Digital Marketing for Brands in the New Age of Privacy

Digital marketing is becoming increasingly costly and less effective as the privacy landscape evolves. Discover what this means for brands and how they can stay ahead of the curve.

Is the digital revolution over? Not quite. But according to the Business of Fashion, digital marketing may not always be effective as it once was. Thanks to what you might call a new age of privacy, brands “spent more than three times the amount to acquire each customer in 2022 than in 2013.” Here’s what that means for digital marketing in fashion as the landscape of privacy evolves:

The Year Ahead: Digital Marketing When Privacy Dominates

For starters, today’s consumer is expecting a new level of privacy in their digital experience. And platforms are happy to oblige. For Google, that means moving away from cookie trackers in its native Chrome browser by 2024. Separately, Apple’s iOS updates have shifted tracking permissions into the hands of its users, meaning it’s easier for everyday shoppers to opt out of the tracking that’s made digital advertising so effective. (And as the Business of Fashion notes, one survey showed 41% of users do opt out of cookies when given the option).

That isn’t all. In 2018, the European Union passed General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, with many of the same aims. California’s Consumer Privacy Act in 2020 is along the same lines. More privacy is great for the consumer, but it also makes things more difficult for retail advertisers. As the Business of Fashion notes, digital ad costs have more than tripled between 2013 and 2022.

As a result, digital advertisers are scrambling a bit. They have to embrace more creative campaigns and new digital channels. They have to invest in retail media networks, for example. They have to find ways to make the online buying experience as personal as ever—but without the tracking cookies that once made it possible. This is helping fashion and beauty brands realize that the future isn’t in tracking, but in investing in community-led customer engagement.

Beauty Brands and the “Old-School” Ways to Sell Products

The solution: go old-school. For beauty brands, that means hiring “traditional sales reps,” notes a recent piece at the Business of Fashion, saying “emerging brands are on the hunt for field associates who can drive sales at retailers like Sephora where foot traffic has been on the uptick.”

Once relying on Instagram ads and TikTok influencers, beauty brands are discovering that traditional sales reps can be cost-effective relative to the increasing expenses associated with digital marketing. 

But there’s also an opportunity in merging traditional approaches with modern digital capabilities. NuORDER, for example, makes it possible for sales reps to use digital tools to plan orders and process global payments. The combination of the “old-school” approach with modern digital technology means you can still find opportunities in fashion sales. 

Live inventory updates and immersive “virtual” showrooms make it possible to use digital technology to create retail-like experiences that feel personalized—without requiring a single cookie. The result is a far superior experience for a new age of digital marketing in fashion: one that is cost-effective, and which buyers love.

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