Navigating the New Marketing Landscape: Privacy, Data, and Causality Challenges

March 8, 2024
Navigating the New Marketing Landscape: Privacy, Data, and Causality Challenges

Critical issues are plaguing the industry, such as the decline of digital marketing’s golden era due to privacy concerns, data incompleteness, and a lack of understanding causality. With DMA & GDPR tightening the noose, marketers find themselves grappling with over 25% less data, leading to deteriorated MTA (Multi-Touch Attribution) models and significant daily data loss.

In the world of digital marketing, the effectiveness of your strategy hinges on three pivotal factors: privacy, data completeness, and causality. Let’s dive into these challenges and see how they're reshaping the marketing landscape.

The Privacy Puzzle

In an era where consumer data protection is paramount, marketers face a conundrum. Regulations like GDPR and Digital Markets Act are stripping away over 25% of accessible data, leaving MTA models gasping for breath. The result? A significant drop in data quality and a daily loss of critical insights. Why?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA), in particular, introduces a new layer of complexity by targeting 'gatekeeper' platforms like Google, Amazon, Meta, and Apple, demanding more stringent data privacy measures and data sharing restrictions​​​​. Which is great for us all as end users and consumers, BUUUUUT!

This shake-up is throwing marketers a curveball, especially when it comes to getting our ads just right and measuring how well they're hitting the mark. The DMA could mean we're losing even more of those precious signals we rely on to tailor our campaigns and track their success, compounding the challenges already presented by privacy-focused changes from major tech companies​​.

Another key focus point of the The Digital Markets Act is to make it easier for users to move their data between services, which is great for user choice. However, this change is challenging for us marketers because we've always used shared data to better understand our audience and measure campaign success. Now we have to rethink our approach.

While GDPR and DMA rules are great for privacy and fair play, they make marketing a lot tougher, especially with ads, tracking, and getting results. Marketers must think big, use their own data, and embrace new tech to stay sharp. Thankfully we are here. We have the tools, the know-how, and the experience to tackle the privacy issue. We can guide you through, making sure your marketing hits the mark even with these new rules.

Data Completeness

The dilemma doesn't end with privacy. The real question is, why base your investments on a mere fraction of your business results? Traditional strategies often focus on the small 5-15% of sales from e-commerce, which shapes about 30-40% of a company's media budget, not considering that the majority of revenue is generated by physical stores where shopping behavior is completely different.

Having lots of data isn't enough; it's crucial to have the right kind of data to shape solid marketing plans. With cookies going away and privacy rules getting tighter, we have to rethink how we’re gathering and using data. Of course we all want to respect privacy but when it comes to tracking how well marketing works, we now have to look at the big picture. This means in order to make smart decisions, we need to think about the whole experience a customer goes through, not just what happens on e-commerce sites.

And if your data isn't complete, you might miss chances for engagement, get the wrong idea about what customers are doing, and not use your marketing budget the best way. The solution? Define critical data elements, make certain fields mandatory, use data profiling techniques, and leverage automation and AI to improve data quality and completeness​​. And yes, that's a lot, but that's why we're here and more than happy to help.

Analytical Alley is your best buddy when it comes to figuring this out, we integrate 100% of business results, ensuring every marketing move is backed by solid, validated data. And we help you define what kind of data you need, in what form and what is most important.

Deciphering Causality

Lastly, the lack of causality in data interpretation can lead marketers down a misleading path. For instance, you might notice a correlation between social media engagement and sales increases, and think "Aha, more posts mean more sales!" But hold on! What about seasonal buying patterns or how your whole marketing mix works together? It's crucial to play detective and delve deeper into data to understand what’s truly driving those numbers, ensuring strategies are based on solid causal relationships, not just coincidental correlations.

Here’s one. Turns out, as margarine gets less popular in the U.S., fewer couples in Maine decide to call it quits. Weird, right? Might even want to conclude that eating less margarine saves marriages. That's where you trip up, mistaking correlation for causality. There's no way buttery spread choice is dictating love lives. Sure, it's a quirky example, but think about it – isn't that the same trap you might be falling into? Don’t jump to conclusions. Just because two things line up on a graph doesn't mean one's calling the shots for the other.

Causal research is key in figuring out if one thing actually causes another. For example, how certain strategies affect sales or customer loyalty. It helps you move past just seeing patterns to understanding what really drives results. But untangling cause and effect in marketing's complex world is tough, with so many factors at play and real-world conditions that can't be controlled in a lab setting. Getting it wrong can lead to wasted efforts and resources. That's why you need to run controlled tests, make educated choices, and analyze data carefully to tell the difference between true causes and mere coincidences, guiding smarter decisions and dodging costly errors.

Our solution?

We're looking at the big picture to get past these hurdles. In today's digital world, we're facing privacy challenges, missing data, and the tough job of figuring out what's causing what.

So, why make do with bits and pieces of data and guesses when Analytical Alley has the tools to help you through? We make sure every bit of your marketing budget is used smartly, with data that's not just complete but really tells you something. From integrating macro decisions to adapting to seasonality, our models are designed to give you a clear edge over traditional strategies.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t try and just get by in today's marketing world. Push towards more effective, data-driven marketing!

Book a demo and see how we can turn these challenges into your competitive advantage.

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