Brand relevance index, headless CMS: Tuesday’s daily brief

Plus, CDPA untangled

Marketing Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s digital marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, do you think headless is happening? 

Based on your answers to last week’s survey, I’d say… no. Not quite yet, anyway. Of the 192 respondents to the question “Have you ever heard of a headless content management system?” just 58% of you said “yes.” And, since having heard of something is a far cry from adopting it for your business, it appears the headless CMS is just gaining a foothold. 

We’ll be exploring the trends driving interest in headless CMSs in a Martech Intelligence Report to be released in April, so stay tuned for that if you’re looking to get up to speed.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. This week, we’re asking: How has your brand (or your client’s brand) shifted its marketing focus in this pandemic year?  

Read on to learn how other brands have been successful in tapping into changing consumer sentiment, and for a look at the complexities of privacy regulation. 

Pamela Parker,

Research Director

What a difference a year makes: Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index

We’ve seen a lot of reflection over the past week or so, as we’ve now experienced a full year of pandemic living. Through it all, consumers have been buying — albeit in different ways and through different channels — and businesses have been adjusting. 

This past week the Prophet consultancy released the findings of its regular Brand Relevance Index research, after surveying 13,000 U.S. consumers about the relevance of brands to their lives. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the firm says that “last year’s incalculable turbulence has shaken

up the Prophet Brand Relevance Index as never before.”

The graphic above shows the brands that gained or lost the most relevance between the company’s 2019 survey and its most recent one. Key themes the most relevant brands tapped into: Comfort, Connection, Joy, Truth and Purpose. 

Why we care. The past year has brought a great number of changes in all of our lives and, for many, this has resulted in a re-evaluation of priorities. Understanding buyers’ changing mindsets is an important ingredient for ensuring your brand delivers what people are looking for, both in your marketing and through your products. 

CDPA: Untangling personal, public and sensitive data  

Legislating to protect individuals’ personally identifiable information should be straightforward, right? Apparently not. A close look at Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act, signed into law last week by Governor Ralph Northam, shows how confused and confusing such legislation can be. What isn’t clear as yet is whether gaping loopholes were written into the law deliberately or inadvertently.

Take sensitive data, which the law defines as “a category of personal data.” This includes information such as:

  • Personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, mental or physical health diagnosis, sexual orientation, or citizenship or immigration status;
  • The processing of genetic or biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person;
  • The personal data collected from a known child; or
  • Precise geolocation data.

And then take publicly available data: the law specifically excludes public data from its definition of personal data. That seems to mean that any data which falls into those four categories above is fair game for collection and processing, so long as the data processor has “a reasonable basis to believe [that the information is] lawfully made publicly available to the general public through widely distributed media, by the consumer, or by a person to whom the consumer has disclosed the information, unless the consumer has restricted the information to a specific audience.”

In other words, the law would seem to encourage scraping of personal and sensitive data from public sources like social media. Is that what the legislature intended? What’s more, there’s a catch-all clause stating that CDPA should not be interpreted as encroaching on First Amendment rights, which suggests there may be a range of defensible reasons for collecting and processing personal data.


How ad design impacts sales 

Market research firm Dynata has again teamed up with creative software company Celtra to investigate how ads affect consumers. Previously, they discovered that repetitive messaging can turn people off. It makes sense that marketing and creative teams would want to increase the variety of messaging through a wider selection of ads, emails and other creative assets. There is a downside to this higher volume of creative, however. It risks diminishing the quality of creative. What are the stakes for poor design when creative is scaled up? The results from 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed report that:

  • More than half (52%) of consumers have been deterred from a purchase because of poor ad design;
  • 85% of shoppers say they are more likely to trust a brand with high-quality and well-designed ads; and
  • 74% of consumers are more loyal to brands with consistent messaging and design.

Why we care. The biggest takeaway from this survey is how it connects design with the larger mission of branding and brand safety. It’s all about impressions, and not just the kind that marketers count when their ad shows up in front of audiences. It turns out that there are good impressions and bad ones that stem purely from design. Even when the message is on target and brand-safe, shoddy graphics could still sour the consumer’s perception of the brand.

Consumers support brands that do social good  

New research from the Channel Factory confirms that brand values are becoming increasingly important to consumers. 69% of consumers prefer to buy from brands committed to socially conscious causes. Causes include donating to charities or responding to climate change. 68% prefer to buy from brands that are committed to developing positive digital environments and 60% prefer to buy from brands committed to diversity and inclusion in these environments. 

It’s also important to consumers that brands align their messages with the right content (part of Channel Factory’s offering): 54% of consumers said they would have a negative opinion of brands that allow their ads to be aligned with content made by creators who don’t share their values. 

The research is based on a survey of 1,000 consumers, aged 18-65, 53% women and 47% men.

Why we care. As so often with these surveys, the results are inclined to indicate a need for the sponsor’s services. But in this case, we don’t doubt that the research reflects a powerful and cementing trend. Consumers want values-based relationships with brands, not just transactional relationships — and brands must reflect their values in where they choose to advertise. You can hear more about brand values and the importance of diversity and inclusion in the opening keynote at MarTech, 11 a.m. ET today.


Quote of the day

“Chances are pretty good that we are all facing something in life that is challenging at the moment. Instead of complaining, choose to shift your mindset and ask yourself, ‘what am I going to learn from this experience?’” Kim Garst, strategist and social media influencer, KG Enterprises

About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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