Study reveals e-marketers' regulatory ignorance

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 19, 2010

Study reveals e-marketers' regulatory ignorance

While online marketers say it is not possible to target consumers as successfully without the use of web 'cookies', most are still unaware of changes to the EU's Directive on Privacy & Electronic Communications, demanding that web sites obtain every visitor's consent before depositing cookies on their computer, according to research by Affilinet.

According to the study, many digital marketers still need a significant amount of education about key areas of regulation and best practices relating to the online marketing mix, with the most knowledge gaps being found in channels outside each marketer's own area of speciality, and also around potential changes to regulations regarding the use of web browser cookies (small pieces of textual information that allow a web user's activity to be tracked between cooperating web sites).

The findings, which were taken from a poll of 100 online marketers at the recent Ad:Tech event, revealed affiliate marketing and mobile marketing as the least understood channels by delegates, with only 38% and 56% of professionals respectively claiming to fully understand them.

In contrast the most widely grasped marketing channel was email marketing, understood by 81% of delegates. This was followed by direct marketing and search marketing, which were both understood by 75% of the marketers surveyed.

The research also found that, while many in the digital marketing industry feel it would be more difficult to target consumers without the use of cookies, nearly three quarters of respondents were unaware of new European legislation restricting their usage (and due to come into effect in May 2011). The EU's new Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications demands that web sites get every visitor's prior consent before setting cookies on their PC - a feat that is considered by many industry professionals to be impossible to achieve without significantly degrading the ease of use of commercial web sites.

Many respondents also said that they are not currently integrating online and offline marketing campaigns, as 39% said that their online and offline activity was only partially integrated, and 28% said that the two divisions were still completely separate.

According to Peter Rowe, managing director for Affilinet UK, "It is surprising that many professionals in the industry do not have full visibility of external factors relating to the marketing activities taking place on the brands they work for. In particular, there clearly needs to be more communication and education around potential changes to the use of cookies in the industry, an issue which has largely gone unnoticed so far."

More Info: