How Businesses Can Effectively Promote Themselves In A Privacy-Conscious Way

The need to promote your business never goes away. You could have the most successful brand in history, but the need to promote it never diminishes.

Take Coke, with its average ad spend of $4b a year. Wow. However, a vast area of advertising is hitting a spot of difficulty. This may mean that the time is right for another alternative: OOH advertising. 

Web Woes

A few years ago, there was a much-vaunted growth in interest in internet advertising. The future was supposed to be all about interactivity and personalisation, with businesses able to target people most likely to buy, giving their online behaviour a once-over in order to assess affinity. 

Then things started getting tough. Customers started regretting the wholesale abandonment of privacy and made noises about clawing some personal space back. After a while (and some government encouragement), businesses have started to listen. 

Things will come to something of a head in 2023 when Google starts to phase out cookies. These tasty titbits of data will no longer be able to divulge customer information to corporations, leaving marketers kicking their heels or beseeching customers to give up their details voluntarily (known as zero-party data).

Digital Delivery

One of the beauties of internet advertising has been the interactivity it boasted. If only there was a way of using that interactivity at the same time as protecting the privacy rights of the viewer. 

Well, there is. Out-Of-Home (OOH) view advertising can do just this. Such are the possibilities delivered by digital technology that it’s perfectly possible now to have, say, bus stop ads that come to life when viewed by an individual who can stay as anonymous as they like. 

The great thing about digital OOH is that it’s possible for marketers to use them to gather demographic data without the privacy of the consumer being affected at all. 

Digital ads can assess viewers’ physical characteristics in order to place them in the correct socioeconomic, age or any other pertinent segment. The willingness to interact with the ad can then be mapped against this segment, to give valuable information on that demographic’s interest in the product. 

Static Supreme

However, effective promotion doesn’t depend on digital. It’s perfectly possible to deliver impact with static ads too – it just takes creativity. Take Specsavers’ billboard that seems to have been put up carelessly, trapping a ladder behind the poster. The strapline? ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’. Of course. Brilliant. 

Impact with static is more difficult to measure but can be assessed by questionnaire subsequent to the exposure, or by growth in engagement with the website, especially if there’s a QR code somewhere on the piece. 

An End To Invasiveness, Not Information

With OOH advertising, marketers can still elicit valuable customer data, even in a world of enhanced privacy provision. This is why it’s so popular now and becoming more so – £901m was spent on this form of advertising in the UK in 2021, which is remarkable given the lockdown pattern during 2020-21. Overall, OOH advertising triumphs by being a form of promotion that grabs your eye, not your identity.  

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