User privacy – What to do in your digital marketing with a loss of data?

13 July 2023

It's no secret that the digital marketing landscape is undergoing dramatic changes. From the implementation of GDPR in 2018 to the changeover to GA4, marketers have been hugely impacted. Tech giants worldwide have been working to regain the trust of their users by reducing the data they’re willing to track and pass on.

Numerous studies have examined the outcomes of adjustments to advertising settings. One study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) revealed that, following Apple's introduction of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in April 2021, the average iOS user experienced a 12% ad reduction. 

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Photo by Marek Piwnicki

In fact, according to a study in the United States, the number of people opting out of ad personalisation has increased by 50% in the past year. 

These studies indicate that advertising settings' alterations significantly impact ads' delivery. As consumers become more concerned about privacy, advertisers must find new methods to target their ads effectively.

Therefore, when faced with a lack of data on potential customers, here are three actions you can take in your digital advertising to address this issue.

1. Dive deep into market research.

To effectively combat the need for more data in your digital advertising, it is crucial to delve deeper into market research. Start by analysing the data you currently possess. Examine your insights, analytics, feedback, and databases to understand your current audience comprehensively. By scrutinising their demographics, interests, and behavioural patterns, you can begin to develop profiles of potential customers. Understanding who currently uses your product, their preferences, and their location forms the foundation for a targeted marketing strategy.

Additionally, it is essential to examine your competitors' targeting approaches. Analyse their marketing efforts and identify the segments they focus on. By gaining insights into your competitors' strategies, you can uncover potential market gaps and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

Top tip:

Consider using AI software to build audience profile personas. Start with the core of your business and utilise the demographic information you have to prompt the AI to create an audience profile.

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Photo by Simon Launay
Photo by Tobias Moore

2. Expand your marketing strategy. 

Digging deep and conducting thorough research will enable you to make informed decisions regarding your marketing strategy. By leveraging the data you have at hand and supplementing it with additional research, you can identify the key marketing outputs that resonate with your target audience. Understanding their preferences, pain points, and motivations will help you craft compelling messages and choose the most effective channels to reach them.

Building a strategy that does not solely rely on the targeting parameters of Google and Meta will allow you to future-proof your marketing. As the lack of demographic breakdown increases, having a strategy based on detailed audience and channel breakdowns will ensure you aren't dependent on changeable metrics.

Top tip:

Use channels that resonate with your audience, rather than solely relying on your personal preferences. For example, consider the audience's preferred browser. If you are targeting a different age bracket, their preferred browser might be Bing.

3. Create standout creative.

In the current landscape where people are exposed to fewer advertisements, it is crucial to develop scroll-stopping creative. Your ads need to stand out and capture attention amidst the noise. This requires a thoughtful and innovative approach to visual and textual content.

Consider investing a portion of your marketing budget in creating ads that will draw attention to your brand. This investment may even save you money in the long run. In a recent talk the ABTA Marketing Conference, our CEO Anthony Rawlins gave some examples of clients of ours that invested into the creative of the campaigns as much as the media spend. 

One client had been using standard images from their image bank with generic messaging, resulting in a conversion rate of 1.55% and a cost per acquisition of £1.41. However, we create a unique campaign asset set consisting of bespoke videos and artistic visuals designed specifically for the platforms they were used on, their conversion rate skyrocketed to 26.6%, while reducing their cost per acquisition to just £0.70. 

This not only drove significant sales but also stretched their budgets by saving money per click.

Top tip:

Consider incorporating eye-catching visuals, engaging storytelling, and compelling calls-to-action that resonate with your target audience. If you have a specific target audience in mind, showcase them in your creative. People are more likely to engage with content they can relate to.


Ultimately, privacy and data remain an ever-evolving landscape. At Navigate, we stay up to date with the latest developments to ensure our customers stay ahead of the game. By conducting thorough market research, understanding your audience, analysing your competitors' strategies, and creating standout creative, you can overcome the limitations imposed by reduced data availability.

Embrace this opportunity to refine your marketing strategy and connect with your audience on a deeper level, ultimately driving better results for your digital advertising efforts. Let us know if you would like to discuss this further or need assistance.

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