Combating Opt-Out Culture: The New Approach to Data Collection

Erika Cole
By Erika Cole
By Erika Cole,
May 17, 2022

Recent privacy changes and the impact it’s had on brands has been been a hot topic for a while now. The iOS14.5 update - and effectively, the end of 3rd party data - has flipped the landscape on its head and left marketers struggling to run ads or make sense of their attribution. But the end of 3rd party data doesn’t have to mean the end of data collection.

Recently, we were lucky enough to sit down with experts who know what it means to connect with consumers and learn valuable information about them without relying on traditional methods. 

Watch the recording of our Opt-Out Culture webinar below. It features the CEO of KnoCommerce, a Senior Loyalty Consultant from LoyaltyLion, and Shoelace’s own Email Lead and Senior Manager of Growth Marketing. 

Short of time? We’ve broken down the discussion into three major parts and summarized some major highlights from them in the rest of this blog post.

What does the end of 3rd party data actually mean for brands and consumers? 

Prior to iOS 14.5, a Facebook pixel could accurately track exactly who made a purchase, when, for which item, and for how much money. That information has now drastically reduced because people have the option to opt out of sharing it. That brings us to this point right now, where the impact for brands means if you can't trust your Facebook pixel, (or your Google Tag Manager) it’s changed the way you’re able to make marketing decisions. 

For consumers, there is also an impact. Opting out of data tracking means fewer targeted ads, which means they could have a harder time finding the products and services they want and actually leads to the growth of companies such as Amazon vs supporting more local brands. 

What are some other/innovative strategies brands use to collect data/track attribution? Or, alternatively, encourage consumers to provide more information about themselves?

Using customer surveys like the ones provided by KnoCommerce to ask questions such as: How did you first hear about us? What brought you to our site today? What drove you to purchase? allows you to get a better understanding of your attribution, and understand the impact of email, SMS, paid social, etc. (Kno's surveys have a ~50% completion rate, by the way - your customers do want to talk to you).

Effective email marketing, fortunately, hasn’t taken much of a hit (yet), and instilling a compelling lead magnet is one of the best ways to collect emails and other data points (such as names, birthdays, cities, etc.) from people who are interested in you. A good lead magnet will provide value before even asking for a sale. You can think of it as an exchange: you’re asking for their email and permission to contact them in the future, and you’re supplying them with a piece of content that's going to help them solve some kind of problem or provide additional context/support in regards your brand.

Loyalty programs are also carrying an even greater weight in light of recent changes. Although brands can no longer rely on platforms like Facebook to track data and insights, they have the opportunity to communicate directly with their customers. Essentially, it's all about trying to find ways to incentivize customers to volunteer their data (in the forms of surveys, for instance) as much as possible by rewarding them with perks for giving you information.

Use cases, what can you do with this information? Tactical advice.

An interesting use case that KnoCommerce has witnessed with a brand they’ve been working with is using sampling in conjunction with a customer survey. By using this approach, the customer is receiving immediate value (via the sample) and were more inclined to participate. Some of questions they asked were “Why are you interested in this product?” and “What is your household income?” (among others). They were then able to compare this data to their ‘standard’ customers and learn that ~10-15% of the the group redeeming samples were a good fit to be a long-term customer. This meant they were able to focus their marketing efforts on those specific people (giving them additional offers, etc.).

From a paid media perspective, while most ads should be driven towards conversions, you should also be looking at it as an opportunity to do things such as running lead generation campaigns by targeting (for example) lookalike audiences made from a recent purchase lists to introduce more qualified people to your ecosystem and brand. It could really be as simple as offering a promo for first time buyers in exchange for their email (just make sure you exclude anyone who’s made a purchase in the past from seeing those ads!). Understand that the drop of almost 3-weeks worth of data in measuring your Facebook results is another thing you and your marketing team should narrow in on - ROAS isn't then end all metric it used to be, and you need to be able to look at these results more holistically.

Once you have these emails, it’s all about nurturing that relationship and creating a real connection with your new clientele to keep them engaged and interested. The more they interact with with your email marketing, the more you can learn about them. By keeping them invested and offering them valuable information upfront (and for no cost) they’ll become more apt to join your loyalty programs or fill out your surveys because they WANT to give their input. It’s this kind of relationship that will lead to more revenue.

Ultimately, the loss of 3rd party data has meant that brands have to pivot their efforts and approach advertising from a completely different angle; however, in a lot of cases, these changes can really make them better marketers because they’re forced to connect with their audiences in ways they haven’t before. Realizing that customers who are loyal, engaged, and affiliated with your company are more than happy to give you feedback, data, and continued support will really be differentiating factor between what makes a good brand and a great one.  

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