Privacy-first marketing: Adapting to new data regulations in B2B

Privacy-first marketing: Adapting to new data regulations in B2B

The era of privacy-first marketing demands agility and strategic thinking from B2B marketers.

MOBILISE founder & CEO Kamal Krishna

Mumbai: Adapting to evolving regulations and user expectations in the digital economy is an ongoing challenge for B2B businesses. Today, countries around the world are following the lead of the EU in bringing in stricter data compliance laws, with harsh penalties for companies who do not align to them. E.g. the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR - one of the most well-known data compliance laws - came into force in May 2018, and has since served as a common benchmark for regulation across the whole of the EU and EEA, and now, the world. In recent times, one can look at Google Chrome’s recent phasing out of third-party cookies that’s aimed at making enhanced user privacy a priority.

We will explore the impact of such changes on B2B businesses, the challenges they face, and the steps they can take to ensure compliance while providing personalized marketing solutions.

Understanding the cookie crumble

For nearly three decades, third-party cookies have been the backbone of online tracking, enabling advertisers to deliver personalized ads. Yet, their misuse of invasive tracking has led to increasing concerns about user privacy. Legislation like GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has compelled companies to disclose their use of cookies, but browser vendors like Mozilla and Apple have gone a step further by default blocking third-party cookies.

Google, with a significant stake in advertising, is gradually phasing them out, and is introducing its Privacy Sandbox project that brings features aimed at providing secure and privacy-focused alternatives to third-party cookies. Despite controversies and concerns about Google’s dominance, the company asserts that this initiative is a responsible approach. The project will gradually roll out, testing new features and addressing competition concerns.

Impact on B2B businesses

The new third-party cookie law has triggered significant changes in how B2B businesses collect and track data. Reliance on third-party cookies for effective audience targeting is no longer sustainable, leading to challenges in data collection and tracking.

 .  Changes in data collection and tracking: B2B businesses must now pivot towards alternative methods for data collection and tracking. Shifting to first-party cookies, still allowed under the new law, is one approach. Additionally, obtaining explicit consent from users becomes paramount, emphasizing transparency and user privacy.

 .  Adapting marketing strategies: To comply with the new regulations, B2B businesses must adapt their marketing strategies. Exploring alternative tracking methods, leveraging contextual targeting, and implementing consent management platforms are essential steps. These platforms allow businesses to obtain explicit consent while offering users control over their data preferences.

Benefits and challenges

While the new law presents challenges, it also brings benefits for B2B businesses. Prioritizing user privacy builds trust and enhances the customer experience, while the emphasis on alternative tracking methods fosters innovation in marketing strategies. On the other hand, challenges include potential data pool reduction and increased technology investments.

Recognising the delicate line between the benefits and risks associated with personal data, India has also taken a significant step forward in protecting its citizens' digital rights by enacting the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 (DPDPA 2023) which requires businesses to be transparent about data collection and processing practices, and be accountable for protecting personal data. Indian consumers have finally begun picking on their right to access, rectify, erase, and restrict the processing of their data, and businesses now must look to proactively support it, if they are to retain trust. They must also implement robust security measures to safeguard personal data, including financial information, and relook at the way they use data for profiling, as well as marketing.

Ensuring compliance

B2B businesses should conduct thorough audits of their data collection and tracking methods, updating privacy policies to align with regulations. Implementing a consent management platform streamlines the consent process, ensuring compliance with the law.

What the future holds

The era of privacy-first marketing demands agility and strategic thinking from B2B marketers. Embracing change, prioritizing user privacy, and leveraging emerging technologies are key. Despite challenges, the benefits include strengthened customer trust, personalized marketing strategies, and opportunities for creative innovation. Moving forward, B2B businesses can not only comply with evolving standards but also thrive in a marketplace that values transparency, consent, and a personalized user experience.

The author of this article is MOBILISE founder & CEO Kamal Krishna. MOBILISE is an international digital marketing agency and an active advocate of responsible marketing.