Sweeping changes are coming to how advertisers use 3rd-party data to target and serve ads to consumers on platforms like Google and Facebook. In short, you won’t be able to anymore. By 2022, much of the data collected on your behalf by ad platforms is going away. And unless you start developing a plan now, so will your ability to advertise on them.
Consumers want privacy and control of their data without disruptions to the internet experience. Not only does it make good business sense from a customer experience perspective to meet these demands, in many cases, businesses are legally bound to do so.
Recent legislation like GDPR, CCPA and others regulate how information is collected and used, but new policies will also impact measurement and attribution across desktop and mobile browsers. This will significantly impact how home builders are able to use Facebook and Google to advertise. The importance of these changes cannot be understated – the way you advertise today is not the way you’ll be able to advertise in 2022, possibly even sooner.
For home builders using Google Ads or Facebook Ads to attract leads, currently you plug your audience criteria and budget into the program and let the algorithm do the work. These platforms target the consumers most likely to click your ad based on data they’ve collected. The big change is that, going forward, Facebook and Google will no longer be able to use the data they’ve collected to find your intended audience.
Instead, you, the builder, will need to collect data directly from those consumers you want to target and feed it back to the ad platforms, directing them whom to target. “But how will I reach anyone not already in my database?” It will be a challenge, for sure, because the onus is now on YOU to collect clean data that’s been approved (by the consumer) for you to use to advertise to them. But don’t worry… with proper planning and strategic thinking, it can be done.
Over the next six months, home builders should start laying the groundwork for this new way of data collection (or old way, depending on how you look at it). Your task will be to provide as much value as possible to your prospective customers so that they willingly give you both their contact information and their permission for you to use it. Here’s what you can do to start…
You will need to collect names, emails and phone numbers, along with express consent to use that data for marketing purposes. In order to do this, you’ll need to create value across the lead journey. What item or experience can you offer in exchange for an email address? Where do these appear on your website? What content can you create that answers your audience’s questions and will buoy your website to the top of the SERPs? What’s the plan for scaling that content and measuring its success? What other strategies can you use to attract your audience to both your digital and physical locations?
Your CRM will become even more important to your marketing efforts as these changes roll out. It will be the mechanism by which data is transmitted back and forth from you to the ad platforms (which is why Facebook is getting into the CRM game) You’ll want to take some time now to clean your data, making sure email addresses are valid, that you have an opt in (or opt out) record for each contact, and that you develop fields that are uniform across lead sources. (A good resource is Lasso CRM’s article, Clean up the Mess! 3 Steps to Taking Control of Your CRM Data.)
CRM cleanup can be a bear of an undertaking, so we recommend starting this asap. Subsequently, you’ll need a plan to make sure data is kept clean. This could be done weekly, monthly or quarterly, but the more frequent, the better.
Marketing is not a static field. The “status quo” doesn’t exist, which is why many are drawn to this field. New home marketers must remain nimble, flexible and open to changing direction on a dime in order for your communities to remain top-of-mind and in-demand in the years to come. At Do You Convert, we’ll continue to watch the trends and provide helpful direction and more clarity as policies take shape.
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