There is an interesting recent article by Justin Bariso entitled “Tim Cook May Have Just Ended Facebook”. In summary, the article suggests that companies may be seeing a transformative shift that is just starting. Are the hidden data collection methods used by some Big Tech Companies on your customers going to be history? In the article, Tim Cook of Apple stated at the Brussels’ International Data Privacy Day that “Technology does not need vast troves of personal data stitched together across dozens of websites and apps in order to succeed. Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it, and we’re here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.”
Apple is adding a new iPhone feature that Apple says is to add transparency to this data gathering process. Now you will have to choose whether apps can track you. In its announcement, Apple states: “App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Facebook and others are worried that most iPhone users will opt out of the tracking. Google is also concerned. As you know, Facebook is in the data business. The more data they collect on users, the more effectively they can sell targeted ads. But collecting and selling all that data comes at great cost, as Cook highlights. “The end result of all of this is that you are no longer the customer,” said Cook. “You are the product.” As Cook aptly points out, “advertising existed and thrived for decades” without using data that was collected in less than transparent ways. And as customers are offered more choice when it comes to how apps and websites track their data, experts predict that more and more people will opt out of said tracking.
If you use metadata gathered from Big Tech sources like Google to guide your advertising choices, the marketing KPI metadata may become inaccurate due to a poor sample or wrong samples due to this transformative shift in data collection. So if you’re an advertiser, you’ll need to adapt or as the article points out…die.
This screams for small businesses to see an inflection point coming—so don’t get faced with the need to make a costly last-minute turn. Instead, begin inflection testing to figure out how best to measure your marketing/advertising results. Should you rely on Google Analytics and other Big Tech companies to point where you should spend your advertising bucks or should you start re-using the proven methods of data generation of the “past”. Which philosophy should your small business pursue? Do you want a business that serves your customers or one that takes advantage of customers to serve your business? In the end, only one of these philosophies is sustainable over the long-term. The other will lead you to crash and burn. As the article says, “While the long-term solution may initially prove more challenging, remember: The path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.”
Now, having identified a potential KPI metadata gathering accuracy shift, marketers can experiment with ways to help their company take advantage of it. As they make these small bets over time, they can increase their commitment and shift resources to those areas in which new data gathering models are changing the status quo. Signup at www.smallbusinessthoughts.com to see more critical thinking articles.
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