The use of tracking for internet advertisements has been a longstanding practice, and it’s one that many consumers may not have been aware of until now. With the news about “Do Not Track” legislation making its way into the media, many advertisers and marketers fear that if this becomes law, users will universally opt-out of tracking.
One article in particular over on Website Magazine offers a tentative solution when it comes to these types of issues which I think is worth a look. In particular, this comment stands out to me:
This helps for two reasons:
- It gives privacy-conscious consumers a quick overview of your policies to reassure them.
- It helps anyone who may not understand the general legalese to know exactly where you stand on privacy issues.
Another point that the article doesn’t mention is the current technology that is available to users who don’t want to see ads at all — ad blocking extensions and add-ons are some of the most popular downloads on any browser, and often come up when doing a search for “suggested add-ons”.
This indicates that many people do not want to be exposed to ads online unless they are in the shopping mindset. While one can’t discount impulse purchases, most users online do some level of research before they buy, especially if the product is expensive.
So while I don’t think “Do Not Track” is the end of marketing and advertising online, I do think that it marks the beginning of a new era online. With younger generations being far more web-savvy than their parents, having permission to market may make the difference in a successful campaign.
People who write sales-based content, whether it’s sales letters, emails, landing pages, or online ads should take note of the new legislation and be prepared to reassure their customers accordingly now, rather than waiting to react.