Privacy Rules Make Email And Other Digital Channels Less Effective, Study Finds

Just about all digital marketing channels are less effective than they were a year ago, largely because of privacy regulations, judging by the State of B2C Conversational Marketing, a study released Thursday by Spectrm. 

Of the B2C marketers polled, 90.75% have seen channels decline, including these:  

  • Email marketing — 10.2%
  • Influencer marketing — 11.5% 
  • SMS marketing — 10.2%
  • Social media marketing — 16.7%
  • Retargeting — 8.0% 
  • Search advertising — 8.2%
  • Display advertising — 10.0%
  • SEO — 8.0%
  • Affiliate marketing — 7.7%
  • Skip: we’ve not seen any channels decline — 9.2%

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One problem is privacy — 59% of marketers say that the issue and the regulations have caused channels to become less effective. And 41% said collecting zero-party data is more important than ever to them, while 29% disagree. 

B2C marketers race these issues as their No. 1 challenge:  

  • Acquiring new customers — 17.1%
  • Retaining existing customers and generating more sales from them — 12.2% 
  • Increased competition in our market and shifting consumer expectations — 10.7% 
  • Less effective retargeting and ongoing engagement channels — 9.2%
  • Privacy and data-sharing regulations — 9%
  • Delivering personalized customer experiences at scale — 8.2%
  • Marketing attribution and tracking — 8.2%
  • Fragmented and complex customer journeys across devices, sites, and apps, causing signal loss — 8.0%
  • Collecting relevant and useful data on our customers — 5.7% 
  • None of the above — 11.5%

As for conversational marketing, the respondents cite the following as their main objectives:

  • Find new audiences — 29%
  • Increase brand awareness — 31%
  • Create stronger engagement on social — 33.5%
  • Improve awareness and demand — 31.5% 
  • Acquire new customers — 35.5%
  • Better understand our customers — 28.2%
  • Increase lifetime value of customers — 26.2%
  • Strengthen brand loyalty — 24%
  • None of the above — 12% 

In addition, 42.2% plan to increase their conversational marketing budget over the next year, while 27.3% will maintain their budget at current levels. But 30.4% plan a decrease.  

Spectrm surveyed 400 B2C marketers starting in February 2022. 

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