Street Fight’s February Theme: Beyond the Screen

Consumer touchpoints continue to fragment and atomize, disrupting conventional approaches to media and tech. Drivers of this trend include devices from smart speakers to cars. Accordingly, as we roll into February, the Street Fight editorial team is thinking outside the box — that is, beyond the rectangles that frame our typical screen interfaces.

We will provide deep coverage of emerging technologies including voice search, visual search, augmented reality, and 5G. How are tech providers innovating with these modalities? How are users adopting them? And how are local marketers tackling the opportunity?

As Privacy Regulations Shake Out, New Winners Emerge

Not even one month has passed since the implementation of California’s newest data privacy regulations, and some winners and losers are already beginning to emerge. As companies across the country work to comply with this new state law, fundamental shifts are happening and some brands are going back to an older style of data collection and usage.

How this retreat is viewed depends on who you’re talking to. Industry veterans like Dawn Colossi, chief marketing officer at FocusVision, see the return to more traditional forms of data collection as a good thing. Others in the industry have a different view on what returning to older forms of data collection will ultimately mean for technology and marketing firms.

Do Cashierless Stores Present a Privacy Risk to Consumers?

Amazon’s convenience stores rely heavily on location technology to track consumers’ movements inside buildings. Cameras analyze shopping behaviors, strategically placed microphones listen to conversations, and information about consumers’ shopping habits is stored in a central database that Amazon can reference for future operational and strategic planning.

“As cashierless stores take off, more and more personal and payment data will be transmitted through phones and mobiles devices and stored in cloud-based software platforms,” says Ruston Miles, chief strategy officer at Bluefin. “This means that hackers will have more network access to this data through vulnerable providers and merchants.”

Why and How Often Consumers Share Location Data

Location is among the types of data consumers are most likely to weigh disclosing based on the utility of the scenario. Asked about eight different types of data, including marital status, social security number, and physical address, a higher percentage of survey respondents said whether they’ll share location data “depends” on the situation than for any other category. It’s neither an automatic yes or no; companies need to make a case.

Back to Basics: Data Collection in the New Privacy Era

Some widely used marketing methods, like firmographics and psychographics, are coming to a halt as brands are forced to consider whether consumers actually want to receive their messages. In place of those practices, marketers are returning to older forms of data collection to once again create differentiated customer experiences, explains Dawn Colossi, chief marketing officer at the market research technology company FocusVision.

“I think with digital transformation came the notion that brand marketing didn’t matter as much because you could just target your audience,” says Colossi. “But with limitations on targeting and spamming, getting your brand known for things that customers care about—and this comes from understanding how they think and feel—will be crucial for marketers.”

online privacy

6 Privacy Tools for CCPA Compliance

With the clock ticking on full enforcement of CCPA, businesses are looking at how they can get into compliance—and fast. Technology vendors have been quick to step in and fill that void, launching integrated privacy management platforms with CCPA and the European Union’s GDPR in mind. Most of these platforms can be configured to specific privacy regulations, helping businesses automate their data collection practices and regularly performing risk assessments to determine whether they’re handling personal data correctly.

Here are six examples of tools that companies can use to ensure CCPA compliance.

Telnet Passwords Leaked for Half a Million IoT Devices, Servers, Routers

The breach is particularly significant given the rapid expansion of smart or IoT devices. Given that consumers already struggle to secure basic electronic devices including laptops and smartphones, the Telnet breach indicates how much larger the security risk for personal devices may become in coming years as smart speakers, TVs, and fridges join the legion of devices open to hackers.

Roundtable: How Google’s Third-Party Cookie Announcement Will Disrupt Search, Ad Tech

Google indicated it is making the change to boost user privacy on the Web, and the company believes digital advertising can survive on the back of evolving, more privacy-aware data sources. Chief among those sources, at least in the case of Chrome, will be Google’s privacy sandbox, which will offer advertisers and ad tech companies personalization opportunities based on browser data without granting them direct access to user-level information.

To size up the impact of Google’s announcement on ad tech and hyperlocal marketing, we turned to a slate of industry professionals for their takes on the move.

What Consumers Believe About Ads: Effectiveness, Creepiness, Transparency

The good news for advertisers is that members of Gen-Z, while finding ads just about as threatening to privacy as respondents of every other age group, appear to see their benefits, too. Forty-six percent of Gen-Zers said personalization can be beneficial, compared to 30-36 percent of older age groups. About three quarters of respondents in all age ranges said personalizations imperils privacy.

2020’s Location-Privacy Winter: The iOS Edition

CCPA isn’t the only factor that will impact privacy and data collection. There are less-discussed and potentially more significant variables like the death of browser cookies and other tech-centric measures. Especially for location tracking, private sector influences and accelerants loom.

Dispatch from CES: Giant TVs, Obsequious Gadgets, and Artificial People

I’m fresh from a couple of days wandering the halls of the Consumer Electronics Show, affectionately known as CES — the annual conference that descends upon Las Vegas in January and proffers the latest in technological solutions to improve every aspect of our daily lives. This is my first time attending the world’s biggest technology conference, where 4,500 companies this year are vying for the attention of 180,000 attendees, according to my Uber driver.

As I made my way through the crowds at the massive Las Vegas Convention Center and other conference venues, I tried to get a sense of the common themes defining consumer innovation as we begin a new decade. 

Gimbal App Gives Consumers More Choice, Privacy Controls

While the digital marketing industry waits for full enforcement of California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to go into effect later this year, the mobile advertising, location solutions, and data company Gimbal is actively working to position itself as a leader in the consumer privacy space. The company recently launched a mobile app called LocationChoices, which gives consumers more control over how their data is used. Gimbal is also building a coalition with other industry players that would give participating vendors a way to systematically honor the requests of individual consumer opt-outs.

LBMA Presents Location Weekly: Predictions for 2020

Curious about the future? 2020 will be more dynamic for the location industry than the past year.

This week on the Location-Based Marketing Association podcast, we are talking about our expectations and predictions for location-based marketing.

Leveraging Consumer Data in the Privacy Era

Industry executives are working overtime to help their clients maintain their current marketing practices without running afoul of the latest privacy regulations. Over at Tealium, a firm that specializes in customer data management and protection, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Mike Anderson is encouraging clients to focus on the customer experience of consent while clearly articulating why they need consumers’ data.

“You can’t build customer profiles if the data isn’t there,” Anderson says. “There’s a level of education needed at the point of consent to show the consumer what value they will get in return when they opt-in.”

Making Human Connections in the Age of Automation

The end of the decade marks a challenging time for marketers as they attempt to envision the next 10 years. At the turn of the 2010s, no one could have envisioned the advanced AI-powered marketing and campaign automation tools that are available today. 

Despite access to smart technology, modern marketers still must balance multiple factors to create business value for all stakeholders, including eliminating boring, ineffective ads, grappling with the automation myth, embracing the data privacy age, and maintaining ethical AI practices. 

Brave CEO Brendan Eich on a Privacy-by-Default Future for Digital Advertising

In light of last week’s enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act and our monthly theme, Pursuing Privacy, Street Fight posed questions on surveillance capitalism, privacy, Big Tech, and the future of digital advertising to Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave, one of the leading companies championing privacy-first solutions in the tech industry.

“The entire industry is in need of a fundamental shift from tracking to privacy by default and by design,” Eich said. “To truly preserve consumer privacy, Big Tech needs to switch to a privacy-by-default approach. Nothing will change otherwise. Until then, consumers will remain confused about where their data is being used, and tracking and data monetization will remain pervasive on the web.”

How Much Consumers Value Transparent Privacy Practices

Potential legal troubles and CCPA’s enforceability weaknesses aside, the Tealium study suggests a strong record on privacy will be a boon to brands as privacy increasingly takes center stage in the public consciousness. Ninety-seven percent of consumers said they are at least somewhat concerned about data privacy, and 85% said they won’t forgive a company’s misuse of their data.

The California Consumer Privacy Act’s Promise and Limitations

At first glance, the California Consumer Privacy Act marks a major achievement for privacy advocates, the first statewide bill in the US to offer consumers control over how companies handle their personal information. It’s all the more significant that CCPA happened in California, a frequent bellwether for federal legislation and the state where many of the world’s top tech companies are headquartered.

It’s not entirely clear, though, that CCPA will put significant fetters on Silicon Valley’s hitherto unrestrained collection and monetization of user data. Major weaknesses include the law’s enforcement protocol, continued lobbying efforts to defang it, and its opt-out structure.

This Year, Brands Will Seek Out Incrementality

As networks, publishers, and agencies continue to shift to guarantee business outcomes in ad deals (a trend that began earlier in 2019), the concept of “incrementality” will emerge as a key issue for marketers in 2020.

Advertisers today have an incredibly difficult time distinguishing between those exposed to ads who were already going to visit the store (the natural effect, driven by intent and brand identity) vs. those who visited because of that exposure (the incremental effect, driven by ad sensitivity). Quite understandably, we want to know if our advertising campaigns actually work in changing consumer behavior in our favor.

The Marketing Landscape will Transform in 2020. Are You Ready?

Data privacy laws such as CCPA and GDPR are inevitably going to reshape the practice of marketing. In response, we will need to create new avenues to extract value from omnichannel data sources. We will have to use data in more creative ways for personalization that is sensitive to regulations and consumer demands.

We will refocus on optimizing new channels in the customer journey. Permission-based marketing, cognitive uplift, and transparency will be the buzzwords of the year. In some ways, the marketing industry might look fundamentally different this month than it did only weeks ago.

Here are my top predictions for the ways marketing will transform in 2020.