PHOTO: Tim Gouw | unsplash
If something is good, we want more of it. We push it to the maximum and even more.
Outbound marketing is a good thing. No, that’s a great thing. It’s so great, we do a lot of it. According to Statista, marketers sent an average of 306 billion emails per day in 2020. Outbound marketing expands awareness, fills funnels, and creates databases of people who might one day buy our products.
However, a big thing pushed too far becomes a bad thing.
We’ve advanced email marketing to the point that over 20 states have introduced or passed laws and bills to gain more control over unwanted digital interactions, privacy, spam, and unlawful disclosure. The aim is to give individuals control over what data they share, how this data is used, what type and from whom they receive digital communication. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and the HB 2307 Consumer Data Protection Act of Virginia are representative of the laws passed across the country. And while U.S. laws aren’t the most restrictive in the world right now, they’re moving towards Canada’s CASL and the EU’s GDPR.
Under the new laws, individuals must explicitly give permission to receive your email and digital interactions. We are not talking about routine communication between customers and their business partners. Unsolicited email from companies you don’t know or do not do business with that promote products, services or offers that are not relevant to you.
Under the law, individuals living in these jurisdictions have the right to file a complaint about any email or digital interactions that they believe may violate a law or for which they have not given express consent. As in the case of California CPRA, many regulations require brands to obtain express permission from individuals before companies can collect and use their data for digital ads and interactions. Individuals can request that a company delete the data stored about them at any time, even if they have given their consent beforehand. Companies must comply with the regulations and provide evidence.
How outbound marketing is changing
Have you noticed that websites and landing pages require your consent before you sign up for a webinar, access promoted content, or navigate their website? These digital “front doors” offer companies the opportunity to obtain express consent.
The effects of these regulations are forcing a rethinking of outbound marketing strategies and investment mixes. Progressive companies have pioneered regulatory compliance by implementing privacy / spam policies to comply with the strictest laws in the regions where they do business. Some of the changes to their marketing strategy and investment mix include:
- Build brand communities into long-term assets.
- Invest in customer marketing as an expansion strategy.
- Include compliance clauses in contracts with marketing and sales agencies.
- Change from push to pull marketing with tailor-made, cross-channel engagement.
- Extend reach through ecosystems of partners, alliances, industry associations, etc.
- Implement a publisher model that balances syndicated content with microns.
- Restart direct mail, customer councils / communities, commissioned studies, etc.
The impact matters to any brand that has focused the majority of their demand generation on email, providing sales reps with phone numbers and email addresses bought or scraped off. In the future, this tactic will result in violations, the price of which can be steep – just look at the GDPR and Canada’s CASL penalties.
Marketing Redesign: Let Go Of Those Old Bad Habits
To start redesigning demand generation, change your mindset from “knocking on a prospect’s door” to “let the buyer invite you when they see you on the street”. It’s not as hard as people say it is. It is difficult to let go of habits that are decades old.
Turn the marketing model upside down. Instead of thinking about TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU campaigns, identify what goal outcomes buyers are getting for each stage of travel and what they are looking for to achieve them.
The five steps to redesigning marketing are:
- Develop deep insights into the customer journey and the definition of values
- Identify actionable key micro-moments for each person / target segment.
- Align content, assets, programs and channels to micro-moments
- Make engagement sticky through value-based community relationships.
- Optimize engagement with precision marketing and buyer-centric omnichannel technology
We say the customer has been in charge for over a decade. In addition to defining their travel and experience expectations, customers have long wanted to control their data.
The growing number of privacy and anti-spam laws accelerate the need to justify marketing from the customer’s point of view. The real benefit, beyond regulatory compliance, is that first-person databases allow for customer-centric engagement, a much more effective marketing model. First-party data is becoming an asset on the balance sheet and a competitive differentiator. Data from second and third party providers lose value because their implicit consent model does not correspond to the growing body of law.
Remember, this is not about knocking on doors. A (u) nti Spam and Onkel Privacy want the buyer to invite you to their house. The way to get there is through communities and content that buyers give you explicit consent to interact with.
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Christine Crandell is the president of New Business Strategies, a client alignment consultancy. She is a recognized practitioner, speaker, and writer with high technology, service, and discrete manufacturing clients who are driving growth by becoming customer centric.