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.

2020 Arrives: How Brands and Marketers Can Survive the New Decade

Brands have an obligation to adhere to what their customers care about, but given how easy it is for people to digitally project an aspirational lifestyle, it’s no wonder brands are having a tough time understanding who their consumers are and what they want from the brands they support. To combat this knowledge gap and align what consumers say with what they actually do, we need more real-world intelligence.

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.

Tech Vendors See Opportunity in CCPA Compliance

The California Consumer Privacy Act has just recently gone into effect, and full enforcement won’t begin for another six months, but companies are already making big changes as they endeavor to ensure compliance.

Under the new CCPA regulations, companies are required to notify users of the intent to monetize their data and provide users with the ability to easily opt out of data monetization. Many companies are struggling to come into compliance, but for businesses that work with multiple technology vendors, the issue is creating even more headaches.

Where to Go from Here: The Outlook for Programmatic Advertising in 2020

eMarketer recently estimated that U.S. advertisers spent nearly $60 billion on programmatic display in 2019, and over the next two years, continued investment in areas like connected TV and OTT will drive programmatic ad spending to $80 billion.

As the ad industry launches into 2020, the ever-evolving programmatic landscape will introduce a fresh set of opportunities and challenges that will shape strategy in the new year. Here’s what to expect. 

January Focus: Pursuing Privacy

As we straddle the precipice of a new year and a new decade, the next milestone in privacy legislation looms: the California Consumer Privacy Act. As California’s version of GDPR, it is the first major US privacy legislation. It will set a precedent and kick-start a domino effect for other states and may even lead to federal data privacy moves.

“Pursuing privacy” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of January. You may have noticed our monthly themes: December focused on the connected consumer, November’s focused on holiday shopping, October on local commerce verticals, and September on mapping (more on those in a bit).

The Premise for Progress in a CCPA Era: Permission, Protection, and Privacy

In the aftermath of fresh privacy legislation, disruptive technologies are beginning to emerge as a possible salvation to the existential challenge the advertising industry faces today. Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology celebrated for its structural logic of transparency and trust, has the profound potential to move the needle on some of the most opaque segments of the digital media supply chain. Data portability, a fundamental right of any subject under the view of data privacy laws, can facilitate the way individuals regain usage of their personal data without risking exposure to the underlying consumer data set. In another instance, blockchain can efficiently track, manage, and record consent among data subjects, processors, and controllers. 

3 Data Trends to Watch in 2020

Data-driven marketing investments are growing rapidly. In the US, data spend grew almost $3 billion in the last year. Not surprisingly, the number of data-related challenges has increased as well. 2019 saw privacy regulations usher in broad changes across the ecosystem, causing widespread concerns around the future of data-driven targeting. 

Ahead of the new year, we identified three key trends to look out for. These trends — as well as some proactive steps companies can take today — will set up data partners for success in 2020 and beyond. 

Jeff Glueck Passes the Torch as David Shim Steps up to Foursquare CEO

Shim now faces the challenge of steering a fast-growing tech business through uncertain times for data-driven companies. While location tech is a lucrative business that provides crucial insights for brick-and-mortar companies and has yet to hit peak productivity, the industry is also facing concerns of an unprecedented scale about how much it knows about the people who power its insights.