In this episode of the I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Max is joined by Paid Search Manager Ashley Willey and Digital Marketing Strategist Sam Pulcherz to talk about how drastically online advertising has changed in terms of data collection and creating targeted ads.
What Is a Cookie?
Pulcherz: A cookie is essentially a text file. When you go to a website, that website is gathering data about what you’re doing on the site—when you got there, the pages you look at, or what’s in your cart. Then, the next time you go to that site, it’s calling back that data to create a better experience. The site can say, “By the way, you had these in your cart. Do you want to purchase them?” There are also tracking cookies, and those are the same concept, but the data can get passed around much more quickly.
How Do You Decide How Much Data to Share with Websites?
Pulcherz: There’s a lot of news about privacy breaches and data being sold. That does happen, unfortunately, but that’s the minority. It’s not everybody. The reason we have protections now is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As marketers, we’re really focused on people. We don’t want to take more than we need or injure the people we’re trying to reach. So when you’re deciding to share some, none, or all of your data, it might be something like, “I want to have this website know what I have in my cart so it can match my data to me.” Or if you don’t want that experience, you might say, “You can keep my email address, I want to hear from you, but that’s the only data you’ll get from me.” That’s a voluntary transaction. And if you tell it, “I don’t want anything,” it won’t ask you for anything, and it won’t take anything from you. It won’t store the address of your computer or the behavior on your website. Nothing will get stored.
How Can Businesses & Marketers Adapt to Data Changes?
Willey: What I’m seeing a push for is more creatives overall. When a company decides they’re going to be advertising, they should anticipate budgeting for creative work, especially video. I think that’s how people want to interact with brands. They should also focus on a multi-channel facet and be omnichannel as much as possible. Think of it this way—when you’re getting to know someone, the more often you see them, the more likely you are to trust them. You’re not going to necessarily trust someone you only see every once in a while in one place. It also helps brands stay top of mind. That way, when users are ready to make a purchase, that’s the brand they think of.
Pulcherz: We’re going into this with our experience backing us, but we still have to get to know how your brand interacts with people online. People are wild cards. We won’t know what they think until they tell us. That’s the most critical piece of data of all. If you’re a new business or an older business just getting into digital, give it a little bit of time. Our team will work with you and your potential customers, and look at the data to make some informed decisions. It’s really important that we try things and experiment to see what the best decisions are that’ll work for you. The best for you online or the best way to interact with people. If we see something that’s really working, we’re going to keep going with that and make sure that gets you to all of your goals.