale. When you need to learn more about your audience, but can’t have personal conversations with each person, there are other options. First, if you’re in the B2B world, you could check out account-based marketing and solutions that help you have a more personal, personalized interaction with a prospect (or account) at scale.
Second, you can ask your customers for their preferences. It might sound crazy, but send them a quick survey. Ask them for their topics of interest, the problem(s) they’re facing, what role they’re in, and anything else that would help you better understand and serve them. You might be surprised by the responses you get and, when you do, you gathered that data with their permission. If you have trouble getting responses to a survey, you can also incentivize or hold a drawing for a big giveaway, which sometimes is all people need to be willing to participate.
These aren’t completely unique ideas, but they can be very effective, especially as data privacy is changing every day. Need help navigating the waters of marketing among all the nonstop digital evolution? We’re here to help!