It’s Marketing 101, segmentation is critical to effectively target your market. However, marketers will be facing new challenges when creating targeted advertisements in the digital space due to Google’s most recent policy changes. On June 11, Google announced a new personalized advertising policy that prohibits employment, housing and credit advertisers from targeting based on gender, age, parental status, marital status and zip code. This change will be made in an effort to prevent unlawful discrimination around housing, employment, and credit. To learn more about these changes from Google click here.
So, Why Now?
This all may sound a little familiar. That’s because Google is actually following suit from Facebook who made similar changes in March of 2019. These policy changes were part of a settlement with a number of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Communications Workers of America in an effort to stop discriminatory advertising practices. In order to prevent similar grievances from such organizations, Google is adjusting their policies as well, to prohibit the explicit targeting of advertisements based on these demographics. These massive platforms also risk violating the Fair Housing Act by the Department of Housing and Urban Development if these adjustments are not made.
There are existing policies in place that prohibit explicit aiming of advertisements based on characteristics such as race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, and disability. It is clear that these regulations allow for inclusion of all, and equal opportunities. Although it is the intention of marketers to tend to certain pain points and appeal to the emotions of consumers, this could lead to the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. Therefore, these policies are to protect consumers, and ultimately promote diversity in all organization’s advertising efforts.
What Does this Mean for Marketers?
However, there is a slight catch in making these positive changes. Demographic information has historically been the main component of segmentation. So, this is where marketers will be finding it challenging to optimize their marketing spend to ensure each advertisement is being seen by those who are most likely to purchase their product or service specifically in housing, credit, and employment industries.
Although this may seem like a daunting challenge there are ways in which marketers can adapt. Due to online users increasing their anonymity by utilizing private windows and refraining from logging into their Google accounts, a significant portion of demographic information is inaccessible to advertisers using this data. This presents as an opportunity for marketing spend to be reallocated to different marketing mediums such as optimizing your website to maximize conversions and offering a personalized user experience, and, more importantly, acquire and monetize your data asset..
How Will Homebuilders Adapt?
The question remains: how are marketers going to continue to navigate the online advertising space while maintaining restricted targeting capabilities? Specifically, for companies within the housing industry, it is more important than ever to optimize the conversions of every lead that lands on your website. It is recommended to have an understanding of the buyer’s journey of your homebuyers, timely and effective call-to-actions, and comprehensive web page analytics to allow you to improve the online experience for prospects viewing your website.
In order to adapt to these changes, homebuilders and their marketing teams will be needing advanced, data driven solutions to understand more about potential clients, beyond demographic data. Dynamic algorithm-powered platforms provide homebuilders with the opportunity to gain valuable insights regarding customers motivations, needs and wants when looking to purchase a home. Equipped with these high-level insights, each visitor to your website will have a personalized online experience enabling you to accurately curate tailored messaging for their customers beyond advertising. Although policy changes are out of our control, tools like OpenHouse.ai allow marketers within the homebuilding industry to stay ahead of the curve, and ultimately combat the unpredictable.
– The OpenHouse.ai Team