Leisure marketing: 3 ways to proactively develop your online tracking policy before the law changes.

With the rise of social media, one complaint about an unfair online tracking policy can spread quickly to loyal customers and employees.

Amid a growing furor over online privacy, Congress is considering a bill to limit online ad targeting.  Here are 3 steps you can take now to proactively develop and promote an enlightened policy.

Legislation is coming. Will you be ready?

Despite the objections of business groups, Congress recently released an early draft of a bi-partisan bill that would:

  • Require websites to get consumers’ consent before collecting information.
  • Disclose how they are using data they collect and how it is being shared.

But do consumers really care about this practice, and should it affect how you do your online leisure marketing now? The answer is yes. A May poll by Zagby International found that 9 in 10 Americans are concerned that internet marketers are tracking their online habits, and 5 in 10 want Congress to intervene.

3 ways to proactively change your policy before the law changes:

If you’re a CMO doing online leisure marketing, here’s what you can do now to ensure that you don’t get caught in the crossfire between advocates and opponents of this issue.

1. Plan for the worst-case legislative scenario now.

  • Ask yourself how your most loyal customer and employee would react if you had to disclose your current online tracking and targeting practices.
  • Would they be offended? Would they mistrust your brand? Would they shop or work somewhere else?
  • If that’s the case change your tracking and targeting policy now.

2. Formulate a company policy that puts your values first.

  • Develop your policy so that it aligns with your company’s deepest values.
  • Develop your policy the same way you do your products:  Ask what your customer would want and give it to them.
  • Use your current social media tools to invite your field-level employees and your customers to for feedback on your policy.

3. Broadcast your new policy to your customers, employees and the world.

  • The best leisure brands earn their customers’ loyalty by being transparent.
  • Announce your new policy via your Twitter and Facebook feeds, and prominently display it on the home page of your website.
  • Teach your employees and the blogosphere about your company’s values with an from your company president.

With the rise of social media, one complaint from a customer about your online tracking policy can quickly affect the opinions of thousands of loyal employees and customers. These 3 steps will help CMOs of leisure brands to proactively re-think your own policy, and use your existing social media tools to broadcast your online targeting policy, and values, to the world.

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