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UK data expert talks Meta, privacy and first-party data

Written by Matthew Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity

Last year, EU regulators fined Meta €390 million because of its misuse of customer data. Meta then made customers and advertisers accept a new privacy policy permitting it to use their data for “other business purposes”.

Of course, nobody but Meta knows exactly what that means. However, in order to use its product or service, consenting to the terms and conditions is an unavoidable prerequisite. So consent was given.


Why Meta is Generally Better for Meta than it’s brands

Now Meta has been slapped with €1.2 billion in fines for sending EU customer data across borders illegally. And fines aside, Meta is also just generally better for Meta than it is for brands. Here’s why:

10pm: Browse a new favourite jewellery brand that you discovered in a store

Also 10pm: A competitive spy is lurking, called the Meta tag. This brand has allowed Meta to tag its site for advertising purposes.

8am: Wake up, check out Instagram. Strangely, it’s filled with jewellery brands you’ve never heard of are all suddenly vying for your business. How did Meta know? And where did your original brand go? Well, it disappeared because evidently, it didn’t spend enough to win the bid to reach you – even though Meta provided your data. Now, that brand is out of the picture.


Lessons learnt: channel in your first party data

Brands across Europe need to see this as a call to action. Run, don’t walk, and say good riddance to that Meta tag on your site. Instead, leverage first-party, custom audiences with Meta to onboard your data safely and make it harder for Meta to easily use your brand to drive traffic to your competitors. For every dollar you might make in re-targeting, you’re losing more in customer cannibalisation.

Even more, try giving every single visitor to your site a compelling reason to opt-in now. Use owned channels to reach them first and Meta as a last resort, like restricting your use of first-party data on Meta to look-alike modelling predominantly.


The collapse of the third-party cookie rental market and the new age of data privacy

The profound generational shift taking place in the realm of marketing has been a harsh awakening for brands and agencies. Research demonstrates that 74 per cent of UK consumers are concerned about brands being able to view and track their online behaviour to target them with advertising.

And despite regulatory interventions, such as the GDPR and the UK’s Data Protection Act, only one in four (27%) say they completely understand how their personal data is used by brands and companies to target them with advertising online. This lack of trust and transparency regarding the usage of their data is causing consumers to opt-out at an increasing rate.

Even more, brands that have been “renting” customer data from third-party data sources and then relying on external digital identity graphs to match their data with ad platforms are no longer viable as data privacy laws and customer preferences evolve.

If that wasn’t enough, browser restrictions on cookies and mobile ad IDs and privacy-first browsers are growing and affecting identity-focused marketing. And the walled gardens of Amazon, Google, Facebook and major retailers are making it challenging to take data out for use elsewhere, inhibiting cross-channel planning, buying and optimisation.

These generational shifts demand that brands abandon reliance on traditional customer identification, retention and acquisition methods. Instead, they face the urgent task of swiftly constructing a robust foundation of first-party data. This is vital to ensuring they continue to deliver meaningful ROI on every paid campaign in this new era.



Matthew Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity

Matthew is the vice president of EMEA where he is responsible for the commercial expansion of Amperity, a leading customer data platform trusted by brands like Reckitt, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Lubeck joined Amperity in 2017 to help launch the company and has served in a number of key roles building sales, customer success, and marketing functions. Matthew established Amperity’s LGBTQ employee resource group (ERG) and is a trusted advisor and customer-centricity change agent to the C-suite across leading consumer brands.

Prior to Amperity, Lubeck spent 10 years with global beauty conglomerates Estee Lauder Group and L’Oréal as Group Head of Customer Data Strategy and Analytics, leading 30 brands across luxury, mass and salon professional divisions to better use data & unlock incredible beauty experiences, establishing L’Oreal as an industry leader. He resides in London with his husband and four-year-old daughter.