Why Contextual Ads Are Generating More Interest

Increased attention to consumer privacy is shifting the way advertisers do business. One of these shifts is the increased embrace of contextual advertising, which shows Internet users ads based on the content of the sites they’re searching, not based on their previous digital activity.

I checked in with John Clavadetscher, president and chief commercial officer at Cooler Screens, for more on why brands are taking up contextual ads and what benefits the format offers.

iOS14 and Privacy: What it Means for Advertisers, Especially on Facebook

The latest in the tug of war between consumer privacy and effective digital advertising pits Apple against Facebook, Google, and others. At stake for ad tech: significant revenue for ad publishers and app developers, effective ad results for advertisers, and more relevant ads for consumers. At stake for users: consumer privacy protection, the use of their behavioral data for marketing, and possibly, the future of “free” software.

Apple’s pending release of iOS 14 is a strong consumer-privacy-first stance and a potential disruption to digital marketing as we know it. But what is the real impact for targeted digital advertising?

When It Comes to Winning Over Customers, Transparency Always Wins

Based on recent studies, people crave privacy, especially when it comes to their data. Repeatedly seeing an ad for a pair of shoes you glanced at once online but didn’t buy doesn’t create a warm or trusting feeling of being cared for by a retailer – for many people, it may come across as creepy. There is a way to gain back that trust, and it is all connected to transparency or, to be precise, web transparency. 

New Study Shows the Impact of Transparency on Consumer Trust

It’s time to start proactively addressing consumer privacy concerns. The data shows that people are becoming more concerned about privacy, and all signs point to the continuation of this trend.  

Start with building trust through simple actions like better communication and user experiences. Bake consumer trust initiatives into your corporate strategy by investing in technology, creating formal KPIs, and educating your internal audiences and stakeholders about its importance.

Blocking Third-Party Cookies Will Not Mean the End of Marketing Attribution

The demise of third-party cookies will not mean the end of digital advertising and the ability to assign proper attribution to individuals engaging in various touchpoints along the buyer journey. Several entities are currently hashing out other methodologies brands can leverage to retrieve audience analytics.

Marketing attribution providers will continue to provide reliable data to enterprise marketers on consumers and their customer journeys through the sales funnel. Attribution providers worth their salt will not only make sure they are compliant with the tightened rules around cookies but also ensure their clients are following the letter of the law.

California Attorney General Targets “Low-Hanging Fruit” for CCPA Non-Compliance

The California Consumer Privacy Act enforcement period began July 1, and two months later, numerous firms have received letters from the attorney general’s office about noncompliance. Multiple major companies, including Walmart, Sephora, and Ring, have been hit with class-action lawsuits.

But there’s no great mystery or nefarious agenda tied to the companies that have been targeted as this point, says Dan Clarke, president at IntraEdge. To avoid meeting the same fate, companies need to adhere to the fundamentals of the nation’s first major statewide privacy law. Clarke spoke with Street Fight to explain.

Who’s Afraid of CCPA? Steps Toward Ethical Data Collection

The marketing and advertising communities are inherently about data collection. They survey and track people’s online behaviors to uncover a deeper understanding of trending sentiments. Through this, the ultimate goal is to help marketers better target the right audiences with messaging that will resonate with them on the platforms they typically frequent. 

While data privacy should be a given considering how central it is to the industries at hand, it’s often still seen as a challenge to overcome. So, where is the problem?

A More Granular Look at What Kinds of Data Consumers Are Happy to Disclose

Despite all the understandably scary headlines about the risks of data collection, plenty of consumers are still willing to provide personal information to brands. The catch? They need something in return, and the type of advertising as well as the type of data on which it’s based are crucial to securing consumer trust.

App Data, Privacy, and the IDFA Armageddon: Industry Leaders’ Takes

As an industry, we must embrace the new rules of iOS14 and create a sustainable future for both app developers and advertisers. I believe we can all agree that user consent is important for any app that monetizes through advertising. Also, there are options to provide user-level attribution and necessary data for performance advertising within Apple’s acceptable framework. I’d encourage all publishers to talk to Apple and seek clarification on process and end-user consent along with the use of IDFVs & SKAdNetwork product road map, etc. 

I expect that publishers will aggressively move to optimize their sign-up funnels to maximize consent or live with campaign-only-level metrics and lose end-user targeting. If you’d like to continue to optimize towards ROAS, we encourage you to think of privacy consent as a step in the UA conversion funnel necessary to show targeted ads to consumers.

Tracing, Tracking, and Trust: Why Tech Is on the Sidelines in Contact Tracing

Mainly, multiple instances of data breaches committed by governments, corporations, platforms, and even data warehouses have eroded the trust citizens have when forking over sensitive and personal information. The resistance only increases as a result of Americans’ strong resistance to being told what to do, which manifested in widespread protests against mandatory quarantine restrictions in several states.    

How can this resistance be overcome? Companies and government organizations asking for personal information must build trust from the very beginning. High rates of consent require clear information to users about exactly what data citizens will share and how this data will be used and protected.

Why You Need to Build a Data Governance Team Right Now

In today’s climate in which consumer and regulatory expectations change so quickly, data governance is increasingly becoming a necessary function for all businesses leveraging consumer data.

GDPR, CCPA, and future state and federal privacy laws force brands, agencies, tech vendors, and data providers to either comply or face fines and other legal action. Without a data governance team to operationalize and manage their consumer data assets, they put themselves at extreme risk of losing competitive advantage or of being put out of business altogether.

The Problems with a Band-Aid Approach to Data Governance and Compliance

As more privacy laws pop up, blanket policies and compliance band aids could result in brands cutting away 20% to 40% of the data they would have previously collected. A big portion of that data is likely usable in different scenarios, but a failure to operate at the edge means that brands are cutting away portions to be on the safe side.

Rather than jettison huge chunks of data because it may not be compliant, the industry needs to adopt granular data governance controls that provide a view into the circumstances of every piece of data.

Pay to Get Rid of Ads on Social Media? Consumers Say Maybe, Maybe Not

Nearly 60% of respondents overall said they’d be at least somewhat willing to pay for social media, and that figure could likely climb if a small monthly subscription fee were added. Twingate contends that Facebook/Instagram would only need to charge users $2.07/month, and Twitter $1.61/month, to earn via subscription fees what they earn via ad revenue. Respondents said they would pay $5.24 and $4.75/month, respectively.

But inertia and apathy are strong, money is even tighter outside the US market, and surveillance advertising, and the size of its audience, are the X-factors that catapulted Facebook to the top of the global corporate order. I’d bet Google, Facebook, and, increasingly, Amazon, will be slow to give up the surveillance revenues and walled-garden ecosystems that have made them this century’s most powerful corporate actors.

Marketers, Give the People What They Want: Control

There’s a reason ad blocking exists — because many ads aren’t very good, and because consumers rarely get to choose the ads to which they’re exposed to If we change that dynamic by putting the power in their hands, there’s a huge fringe benefit: Ad recall and favorability go up. And if the consumer chooses your ad specifically, favorability and ad recall surge even higher. Why? Because they own the experience and have control. We’re talking stickiness, something every brand wants for their advertising.  

Location Weekly: Google Moves to Auto-Delete Location, Search Data

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers X-Mode launching its Consent API for partner apps, Google moving to auto-delete location and search history, and NomadiX Media securing a contract with the Qatar World Cup.

CCPA Enforcement Begins. Are Companies Ready?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) generated plenty of headlines when it went into effect on January 1st. We covered tools for compliance, the law’s long-term effects, as well as its pitfalls and promise here at Street Fight. But a six-month grace period before enforcement coupled with the arrival of coronavirus shifted the attention of the location data world partially away from the nation’s first major privacy law.

That enforcement grace period ended this week, and with it, a new era in consumer privacy began.

The Fight Against Facial Recognition Tech

Microsoft and Amazon suspended their sales of facial recognition technology to police departments in recent weeks amid nationwide protests against police brutality. IBM went even further, ceasing its research on the subject altogether.

It might be clever and intuitive, but facial recognition technology is highly invasive. Little wonder, then, that across the world, people are joining the fight against its implementation.

Why IP Targeting Has Never Been More Relevant

A lot of money has been invested in slicing, dicing, and tying data to IP addresses to give rich profiles of online users at a very granular level, such as the sub-postal code, and in many cases ZIP-plus-4. IP targeting is certainly not down to a household level, as that defeats the privacy-sensitive nature of these solutions. Plus, IP addresses and internet infrastructure are not really made for that type of targeting. It’s not something that can be done.

But you can get much deeper profiles of behavior once you know that type of granularity around a user. If a business traveler is at a point of interest, for example at a hotel, he or she will have different interests than a residential online user. That involves building context around users―a very valuable evolution in IP targeting.

GDPR is Two Years Old. Here’s How It’s Working and What the US Can Learn from It

This week marked the two-year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s major privacy law. GDPR was the first major European effort to put some legal and regulatory power behind demands for less free-wheeling data collection and selling.

To gauge just how GDPR is working out and what regulators might do to move the ball forward on privacy, Street Fight got in touch with Russell Sutton, SVP of data, EMEA, at MightyHive.

Using Zoom During Covid-19 Lockdown Exposes Users To New Data and Privacy Cyberattacks

Phishing attempts, coronavirus-themed fraud, and cyberattacks are increasing exponentially as fraudsters pummel organizations of all sizes in their attempts to gain access to sensitive information. They know just where to find that sensitive information, thanks to the inexperienced remote workforce that has been forced to work from home at this time. 

In light of the pandemic, the usage of applications that enable virtual meetings has skyrocketed. One of the worst-hit platforms has been Zoom. Relatively unknown up until a few months ago, its use has soared in ways that the developers did not foresee before the pandemic struck. 

Fortunately, there are steps people can take to keep their information secure.