Privacy Concerns in Digital Marketing

One of the reasons digital marketing is so popular is because the whole concept revolves around a wealth of data. As a marketing agency in Vancouver, we thrive off this data and use marketing dollars to target specific audiences. Examples include geography (country, city, postal/zip code), demographics (age, gender, education, relationship/parental status, household income, language), and interests (entertainment, fitness, food & drink, etc.). One of the biggest struggles within the digital realm is that marketers face an increasing number of restrictions over time. Instead of avoiding these issues, we need to adapt quickly and re-strategize constantly in order to optimize performance. Here are some quick examples of restrictions that have affected marketing agencies recently.

Apple & Facebook

In June 2020, Apple announced that their new iOS 14 has an App Tracking Transparency feature that makes tracking from all apps and websites on Apple devices be opt-in only. The opt-in feature will make it more difficult for marketers to target iPhone users as well as the ability to make informed decisions about them. More time and money will need to be invested by businesses, big and small, to learn about these users. Businesses are likely to see a drop in campaign performance and an increase in cost-per-action. Facebook has flagged that small businesses will struggle in particular with this change due to competing with big companies with larger budgets. 

Housing, Employment & Credit-Based Advertising

In October 2020, Google changed their advertising policies to no longer allow targeting or exclusions based on demographics (such as gender, age, parental status, marital status or zip code) for housing, employment and credit-based ads. While the policy was introduced to Facebook in 2019, the change was implemented in an attempt to promote more inclusivity for users that are affected by disproportionate societal bias. We as a marketing agency are not immune to this change and it has affected us at Cucumber, resulting in a shift in strategy for our Google campaigns. Definitely reach out to your Google Account Representative if this happens to you!

Why is this happening?

As humans, we naturally like to protect and keep to ourselves. While platforms do their best to prohibit advertisers from targeting based on sensitive categories, there are societal pressures to layer on additional measures that prevent information from being taken, stored and manipulated for marketing purposes. However, as a result, this will inherently change a user’s experience in receiving personalized and catered ads. The struggle is finding the balance between customization and convenience versus privacy and security.


Do you have questions about your digital strategy? Reach out to our marketing agency in Vancouver and we will be happy to chat with you about it! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – we would love to hear from you.