Throughout the Temple University’s Digital Innovation in Marketing program, I have learned a lot about the power of data. I learned how to collect it, how to display it, how to build a story around it, and how to use it to make decisions. Now I have learned how to use data to improve the User Experience (UX). Like all process improvement efforts, digital UX improvement requires data. First, you have to collect data to form a baseline. Then you have to collect more data to see where improvements can and should be made. Finally, after making the improvements you have to collect data to see if they worked. Learning about this led me to a big question. How does one collect data on how users experience a website?
Individual data is more important than people realize. As I talked about above, it is also key to improving the UX. Without cookies, the internet would be far less user-friendly than it is. As online privacy and opt-in cookies become more prevalent, companies need to continue to collect data. It seems that there are two ways forward for data collection: grouping individual users into cohorts and zero-party data. The first allows for companies to continue to collect data, but the individual is removed from the data and they are put into a group of like people. Zero-party data gives the user control over their data, who gets it, and for what purpose (3).
The digital collection of data is the most powerful tool in the marketer’s tool kit. Marketers have never had such reliable facts to support the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of their efforts. Data collection must continue to be a central part of any marketing strategy. The future will most likely be a form of Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) or zero-party data. Regardless, companies must find a way to balance the collection of user data with the privacy and security of that data.
1: Wikipedia. (31 May 2021). Real user monitoring. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_user_monitoring#cite_note-1
2: Ashtari, Hossein. (30 April 2021). What Is Real User Monitoring? Toolbox. https://www.toolbox.com/it-security/application-security/articles/what-is-real-user-monitoring/
3: Plankey, Kevin. (15 July 2021). The Future Of Marketing: What To Expect In A Cookie-less World. SiteSpect. https://www.sitespect.com/blog-the-future-of-marketing-what-to-expect-in-a-cookie-less-world/