Topics: Advertising, Social Media, RampUp

Challenges and Opportunities: The Prosper Group Keeps on the Cutting Edge in Martech and Privacy at RampUp

The Changing MarTech Landscape

As marketers, we are perpetually searching for more data about, well, everything. We want to know more about our customers and how best to reach them (identity), and develop a better understanding of how our ads are influencing them (measurement). One of our key partners in this space is  LiveRamp. They provide a service which enables us to onboard our client customer data and  resolve identities across channels.

I recently attended their biannual conference,  RampUp, in San Francisco, where attendees were able to hear from marketers and vendors from around the  martech space. The principle discussions this year (at least in the packed sessions I attended) were centered around addressable television and privacy — though most sessions inevitably turned into a discussion of the latter, for reasons I will discuss later.

Identity and Television

Traditional broadcast and cable television have generally lagged behind digital advertising in terms of identity targeting and measurement, but this is changing. New set-top boxes and internet connected devices (smart TVs, game consoles, Apple TV, Roku, etc.) enable a new level of sophistication in our ability to reach our target audience on that big screen.

We can now activate first, second, and third-party data across identity-based television. We know who is behind the screen and can reach them with an ad during their lean back experience. This enables a level of personalization which was never before been possible with the old broadcast model of targeting strictly by demo.

New tools from LiveRamp,  comScore, and others, give us new abilities to measure our cross-channel audience, and frequency cap as necessary — across identities and advertising platforms. This enables new efficiencies for our clients. If you’re ready to learn more about making this a part of your advertising strategy,  get in touch.

The Privacy Elephant

Over the past few years, there has been a public realization about the scope of the data being collected about their location, viewing and shopping habits, and demographics. Some of this is done by marketers with clear consent, but not always. Bad actors in the industry have surreptitiously collected user information and have acted irresponsibly with that info. Lack of transparency in data collection, and security leaks of private information have cast a shadow on the entire industry, leading regulators to act.

Attendees of RampUp, being a data-centric crowd, were obviously very concerned about how new regulations would affect their businesses. Nearly every session I attended pivoted into a discussion of privacy regulations, as many vendors remain unprepared for the required changes.

For background, the first big initiative in protecting consumer information came in the form of the European Union’s  General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I won’t go into a full explanation here, but the GDPR sets the methods by which personal data can be legally gathered and managed, and the rights of persons in the EU to assert control over that data.

Other privacy frameworks are being worked on around the world, including here in the United States. Last year, California passed the  California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into full effect January 1, 2020. CCPA provides controls similar to the GDPR which are applicable to California residents and companies doing business in the state.

Twenty-three other states are currently debating similar legislation, which could make compliance a challenge for any digital marketer. A nice, clean Federal solution that pre-empts all of the state regulations is certainly preferred and would greatly simplify matters. Unfortunately, the states are moving much faster than Congress; therefore, a federal solution is unlikely to arise in the next two years.

All of this is to say that the privacy landscape is changing. For consumers, these are changes for the better. Proper regulation of the collection and protection of private information is probably long overdue. For marketers, we have a new challenge — how do we comply with these regulations and remain effective, without risking legal repercussions?

I personally believe that it’s less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to build trust. For brand advertisers, the benefit is more obvious. Data collection can provide consumers with a better experience, but those consumers also want to know that brands are committed to responsible behavior. That starts with communicating, honestly and with integrity, directly with the consumer about what data is being collected, how it will be used (or not used), and giving them the choice to opt out. All of this will work to build brand trust and loyalty with your customers.

In politics, there is a similar strategy to employ.

Unfortunately for campaigns and political advertisers, the 2016 election casts a long shadow. Every day reveals another bad story about Facebook’s practices. Very little of it is directly related to political advertising, but it has created an environment in which voters and the media are increasingly sensitive about how campaigns use voter data in their digital marketing strategies.

Political campaigns collect all sorts of data points on users: donation information (historical contributions, along with credit card information), voter information (registration address, household members, phone numbers), voter behavior (vote history, primary participation, modeled information), email addresses, and numerous other data points. Taken together, campaigns have a pretty complete profile of their digital audiences, and can use that data to create more effective and persuasive advertising campaigns. That data is a valuable resource, one which we have a responsibility to protect. This new environment presents campaigns with an opportunity to reassure voters that they are using their data in a responsible manner, that their data is secure, and that people understand how it is being used.

As an agency, The Prosper Group is equipped to help ensure our political clients are equipped to navigate the new regulatory waters and remain compliant. We have tools available to audit compliance and help you formulate your data strategy . Get in touch with us today and we will help you start. 

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