In this guest post, n3 Hub’s business development manager Stephen Schwalger (lead image), says changes to the way marketers can use data, the rise of AI and more in-housing by clients means marketing agencies are facing a number of challenges into the future…
Significant changes to the way companies can collect and use personal data are forcing a rethink by marketers about how to conduct campaigns.
Proposed changes to Australia’s Privacy Act means tactics that have been used for years will need to be overhauled and customers given the opportunity to opt out of targeting marketing. Permission will also be required before any personal data is collected in the first place.
The changes come in the wake of steps undertaken by the big tech platforms to address privacy and personal data protection policies being strengthened across the globe. With Google and others restricting third-party cookies usage for tracking visitors to websites and the serving of personalised advertising by the end of 2023, marketers and brands will need to have quality first party data that they can use into the future.
Marketers are also facing growing challenges from the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Where traditionally marketing materials have been crafted by experienced copywriters and designers, an increasing proportion is likely to be generated by AI.
A change of strategy
As a result of these seismic forces, the way in which marketing and advertising agencies operate is going to have to change. Customer data will need to be correctly collected to ensure that all privacy requirements are met and explicit permission obtained before it is used in any way.
Customers will also need to be offered the ability to opt out of marketing at any time and have any personal data that might have been collected deleted or archived. Any failure to do this can result in prosecution and hefty fines.
Agencies are also being squeezed by the fact that an increasing number of clients are opting to take responsibility for social media marketing in house. Rather than relying on an agency to generate all the creative and book advertising space, this is increasingly being done internally.
The bottom line is that agencies will need to rethink the way they attract and service clients. Rather than relying on traditional discrete marketing activities and a campaign-based model, they will need to adopt an end-to-end customer experience approach that can add value at multiple points in the marketing process and that is tailored to individual customer’s journeys.
The importance of Customer Data Platforms
These changes to the marketing landscape are placing an increasing focus on the value that can be delivered by Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). CDPs bring all of the data from across the business into a central platform that allows agencies and their clients to create detailed profiles of customers and orchestrates highly personalised marketing messages delivered at the right time in the right channel.
Already widely used by leading brands, the value of CDPs will increase even further as companies come to understand the full implication of the proposed changes to data privacy and management regulations to be introduced in Australia.
Agencies that make use of a CDP will be in a much better position to strengthen and deepen the relationship they have with their clients. The agencies will be able to design and deliver sophisticated and compelling campaigns that are based on accurate and well managed customer data, which when combined with great creative will deliver significantly improved outcomes.
Customer privacy can also be strengthened. As all collected data is encrypted and stored in a single location, it can remain secure at all times and removed should a request be received.
Armed with a CDP, an agency can also improve the way it delivers multi-channel marketing campaigns. Data collected can be used to provide a consistent experience for customers regardless of the communications channel they choose to interact with a brand.
Better client relationships
While many brands are understandably cautions about what the multiple changes in the digital marketing space will mean for them, increasing numbers of agencies are seeing it as a significant opportunity.
By offering a one-stop-shop of strategy and services, underpinned by a CDP, leading agencies will be well placed to become a strategic business partner for their clients. As well as developing and delivering sophisticated omni-channel marketing campaigns, they will be able to attribute marketing performance across the wider business metrics. In particular, they’ll be able to demonstrate specific sales, media cost, customer acquisition numbers, customer lifetime value, reductions in churn and almost any other KPI that the business is ranked upon.
Agencies will add further value by assisting in the effective collection and management of customer data and by helping clients comply with current and future data privacy requirements. All management can be undertaken by the agency, removing a significant burden for in-house teams.
The pace of change in the marketing sector will continue to be rapid in the months ahead. By establishing a strong working relationship with a sophisticated and experienced agency, brands can be well placed to continue to grow their share of the market.
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