What Types of Data Will GDPR Impact Most?

There are a few kinds of data that are most susceptible to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In a Q3 2018 survey of 227 senior marketing executives worldwide conducted by CMO Council and SAP, 54% of respondents said they anticipate that they’ll no longer be able to use behavioral data like web browsing data and search histories if they want to stay compliant with the GDPR. About half indicated that third-party data and email addresses may not be safe to use under GDPR.

What Types of Personal Customer Data Do Senior Marketing Executives Worldwide Expect to Use Less Often as Part of GDPR Compliance? Q3 2018 (% of respondents)

What Types of Personal Customer Data Do Senior Marketing Executives Worldwide Expect to Use Less Often as Part of GDPR Compliance? Q3 2018 (% of respondents)
The GDPR went live in May and states that people’s data can only be used if they give a company explicit permission. Companies found to be in violation of the GDPR face a fine of €20 million ($22.1 million) or 4% of global revenues (whichever is greater).

To comply with the GDPR, Google made it easier for people to delete their search and browsing data. Another reason why behavioral targeting may be less reliable under GDPR is that many companies collecting behavioral data have not obtained user consent to do so.

Using behavioral data to serve a single ad to a user often involves dozens of tech vendors. Most users aren’t aware of the many vendors that process their data. If regulators are strict about forcing these behind-the-scenes companies to obtain user consent, then targeting ads with behavioral data becomes more of an uphill battle for marketers. Like so many other possible outcomes regarding the GDPR, the future reliability of behavioral data will come down to how regulators choose to act.

Source: emarketer.com; 7 Sep 2018

Apple clamps down further on third-party tracking with latest iOS updates

Apple used its annual developer conference WWDC to unveil a host of updates, including limitations on how companies can track users of its Safari web browser, a measure that poses obstacles for third parties such as Facebook and Google as well as other analytics providers.

The phrase ‘online privacy’ is one of the burning issues of the moment, with the European Union’s General Data Protection (GDPR) regulations coming into force, and Apple’s latest software update builds upon this trend.

Apple’s iOS 12 includes updates to its Intelligence Tracking Prevention (ITP) tools with the latest offering blocking tracking features such as ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ buttons by default. This means that users of the Safari web browser have to proactively opt-in to such tools in order for third parties to be able to track their online activities as well as other sensitive information stored on iOS devices, such as contacts information etc.

The newly unveiled updates also included limitations on “fingerprinting”, i.e. how third-party tracking companies can monitor which devices are visiting their website via the browser, a move that will make it even more difficult for advertisers to measure the reach of their online ads.

“Safari now also presents simplified system information when users browse the web, preventing them from being tracked based on their system configuration,” reads a statement announcing the updates.

“Safari now also automatically creates, autofills and stores strong passwords when users create new online accounts and flags reused passwords so users can change them.”

The latest privacy updates, among a host of others, were unveiled on the WWDC stage by Craig Federighi, Apple senior VP of software engineering, who said: “There can be a lot of sensitive data on your devices, and we think you should be in control of who sees it.”

Apple’s ITP was first unveiled at its corresponding event 12 months ago, with the measure causing some friction in the wider adtech ecosystem. Ad retargeting firm Criteo later told investors that the rollout of the feature could negatively impact revenues by up to 8-10% in coming financial periods.

Source: thedrum.com; 5 June 2018

Facebook to allow users to clear browsing history

In response to consumer demand for more control over their data in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social network is rolling out more features aimed at improving user privacy.

During his keynote at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference on May 1, founder Mark Zuckerberg laid out the company’s investments aimed at improving users’ safety and ability to connect on its platforms. One of these tools will enable consumers to clear their browsing history, which many advertisers rely on for targeting.

Prioritizing privacy

Political data firm Cambridge Analytica used access to more than 50 million users’ personal data to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In his address, Mr. Zuckerberg admitted that Cambridge Analytica was a “massive breach of trust.”

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has made Facebook so vigilant about protecting its users’ information that it is cracking down on which third parties can access data.

According to TechCrunch, a number of third-party applications were suddenly made incompatible with Instagram this week after the Facebook-owned company abruptly changed access to its API. This comes just a few days after Facebook revoked its Partner Categories feature, which allows brands and advertisers to target relevant users through Facebook and Instagram.

At F8, Mr. Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is bringing in independent auditors to find apps that are misusing consumer data. When breaches are found, the social network will let consumers know.

Taking inspiration from the Internet browser feature in which users can clear their cookies and browsing data, Facebook is launching its own clear history option.

As GDPR approaches in Europe, Facebook is also giving consumers around the globe more ability to control their data.

“Facebook is getting the message that privacy and transparency are important to Facebook users and Internet users in general,” said Dan Goldstein, president and owner of Page 1 Solutions, in a comment about the presentation. “Giving users the ability to identify and manage which sites are tracking information about them shows that Facebook is actively taking positive steps to protect user privacy.

“Time will tell, but this may help Facebook overcome the shadow of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”

Despite its troubles, Facebook was still far and away the most popular platform for digital advertising this past year, according to a report from Forrester Research.

The report found that Facebook and Alibaba together were jointly responsible for 48 percent of the year-over-year ad spend growth throughout the world. Facebook’s overall share of global advertising also has grown significantly since 2015, making it an even more dominant presence for brands of all sizes.

Along with privacy updates, Facebook is focusing on features that enable people to make connections with both other users and businesses.

On Instagram, the company is adding augmented reality camera effects, allowing users to add filters to their posts.

Facebook will debut watch parties, allowing users to watch and comment on videos with friends.

Messaging application WhatsApp launched an app for businesses earlier this year, seeing an opportunity for consumers to connect with businesses via text message.

Facebook also sees augmented reality and virtual reality as important tools for the future. At the conference, the company announced it was launching sales of Oculus Go VR headsets on May 1.

Source: luxurydaily.com; 1 May 2018

Demographics Are Dead: Welcome to the Age of Intent

– Demographics-based targeting (such as by age, gender, income) is unreliable.

– Targeting audiences based on their behavioural “intent” or affinity (such as what they watch, search, visit) gives marketers a more accurate picture of their audience.

– Intent-based targeting also allows for more relevant and customized creative messaging tailored to individuals.

Imagine a 45-year-old executive. Work is important to her, but equally important is her well-being. She has a passion for tennis because it taps into her competitive streak. She can afford premium racquets and the latest attire, and she runs through thousands of tennis balls every year. She fuels herself with great food and doesn’t feel guilty indulging in chocolate every now and then.

Many of us know someone like this. From a brand perspective, she is part of the target audience for a range of industries and categories. So which brands are marketing to her? Who is speaking to her when she craves her next box of chocolate or when it’s time to upgrade her racquet?

Surprisingly, no one. Not one brand is reaching her in these moments because she doesn’t fit the typical brief that defines a campaign by age group, stage of life, income, or locations. Within these antiquated parameters, we will seldom, if ever, address the true intentions of a potential customer.

Brands that want to win their next customer need to realize and respect their identities. Demographics are dead; this is the age of context and intent.

When demographics reigned supreme

In 1605, the first newspaper was printed in Germany, but it was 100 years later when the first advertisement appeared in the American newspaper Boston News-Letter. From then on, consumer attention was owned by a handful of media channels, keeping the advertiser’s job fairly simple.

As TV and radio took off, marketers relied on demographics to define their audiences because they were the most readily available metrics. Panels and surveys were used to validate assumptions and draw correlations around media spend, but they were always lacking direct, real-time customer data around who saw their ads and took follow-up actions. In many ways, the tried-and-true approach that became an industry standard was merely statistically significant guesswork.

These strategies became ingrained in every marketing curriculum. There was no need to change the formula for success—it was straightforward and everyone understood it. But today, the always-connected consumer is constantly indicating what they’re interested in and what they aspire to do, creating millions of opportunities for marketers to speak to their ideal audiences in a more thoughtful manner.

Homing in on the right signals

Here’s what the old approach would look like in today’s world: A health and beauty brand is about to launch a new baby shampoo. Based on the standard playbook, the brand will prioritize 20-35 year-old females because they are the typical “new moms” who are in a middle income bracket and have at least a secondary school education. The brand will target these women across media channels, reaching as many of them as possible at the optimum frequency.

While this will drive results, they may not be optimal, leading to wasted media dollars. A fresh approach would toss out gender, age, education, and income and swap in signals of intent, such as people who watch parenting videos, search for parenting advice, visit family planning sites, and download helpful parenting mobile apps.

The power of intent

By targeting true intent-based signals, the health and beauty brand will shrink the number of females in the originally desired age bracket. However, it will improve its addressable audience by restricting targeting to only those who have provided clear indications that they’re in-market for baby-related products. What’s more, the brand will expand its reach by including other age groups and even males, who are just as likely to be looking for products for their children.

Demographics-driven stereotypes have been proven to be unreliable, leading to irrelevant ads that don’t win attention. In Malaysia, 40% of YouTube viewers of parenting topics are males and 50% of viewers are over 35 years old. That means that a brand is missing at least 40% of their addressable audience with demographics alone, and that’s before accounting for those who aren’t mothers and wouldn’t find the ad relevant.


Pulling it all together

The power of intent-based signals goes far beyond optimizing media spend. According to Ipsos, relevance and personalization are the top attributes associated with video ads that earn attention. Naturally, when people feel like they’re being spoken to directly, the ad will resonate with them more than a generic ad because they feel understood.


Brands rethinking their targeting strategies are already seeing the benefits: YouTube data indicates that campaigns using intent-based targeting have 20% higher ad recall lift and 50% higher brand awareness lift compared with campaigns that only use demographic targeting. Combining increased intent-driven relevance with YouTube’s primetime reach and industry-leading viewability and audibility at 95% each is a world-class formula for earning valuable attention.

A new golden age for brands

We live in complex times, and at the pace that data is being produced, they will not get simpler. Brands have a golden opportunity to stand out in the crowd, but they need to invest time and resources into understanding their true audiences and upskill their teams to build strategies based on this new understanding.

Today’s consumers expect brands to understand them better. The onus is on us. Our customers are the sum of their intentions, expressed everyday by where they go, what they watch, what they search for, and what they aspire to achieve. The age of demographics is dead. Welcome to the age of intent.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Mar 2018

Instagram and Facebook limiting data access for third-party developers

Both Facebook and Instagram have made changes that will limit the amount of data that third-party developers can access, as the company is still reeling from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The news came as a shock to many developers, especially the scale of the changes. Instagram has instituted a 96% cut to how often software developers can pull data from its API for mobile apps. The API now allow permits third-party apps to request 200 data updates an hour, down from the previous 5,000.

This has the effect of limiting the total volume of information that these apps have access to. This will affect everything from games apps to those that are designed to help marketers keep track on user posts or complaints. These apps are now likely to stop working once they hit the limit.

Some developers report being cut off completely and Instagram has reportedly stopped accepting some new apps entirely.

Facebook will also be restricting developer access to data such as lists of event attendees and group member lists. Apps that are designed to access group pages on Facebook, access page data or allow users to log in with their Facebook credentials will now have to be approved by Facebook.

Facebook also plans to launch a feature that will let users see a list of the apps that they installed and the information they are sharing with them.

Influencer effects?

Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and co-founder of influencer marketing platform Traackr believes that this change in access to data will likely affect the way influencers spend their time and brands spend their money.

“Whenever a platform makes significant changes in how they operate and move toward less open sharing, it creates more challenges for influencers to grow their audience as fast as they could otherwise, making it harder for them to earn top dollars from brands,” he says.

“Over and over again, influencers have demonstrated their ability to switch platforms and bring their audiences with them. Influencers will always transition to platforms that make it easier for them to engage their followers, publish content easily and measure their success. Marketers will need to observe if shifts to other platforms take place in the coming months.

“From the brand’s point of view, without metrics and KPIs available to them, they are forced to look at the platform as a silo, and based on history, decrease investment in these platforms. I expect that 2018 marketing dollars might not get spent in the way they were intended just a few days ago”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 6 Apr 2018

Why the GDPR Is Actually a Good Thing for Brands

Putting an end to data gossip

In less than four months, the European Union data regulator will begin enforcing the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to strengthen the security and protection of EU residents’ personal data. Companies that don’t comply with the GDPR not only risk losing their customers’ trust, but they could also face fines of €20 million or 4 percent of global annual revenue.

Like many regulations, the GDPR is not an easy to understand or practical manual for how brands should go about protecting their customers’ data. Therefore, figuring out how to interpret it and making changes across your organization to adhere to the regulation will be an expensive undertaking on its own. The IAPP and EY predict that Fortune’s Global 500 companies will spend a combined $7.8 billion working to achieve GDPR compliance.

With more questions than answers, I’ve found that the complexities and costs associated with the GDPR tend to overshadow the many benefits for businesses across the globe.

Here’s why I think the GDPR is a good thing for brands:

It will cut the ‘data gossip’

Consumers expect the brands they buy from to adhere to strict standards around protecting personal data. They also expect brands to obtain consent for collecting their data in the first place. According to a recent study from Accenture, “87 percent of consumers believe it is important for companies to safeguard the privacy of their information.”

The GDPR will promote responsible use of data that aligns the law with customer expectations. Specifically, the GDPR requires that businesses be more transparent about how they collect and use data. This means the standard for valid consent will be far higher, and it will be difficult to rely on third-party consent.

As a consequence, marketing departments will likely need to reduce their reliance on third-party data. Third-party data is user or behavioural information that companies purchase rather than collect themselves. It is often aggregated from multiple websites and segmented based on user interests, demographics, shopping behaviours and more.

This data is often collected with questionable consent and shared across companies without explicit consumer permission. That’s why I call the act of companies sharing third-party data with each other “data gossip.”

If you’ve ever received an email promotion from a company you never shared your email address with, you’ve experienced data gossip. Your customers wouldn’t tolerate their grocer telling their banker what they just purchased, and data gossip is no different. Moving away from third-party data will improve customer trust, which in turn will boost your brand’s reputation.

Brands will have to personalize without compromising trust

Reducing third-party data usage doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Third-party data is often used to personalize customer experiences, and customers increasingly expect this. The Accenture study mentioned above found that “58 percent of consumers would switch half or more of their spending to a provider that excels at personalizing experiences without compromising trust.”

Many companies purchase third-party data to personalize their websites or show ads to a specific audience based on previous behaviour. The problem for these companies is the last part: “without compromising trust.”

How can your company deliver on respectful, private and personalized experiences? The answer is by activating your own first-party data. First-party data is data on how your customers use your products or services. This includes information on which products a customer views or purchases from you, how often they visit your website or mobile app and even your CRM data.

First-party data is valuable for showing customers that you’re attentive to their needs, showcasing products that fit their interests, or removing irrelevant content. It also has many advantages over third-party data.

First-party data is not usually shared with other brands, which is beneficial for both your customers and your business. It’s typically more accurate than third-party data, as well, because it reflects actual customer behaviour from your own channels (web, mobile, in-store, etc.).

Companies must ensure they always use first-party data in line with the principles of the GDPR: transparency, accuracy, fairness, minimization, purpose limitation and security. I believe the GDPR will accelerate trends leading away from third-party data and toward the ethical use of first-party data to deliver helpful, respectful customer experiences.

As a result, I think the GDPR is good for brands—even with its complexities.

Peter Reinhardt is an aerospace engineer turned CEO and co-founder of Segment, a customer data platform.

Source: adweek.com; 22 Feb 2018

Cutting cookies: How Apple is sparking an internet advertising revolution

2017 has been a tough year for advertisers – from increased ad costs to growing ad blocker usage and the resulting need for more personalisation, it’s been a difficult year for the industry.

Apple’s recent news hasn’t helped either.

The company’s new “intelligent tracking prevention” is set to completely change the advertising scene.

So, what exactly does it mean? To put it simply, iOS 11, Apple’s forthcoming software update, will make it harder for advertisers to put cookies in consumer devices. This has the potential to hurt user experience and campaign targeting massively. Advertisers have already raised a call to arms to try and stop this.

Whilst it’s a fair point, we have to remember that it’s not the first-time advertisers have had to regroup and come up with new ideas. In 2015, the new iOS allowed mobile ad blocking, and the industry rallied on. It will do so again now.

So, what does the future hold with the new iOS? In my opinion, Apple has just sparked the real Internet advertising revolution. Here’s how.

The end of cookies
Cookies are soon to become history. This is a hunt that started a while back, when advertisers realised that cookies could only provide a mere snapshot of what users are actually up to day-to-day. What about when they’re not using your app or site? How can you track people’s time spent outside it accurately enough?

This time last year mobile web browsing overtook desktop for the first time accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%. New studies reveal that in 2020 50% of all viewings will be done on a mobile screen. It’s about time we start tracking people’s engagement outside of a specific app, or a website we have cookies on.

The fact that most cookies will soon start being purged on Apple devices is just an extra incentive to activate this sooner rather than later.

Alternative methods will have to be accurate, scalable, and have valuable data points, such as behavioural intention and past browsing history. In other words, we need a method where you can intelligently target consumers taking real time behavioural data signals.

This is where companies like Ogury come in – considering that people currently use their mobile devices over four hours a day on average, using data that represents all activity across all apps and websites will provide marketers with a much more complete picture of user behaviour.

The rise of Android advertising
While it’s understandable that advertisers have panicked when faced with the new “intelligent tracking prevention” on Apple products, they need to take a look at the figures.

Recent Gartner data shows that Android devices take as much as 81.7% of smartphone market share. Advertisers shouldn’t be worrying about Apple, which only owns 17.9% of the market share – they should instead be focusing on Android.

As Apple cuts cookies, networks and advertising technology providers will need to concentrate on the Android market more, and search for opportunities to put more budget into that part of their business.

But the Android market share is big enough for advertisers not to see this as a threat, at least not for now. Plus, having obstacles in their way will encourage them to become more creative and develop new ideas. Change will be for the better, no doubt.

Happy customers = happy advertisers
Advertising has long been something that’s forced onto customers – not something that they genuinely want to see.

There’s a general feeling that ads, particularly cookie based ones, don’t really show consumers what they want (think of an ad for gloves, just because you looked at a scarf 3 weeks ago). The rise of iOS 11 has forced us to realise this more than ever before.

More granular targeting – whatever the means used to achieve it – will significantly reduce the amount of useless ads that consumers see, such as being followed round by the same ad for weeks (as cookie based retargeting does), rather consumers will have a much better chance of getting a more relevant ad.

Change can be scary, but in the case of Apple iOS 11, this isn’t likely to mean that things will change for the worse. Rather, moving away from the comfort zone means it can be the beginning of a new and exciting era in the industry.

Cookies will slowly be phased out, advertisers will focus more specifically on Android and other methods of targeting the right user accurately, and customers will probably receive better ads!

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 11 Dec 2017