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Privacy Changes, Data and Your Marketing

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Jessica McAfee, a marketing coordinator at SWETI Marketing, shares why you need to pay attention to privacy changes and your members’ data.

As you may have heard, Apple is taking iPhone user data privacy more seriously. Soon, the company will force apps like Facebook to obtain user permission to share data used to create advertising audiences. Once the Apple update is in full effect, users will be prompted to choose their personal data preferences where they can decide if they want to be tracked across the internet or opt-out of tracking completely. While the option is great from a privacy perspective, it is not ideal for small business owners in the health club industry because it will change the value of Facebook’s advertising for businesses that rely on detailed behavior and interest targeting.

Google is going through changes as well as it works to get in front of stricter European Union laws that will restrict the individual data Google can collect. Much of that collection happens inside the Google Chrome browser to compile precise behavior data. This change will also have an impact on strategy for many who advertise with Google.

What does this mean for you? First, it means collecting data on your members and then leveraging it to create “lookalike” audiences in Facebook or using interest targeting will lose some value. You should assume collecting data on people and creating highly targeted content is going to get more challenging, and plan your advertising strategy accordingly.

Since our industry is built differently, health club owners don’t have as much to be concerned about. Your target audience is very local and in most cases, fitness is built for everyone, not just people who behave a certain way. For instance, you can look at where your most profitable members live and target those areas with digital and print advertising.

You can also design your way around these new challenges. We know everyone needs and deserves fitness, but we don’t always know how to deliver that message. The delivery becomes much easier when your marketing designs, wording and images are applied in a meaningful way to these strategies:

  • Value
  • Premium
  • Solutions
  • Ethos

By focusing separate campaigns on each of these strategies across the channels you use to advertise, you can broaden the scope of your audience. Since all four can be applied to the same health club, you are covering a lot of bases. A particular prospect may gravitate toward your premium strategy, while another may connect with your solution focused strategy and will target you for that solution.

Dollar for dollar, well done Facebook and Google advertising still produces the lowest cost leads that paid media can offer. These companies will continue to innovate as privacy rights become more clear and in the process, likely provide affordable options that continue to make sense for our industry. But it is up to you to make sure your marketing department or agency is evolving with these changes. So reach out to them to confirm they have a plan moving forward that anticipates the ever-changing updates and policies before they happen.

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Jessica McAfee

Jessica McAfee is a marketing coordinator at SWETI Marketing, you can reach her at jessica@swetiservices.com or visit SWETIMarketing.com.

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