Remember the good ole days when courting was a thing? You know, the days when you actually had to meet someone in person before they got a hold of your contact information. It was a moment where you deemed if he/she was worthy enough to have access to you.
Were there butterflies? Did your heart skip a beat or speed up? Did you lose your train of thought? In this encounter with an individual, you received triggers that alerted you and sent up an alarm, which in short gave the ok to give your phone number away.
Now you can see a cute face on social media or sign-up for a dating site that using algorithms to weed out Mr. or Mrs. not quite right and point you to those most compatible with you. It seems we lost the flare for encounters with sparks and heat. Instead, we allow the data to do the work and dictate to us who has permission to come close.
The same game is played in marketing today. I haven't done the research, but if I had to take my best guess, I would say marketing played first, then the dating world followed suit. Marketers no longer have to do the work of creating moments of passion and intensity for their audience. That special encounter no longer has to occur to access the information we need to forge a connection with them.
Thanks to cookies, marketers can uncover almost any piece of data about their audience without any real acknowledgment or permission. Cookies are a small piece of code that tracks what websites we visit and with that collect an enormous amount of data about us. They're used mainly by businesses and marketers to target and message more sophisticatedly and accurately. The results being highly targeted and personalized ads, communications, and offers that appeal directly to us.
Cookies have allowed marketing to become more digitalized, expanding our reach, and increasing our target. Businesses' visibility has grown, borders have been removed, and for some companies, cookies created additional lines of revenue. Seamless work and minimal effort required.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Am I right?
NO, more like dead wrong. For us more sentimental marketers who miss the days of putting in the work of wooing our audience and convincing them we're their completion, a new age has arrived.
2020 is turning the clock backward. We have entered the consumer consent zone. The days of collecting data without knowledge or permission are soon to be over. We can no longer expect to get the digits without creating the spark first.
It is our time to get back to brass tax and be the feet on the ground for our organizations again. As James E. Lee puts it in this phenomenal podcast episode, Marketing in a Consumer Consent World, "It's time to get to know our customers again."