Direct-to-consumer companies that used Facebook (now Meta), to advertise and target customers via social media, are beginning to see the dangers of privacy policies that Apple has instituted. These changes have reshaped the digital advertising strategy of hundreds of thousands of companies and forced them to seek new routes to their most coveted customers.
While some brands remain loyal to Instagram and Facebook, others are shifting to embrace more first-party and data while turning to new social media platforms that focus on one-to-one connections such as TikTok.
Social media marketing: What changed with Apple?
Apple, the maker of the iPhone, and iPad has made changes to its privacy policies. Apple now offers customers greater control over privacy settings. This gives them more control over what personal data they give to brands.
Big Data has enabled companies to target individuals on social media platforms like Instagram and Meta. In the past, these platforms could send messages to users with characteristics that indicated that the messages and offers might be of interest.
Big Data, as it is known, is the purchase of data from a third party provider. This includes collecting online activity, purchase history and social media content to identify potential customers.
How can brands of all sizes change their marketing strategies?
Apple’s privacy policies today make this difficult. This has led more companies to look for alternative channels to deliver their marketing messages. This pivot isn’t all bad news for companies, as these Big Data-driven ads are based on inaccurate or outdated data.
A growing number of brands are adopting a community-driven approach to building relationships, producing content on their blogs and social media platforms, as well as working with smaller influencers and returning back to traditional marketing methods like direct mail and email. This is a shift from the traditional third-party targeting approach that saw them target large numbers of consumers via social media. These brands believe direct messaging with consumers is a better way to engage with them. They can leave a lasting impression by focusing on each customer one-on-one.
This pivot has allowed companies to leverage zero party data. This is information that a customer freely shares with a trusted brand. This data can include personal insights such as preferences and feedback. It also includes interests, consent, and purchase intention.
The result is more trust, empowerment and data control
This is a good step in the right direction, as customers need to be more in control over their data. The following are the benefits of zero-party information:
- It is unique to the brand, and no other brands have the same data.
- It is the ultimate source for truth because the customer provides their own insights, and not the brand’s assumptions based upon big data.
- It is relationship-based, so it relies more on trust with customers. This means that the company must be transparent in its data use and that the relationship must be mutually advantageous.
There are many ways to collect zero-party information in every communication that you have with customers throughout their customer journey (purchase, registration, prospect, customer service). To better understand your customers’ perspectives, you could send them a survey. A quiz can be included in your welcome email. This can be both informative and engaging. A text message can be sent to customers shortly after they make a purchase. This will allow you to get creative and encourage them to share their data. Pop-ups are used by many companies to ask engaging questions and promise something in return for their users’ time.
Even B2B-focused businesses are experiencing changes in the way they market. The FTC is currently evaluating whether it will continue the Telemarketing Business Rule exception business-to-business. If this happens, B2B-focused businesses would be no longer able to use telephone marketing as the government cracks down against telemarketing abuse. B2B companies would also need to find new marketing methods, such as zero-party approaches.
Meta and Instagram have become less attractive marketing channels due to Apple’s changes. This has made zero data , new social platforms, engagement through blogs and traditional advertising even more valuable. In the coming years, brands that embrace new marketing opportunities and engage with consumers will reap great rewards.