2024: The Year of Compliance, Media Minefields and Marketing ‘G-Jail’

Posted on by Daniel Cobb

Welcome to 2024. Big Tech is turning into “Big Brother” of website domain reputation and the government plans to slap fines on companies—and agencies—for what used to be considered standard practice in digital marketing.

Miss the mark on data handling? That’ll be fines of thousands of dollars per person who viewed your ad, thank you very much! 2024 is a year of hyper-compliance. While it’s becoming common knowledge that digital marketers can face fines for using PII (Personal Identifiable Information) data, compliance is no longer about government standards, but standards being imposed by Big Tech. One of the leaders in this initiative is Google.

Google’s Authentication Policies

For starters, Google is implementing domain authentication practices that could put your email in the spam box of your customers, if you hadn’t adhered by February. That, in turn, could have caused your deliverability to take a dive; not only in email, but in marketing as a whole.

Worse, entire industries are discovering it’s nearly impossible to stay compliant while using Google Analytics. For example, some of our healthcare clients are shutting down their Google Tag Manager and flying blind with their advertising, just to stay HIPAA compliant with patient data.

By complying with all of the new best practices, including DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance )and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) authentication, among others, our data shows that a high engagement rate in multiple channels can nurture conversion rates to increase by 11X. When we don’t adhere to these practices, we have seen our deliverability drop as far as two percent in recent campaigns. Advertising can’t find a way to be efficient enough to justify itself without this level of accuracy.

Regulation of Data Usage

In the realm of data usage, especially PII, the landscape is increasingly regulated. It’s well-known that mishandling PII can lead to hefty penalties. Marketers must ensure strict adherence to data protection laws like GDPR, CCPA and others, depending on their audience’s location. Violations can not only lead to financial penalties but also damage brand reputation.

Just because a user visits your website or gives you their email address does not mean you have a right to retarget them. Even if they agree to subscribe to your email list, it does not give you the right to engage them on all channels. Multichannel rights are an important part of digital marketing, and now is the time to make sure you have your website set up properly for digital marketing.

Strategies for Navigating the New Landscape

  1. Prepare for Gmail Changes: Review your email sending practices. Ensure you’re meeting the new authentication and unsubscription requirements, and monitor your spam rates.
  2. PII Data Compliance: Regularly audit your data handling practices to ensure compliance with the latest data protection regulations.
  3. Boosting Open Rates: Focus on personalization, segmentation and engaging content. Leverage AI and analytics to understand your audience better.

Gmail is set to implement stringent measures to combat spam and enhance email security. These changes will significantly impact how bulk senders operate, including businesses and marketers who rely heavily on email communication. Google’s efforts are focused on three main aspects:

  1. Email Authentication: Bulk senders, especially those sending over 5,000 messages daily to Gmail addresses, must authenticate their emails. This move is designed to reduce the amount of unauthenticated messages, which has already seen a 75 percent decrease.
  2. Easy Unsubscription: There will be a mandatory one-click unsubscription process. This not only enhances user experience but also provides more control over inbox content.
  3. Spam Rate Threshold: A new, industry-first measure requires bulk senders to maintain a low spam rate. If too many users mark a sender’s emails as spam, it could lead to losing access to inboxes altogether.

The upcoming changes in Gmail’s policy and the stringent regulations around PII data usage present both challenges and opportunities for marketers. By adapting strategies to these evolving landscapes and focusing on delivering value and relevance through their email campaigns, marketers can not only stay compliant but also achieve better engagement and performance metrics.

Daniel Cobb is CEO of Daniel Brian Advertising.


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