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GDPR and its Impact on Digital Marketing

May 25 has come and gone and if you haven’t heard of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect that day, you must have been on vacation. (And definitely not on vacation in the EU or the US because news of this has been EVERYWHERE!)

A Short GDPR Recap

The new regulations increase a company’s obligation to protect EU citizens’ online privacy and personal data. So if your company collects personal data such as name, email address, a photo, even an IP address of anyone who lives in the EU, your company needs to be compliant. (A probable exception: you must actually target someone in the EU. Which means that if your marketing isn’t specifically targeted to a Parisian, but one of them finds your website and provides you with her information, you’re probably OK. “Whew!” you say as you wipe the sweat from your brow!)

Still, while GDPR may not affect your processes for protecting that personal information it more than likely will affect your digital marketing efforts.

Consumers already have noticed some changes. As a consumer you may have seen privacy policy updates when you arrive on a website for the first time. You also may have received emails from companies who have your information as they explain how their privacy policies have changed.

Overall, probably the biggest way your digital advertising and marketing efforts will change is that they will move away from personalization to contextual targeting.

Take advertising. In a nutshell, because ad buyers may become risk adverse when it comes to using data-laden audience targeting strategies, ads that are targeted based on the context of what someone is looking at on a webpage will start look a lot more appealing, and a whole lot safer!

Or, as one person quoted in the article linked to above puts it: advertisers are going to “’focus more on being relevant, than being personal.’”

Contextual Targeting in Digital Advertising 

So what does this mean when it comes to your digital advertising efforts on Google and social media? You’re not going to display ads based on a consumer’s personal data profile but on what articles she reads, what websites she visits, what social media posts she shares, etc.

What does contextual targeting mean in real life? Let’s say you’re on Facebook and you pause for just second on your friend’s announcement that she just sold her home. The social channel notices this pause and its algorithm then “decides” you may be interested in this news because maybe you want to know how much she sold it for because perhaps you’re in the market to sell your own home. In seconds, Facebook advertising tools quickly go to work and an ad for a local realtor or from a contractor on home improvements to help make your home sell quickly will pop up in your news feed.

Does this mean you should veer away from providing content targeted to your personas? No! This type of personalization still works because your prospects are looking for answers to their questions and concerns. Answer those questions and allay those concerns in the content on your website’s pages, in blog posts, in social media posts, etc. and you’ll soon become the go-to expert in their eyes when it comes to solving that problem for them.

Confused about how to best handle your digital advertising in this brave new GDPR world? We don’t blame you! It’s critical to stay up on the latest online marketing/advertising rules, strategies and techniques and having an expert partner such as Ingenex Digital Marketing is a great way to help ensure that you get the most bang for your digital advertising buck.

Contact us to learn more about how GDPR will affect your digital marketing and advertising.

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