There has been a lot of talk around new data collection laws and many statements have been made from the ACCC here in Australia and privately owned data giants like Google, Facebook and Apple.

Data ownership and data collection greatly influences the way we work as marketers. We collect information from customers through cookies, device ID’s or data management platforms (DMP). We need this information to market the products and services we have on offer. New laws around data collection will change the way we operate in the future. However, it is important to understand that these new laws will take a while to come into effect and there is a lot we can do before the changes are implemented.

So What Is Changing And Why?

There has been a lot of talk around new data collection laws and many statements have been made from the ACCC here in Australia and privately owned data giants like Google, Facebook and Apple.

Data ownership and data collection greatly influences the way we work as marketers. We collect information from customers through cookies, device ID’s or data management platforms (DMP). We need this information to market the products and services we have on offer. New laws around data collection will change the way we operate in the future. However, it is important to understand that these new laws will take a while to come into effect and there is a lot we can do before the changes are implemented.

ACCC – Australian Competition And

Consumer Comission

Firstly it is important to understand why this is all happening. A survey conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) asked the question “do you normally read all the privacy policy or terms and conditions for an internet site or app?”

At least half of the participants in each age demographic reported that they either never read the privacy policy or terms and conditions or that they rarely do. The ACCC believes that transparency over the collection is important however, transparency is not enough.

“Consumers, once they understand what is being collected and how it is used, must be able to exercise real choice and meaningful control,” the ACCC wrote.

It is clear that current data collection takes advantage of our privacy.  This is why new laws are coming into power to regulate this.

GOOGLE’S RESPONSE

The ACCC’s announcement that internet giants will now have to negotiate with media companies to pay for their news content caused Google to respond with an open letter. This was described as “very aggressive” by Rob Nicholls, an associate professor in business law at the University of NSW. In this letter Google made bold statements saying these new laws will “hurt” search results and cause them to become “dramatically worse”. They also claimed that this “would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”. It is important to note this reaction was influenced by the fact that Google makes a great amount of revenue out of data. Last year Google made $4 billion revenue in Australia.

At Next Level we studied these claims,  Andrew Wong, Chief Data Technology Officer with over 15 years experience in data and advertising technology systems believes:

“The key message of this open letter is that due to these new laws around data collection, Google is most likely going to lose revenue and their ability to sell consumer behaviour data. Google considers this a bad thing however at Next Level we see this as a power shift between data giants like Google and Facebook and their competitors (media companies).

For brands this means that if behaviour data is available to all media publishers, they may have the ability to improve their advertising products. This will increase the competition in advertising markets and potentially drive down media cost.
It is important to understand that google free services (Search and YouTube) and their paid advertising services will not be affected by this. Data passed between Google and other parties is never lost.
Furthermore, this letter highlights the value of customer behaviour data. Google monetises data and wants to protect their revenue source.

Therefore, it is imperative for brands to collect and build their own consumer behaviour data capabilities. It is important to have a thorough understanding of your customers to promote effective media campaigns across multiple platforms and media suppliers.”

Ultimately, it is important to remember that Google’s stance on this situation is subjective.

Apple iOS 14

Further shake ups have occurred in the data collection market. With Apple announcing that with their new IOS update they will limit apps access to users ‘Unique Identifier For Advertisers’ (IDFA). Currently apps have been able to easily collect user data for advertising purposes. From IOS 14 and onward advertisers must ask specific permission via pop up message to track data across apps. Former US regulator, who created California’s landmark 2018 digital privacy law, Ashkan Soltani justifies this move – “Consumers are consenting to playing a game of Angry Birds or to use a flashlight app… not to the myriad of third parties, some of whom neither users nor app developers are aware of”.

This reasoning is understandable in a consumer sense but what does it mean for us marketers?

Jorge Linares, is NLOM’s Head of Programmatic & Data Platform specialises in DSP and Data Management Platforms (DMP). He explains how this can affect our current data tracking systems.

“We are expecting to slightly shift the way we operate due to these changes. However, this is only the beginning.  Our DMP will not be affected by this new update, as this affects the collection of first-party data. As we are working in a 100% web environment, all our tags are pasted on the brand web page. So we should be ok in the short term.

This new IOS update will essentially give customers the ability to understand the kind of tracking that apps are conducting on our phones. It is possible that some people will accept their data being tracked for access to certain apps.”

However, he warns that we should be more concerned with the new Safari updates that will be available in the next few months.

“With the new version of Safari customers will be alerted that a page is tracking them, and it will give them the ability to block the trackers. This will cause us to lose uniques from Safari. It is possible that due to the reduction in uniques we will face a reduction in third party data behaviours that we use in DMP.

However, there will still be enough information to make decisions, create audiences and keep DMP working.”

Our Advice

Under the new privacy laws, those consumers who explicitly accept to be tracked, are those who want an information relationship with your brand. Your audience’s data, on and off site behaviour and CRM data tells you a lot about your customers interests, intentions and buying behaviour. We firmly believe that to be successful brands must tailor their strategy and orchestrate their campaigns based on the understanding of their audience’s behavioural data.

Whilst the platform giants continue to tassel for control and monetisation of consumer data, we believe brands can act now, and deliver superior return on marketing budget. Enlisting data driven marketing partners, such as Next Level, and using marketing data technology such as DMP, will be key elements of this.

Don’t panic, but act now to ensure you can stay on top of the changing climate.

For more information or if you have any questions please contact us!

References:

The two speed economy and what that means for your marketing strategy

As you have most likely heard, the Australian economy like most other economies around the world is facing a recession, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With the newest restrictions in Victoria the latest treasury statistics say that this could affect the Australian economy by $10 billion. 

As a Marketing Manager it’s crucial now more than ever to keep up with the changing needs and help the business to adapt constantly. The key is to pivot your strategies and keep moving with your customer. It is vital to understand their head space and anticipate the new behaviour patterns. 

Why is there a two speed economy?

A two speed economy happens when certain parts of the economy are able to bounce back to recover from issues like consumer confidence and stagnated cash flow. In Australia due to the reinstatement of restrictions in Melbourne and Sydney the economy is stagnating. However,  the other major areas Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are building back up their economic outputs as restrictions ease. 

As marketers we notice this when we are working with certain clients. We can also see how the restrictions are affecting consumers within each of the major cities and regions.

Ola the ride sharing company,  says that in Australia demand for its services has returned to about 90 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. However, customers in Sydney have become more wary since Melbourne went back into lockdown from July 8.

Location data published by Google, shows how Australian mobility has changed over the last few months. 

In May 2020 mobility trends for Australia show that people heading to work have decreased by 18 per cent.

So what does this mean for consumer behaviour?

Australians have made the most of their time cooped up at home, picking up the tools and shopping online. The shift to ecommerce purchases and online payments keeps intensifying, and we’ve seen the transformation of retail accelerate over the past three months.

What we don’t know yet is whether some of the hardest hit industries like the arts and in person events will ever fully recover. We’ve seen trends in fitness and beauty that show that adapted equivalents may take the place of gyms and salons. It will be interesting to see the new normal that Australians embrace after this pandemic.

It is important to note that although these new consumer behaviours are different right now we will not know the long term effects until after restrictions have eased across the entire country.

Our Advice:

It is difficult to navigate a two speed economy, unlike a normal economy consumer behaviour is split. A simple way to work around this split is to segment your audiences by restriction stage. We have the upper hand this time, as we have already been through one lockdown we can anticipate how buying behaviour shifts in and out of restrictions. It is important to look at your data from April and May and analyse the shifts in your consumer behaviour. That could mean reducing spend for Victoria and NSW but increasing it in other locations like Brisbane and Perth. Times are changing, consumer behaviour is shifting. It is especially important now that we ride this wave and ensure that we are still meeting our consumers needs.