Privacy Laws: Big Changes Mean Big Headaches

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Casey Walter is an International Digital Marketing Consultant. She educates and builds brands through modern marketing practices while leveraging social media marketing services to amplify clients' brand communications and connect them with consumers in order to drive business. Photo Casey Walter

Get ready for a cookie-less future. 

Stronger privacy legislation means big changes are coming to social media like Facebook.

Marketers on Facebook have been able to ask for a “lookalike audience” when planning their ad strategies. That’s asking to market to a list of people with similar behaviours as your audience, and as easy as providing a list of that audience. That’s under a tab on your Ad Manager—you might be doing it yourself, or have an agency doing the work for you.

But now, enhanced privacy laws are getting rid of the ability for marketers to track you through cookies. We’re heading for a cookie-less future! So now marketers won’t have as many options to target consumers that are specific to their market.

For example, instead of “lookalike audience,” Facebook will be providing the option of “Facebook audience,” which is very broad. That’s because “lookalike audience” is created from consumers’ cookies and tracking through their shopping experience. Consumers have to give permission before you track them. iPhone has already implemented that—if you have iOS 14, you can turn it on to delete cookies. 

Broader net

So marketers will have to become accustomed to either throwing a much broader net or taking your customers’ information such as phone numbers, email addresses and location and putting it into your ads. That means it’s more important than ever to get customer profiles with all their information so you can use it in your marketing.

For some marketers, the easiest way to proceed is to use “Facebook Audience.” It will look at what your business is, look at what you do, but cast a much broader net. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it would apply to that platform as well. 

Google is moving in that direction, and they’ve already made some changes. This has been talked about for a while, the change in privacy laws, opt-in, cookie-less future. 

This move will affect carousel ads, targeted stagnant ads, and anything that’s a sponsored ad that you’re seeing on Facebook, or your Facebook feed. It could be on either Facebook or Instagram. 

It’s just the beginning of what marketers are about to experience, but it may not happen right away. Still, marketers would be wise to prepare yourself and think about the changes that are coming online. Privacy laws are going to create a lot of headaches for marketers who’ve become accustomed to having unlimited data available to them. 

Be prepared

For businesses involved in marketing like tire shops, it’s better to think now about what’s happening on these digital levels. It may not come right away, but it is coming. Know your audience and your platforms ahead of time so that when these changes come, you’re ready for them and it’s not such a big deal. Otherwise, you’ll be behind the game, and that’s why these platforms are giving us notice, maybe more than they need, to help us prepare.

Marketing is changing forever, especially in 2024. It’s going to be a lot harder. Make sure you have lots of customer profiles and information to get ready. That’s going to be your goldmine in the future. 


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