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Do Not Disturb

I feel like before I even begin that I’ve already won a metaphor contest. I mean, anyone that’s even spent a semester in college knows what the proverbial sock on the doorknob means. It’s a not so subtle request for privacy and digital platforms are handing the sock to millions of consumers.

A Cookie-Less Digital World

What’s that mean for you as a business owner using these super efficient methods of attracting customers? While we’re on the subject, what does it mean for digital marketing firms chock full of intelligent hard-working hipsters who’ve made a decent living in promoting brands on digital platforms?

Let’s establish right out of the gate that this is not, in fact, the end of the world. I believe that’s scheduled for later in the decade and contrary to what you might have heard, does not involve marketing at all.

What it does mean is that consumers who opt out of sharing their user data will no longer be served ads relevant to their interests using their digital fingerprint. Couple this with ad blocking software and everyone may get an ad free scroll devoid of super compelling content devised to separate you from your money.

This is a good thing, right? Well … yes and no.

Capitalism vs. Privacy and the End of the World

This new emphasis on privacy robs Big Tech of some of the profits they pull in for being really bad people. I mean isn’t it their fault that Trump got elected in the first place? And not only that … didn’t they also kill Jeffrey Epstein? I had also heard that they are also destroying the rainforests which explains why there are only 27 Rainforest Cafes left in America.

I digress yet again, sorry.

But remember, when you don’t pay for something … you are the product. So as we move to eliminate advertising from content you must somehow still pay for said content. Let that settle in for a bit before you continue reading.

And while we’re on the subject … know that the Big Tech super villains are working to make sure you still opt-in for relevant ads so that they can continue their plan for world domination until of course, the world-ending meteor-comet-pandemic-nuclear war-Charlie Sheen/Lindsay Lohan reality series on Bravo occurs in 2028.

Spoiler alert.

What? Us Overreact?

The real truth is that these changes will affect the way ReThinc’s hipsters currently execute our digital marketing efforts. Whereas some efficiencies may be lost, platforms will still be able to deliver valuable audiences capable of making a purchase with a simple keystroke or swipe of their finger.

A handful of solutions are already in the works. The most promising looks to use grouping as a way of maintaining individual privacy while still being able to market with the level of efficiency the industry is known for. This ‘cohort behavior’ will keep your personal information secret while clustering your interests into groups which will be sold to yours truly. That’s me, or better stated, that’s my company for those of you scoring at home.

My intelligent and hard-working hipsters are safe … for now.

It most certainly will require us to manage our campaigns differently than we have in the past. It will not, however, make digital marketing any less impactful to a well structured and properly integrated marketing campaign.

We’ll need to make some assumptions when it comes to audience behaviors based on more limited data than we’ve had in the past. We’ll also look for other sources and methods that provide us key behavioral insights that were historically a little easier for us to access. Simply put, there will not be the level of specificity that an individual cookie browser afforded us.

So, just like the movies the cookie-less digital universe will have been saved at the last minute by some person living in Silicon Valley with a lot of consonants in their name. The hyper-sensitive privacy advocates will need to move on to yet another problem plaguing our society … perhaps they can address the depressing lack of Rainforest Cafes in our country?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ed Olsen is the president/owner of ReThinc Advertising and Public Relations. He has lots of opinions on all things marketing. To read more of them, click here.

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