One of the big buzzwords heading into 2022 in the digital space is “PRIVACY.” First … the word “buzzword” may actually be the most annoying buzzword people use for articles like this, but I’m not sure what other word to use. The point is, everybody’s talking about how they want to protect their privacy and they don’t want Big Tech messin’ around in their data.
So let’s get the facts out of the way … protecting your privacy ain’t gonna happen. All these companies may ACT like they care about protecting your privacy, but if you believe that then you probably also believe that Mark Zuckerberg actually cares about “community” and “bringing people together” on FaceMetaBook or whatever they call it now.
Really what Big Tech wants to protect is their own behinds from any kind of lawsuits, so they may SAY they want to protect your privacy, but they’ll also be more than happy to mine all of your digital activity for anything and everything they can.
OK … rant over. Now let’s get to something helpful … what does this mean for you as a small business owner looking ahead to 2022?
1) It means people at least want to THINK that their privacy is being protected. So first and foremost, don’t be all spammy and invasive. Lurking around in people’s data is the digital marketing version of that creepster in the bar who tries to buy you free drinks and take advantage of you.
2) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it this time in all caps … YOU NEED TO OWN YOUR OWN AUDIENCE. There should be no need for third party data on your customers. You need to be engaging with them first hand and gathering it yourself. That way once you have it, it belongs to YOU and you are in control of how you use it.
No algorithms, no confusing SEO, just you interacting with your customer base who actually WANTS to communicate with you. Crazy concept, right?
I encourage you in 2022 to have FIRST-HAND interaction with your customer base, whether that be thru digital engagement, email communication, or even … gasp … actual human interaction in your store, or at an event, or however you connect. Now when you reach out to these people again and again, their loyalty and support continues to grow and grow.
Don’t rely on somebody else to tell you about your customer base. Gather that information yourself and own it forever!