- March 23, 2023

The Privacy Forward Conversation – How Consumer Demands are Shaping Online Privacy

Natalie Laurin
Natalie Laurin
Director, Marketing
Proximic by Comscore

Consumer Perception

One of the most prominent topics over the last few years has been consumer online privacy and the use of consumer’s data. In 2022 we saw that consumer sentiment around privacy changed significantly compared to prior years as consumers become more knowledgeable about their data than ever before.

When we look at social sentiment on the topic of consumer privacy from a few years back in 2019, the conversation among consumers was centered on regulation and newer privacy laws of the time like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).


This conversation has shifted considerably in recent years. While we continued to see new legislation being discussed in 2022, we’ve started to observe the advertising and media ecosystem respond in a big way to these consumer calls. The dialogue shifted from focusing on specific new laws to how we can respect these laws by finding solutions for maintaining an open, free, and privacy-centric internet moving forward.

2022 was the year more nuanced conversations such as user tracking, a cookie-less future, and tech companies’ role in protecting consumer privacy took center stage. Digging into the data further, we started to observe more chatter about the role marketers should take up during this transitionary period.


Marketing Trends to Meet Consumer Demands

2022 proved to be an interesting year for marketers. With Google's deprecation of third-party cookies still appearing a distant threat, Apple and other browser privacy changes were quite active, resulting in the need for adjustments in marketing tactics to abide by consumer privacy protections.

The data from 2022 indicates that marketers’ spend on privacy-centric audience targeting solutions, such as ID-less predictive audiences, increased 2.5x compared to 2021.

Perhaps even more interesting is the trend observed in the use of demographic segments, which has historically been the backbone of advertising targeting. In 2022 there was a 37x increase in the use of new and innovative privacy-friendly demographic targeting, such as age and gender segments built using sophisticated AI contextual technology.

If there’s one thing to take away from this data, it’s that consumer sentiment regarding privacy has shifted and so have the tactics marketers are adopting.

There is no dispute that consumers still want a free internet and have a higher affinity towards relevant advertising than irrelevant ads. The onus is on marketers to make adjustments that abide with the ever-growing restrictions and protect consumer privacy, while still maintaining personalization accuracy. If they don’t, the pool of consumers they’ll be able to reach will continue to decrease.

Privacy Trend

When it comes to the targeting landscape’s holistic adoption of privacy-centric strategies, the industry still has a long way to go despite specific upward trends year-over-year.

In 2022, the jury was almost perfectly split between embracing the use of new ID-less targeting tactics versus traditional methods. Just under half of all impressions last year were served based on ID-less tactics, while 51% of ad impressions were still delivered based on conventional ID-based methodologies that rely on that infamous third-party cookie.


A Look to the Future

As we settle into 2023, we are at an interesting point in time when it comes to data privacy. Consumers are demanding it, that part is clear and not going away. In parallel, we are right in the midst of regulators, tech companies and even marketers trying to determine what the path forward looks like.

These trends only scratch the surface of how marketers are adjusting to meet consumer privacy demands. For more information on how Proximic by Comscore can help with tackling this changing landscape contact us.