Data drives the world we live in today. As consumers become increasingly aware and proactive about their privacy, marketers must adapt and effectively use all the tools available. In a recurring series for NewsMediaWorks, STEPHEN WRIGHT, director of consulting company Programmatic Media, outlines how news media publishers can best reach consumers in the digital marketplace.
The Data centric trend
There is a growing trend of companies restructuring their businesses to optimise customer experience.
An improved customer experience is vital for stability and growth.
Better understanding customer need allows cost structures to be appropriately aligned and investments made with greater confidence.
At the heart of customer experience is data.
Data identifies patterns of successful connection providing critical insights into who customers are, what motivates them and how they can be most effectively influenced.
With informed data companies are able to deploy a seamless loop of interlinked messages across the digital eco system targeting highly specific customer groups or even individual.
Activity across SEO, SEM, Digital display, Programmatic, Social Media, Blogs, Emails and Websites are coordinated and linked.
When connections are individualised and interlinked, commercial opportunity is optimised.
Seamless integration between customer management, sales and marketing is critical to this journey. Data is the foundation for this integration.
New data privacy rules and regulations
On May 25th the EU introduced the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR is about handing power back to the consumer by requiring organisations to gain active consent. It offers consumers a more informed choice about who they provide data to.
The law extends to any company that engages in activity in the EU even if this represents a tiny proportion of their global business. It impacts almost every multinational company and as such has been a catalyst for change in privacy permission in Australia and across the world.
There are 5 data requirements of GDPR:
- It is no longer enough to rely on pre-ticked boxes or ‘opt out’ clauses. Freely given ‘opt in’ consent is now required
- Businesses need to be upfront about what they are collecting and how they plan to use it.
- They can only collect data that is necessary to achieve the stated purpose.
- Businesses storing data must ensure it is correctly classified and anything out of date is deleted or updated.
- Any organisation storing data must take responsibility for it’s security and is liable for breaches.
The new law requires action and review from all parties across the marketing and advertising marketplace.
It affects brands, data providers, ad-tech providers, agencies and publishers.
For News media brand publishers the new legislation is being used to improve our offering to advertisers.
‘Opt in’ consent has long been the foundation of our data pool.
Consumers will increasingly expect a genuine value exchange for privacy permission and we are using this opportunity to better segment and identify customers, exploring new and innovative ways to provide them with more targeted content.
We will set high standards in the marketplace providing advertisers with secure, compliant, richly targeted opportunities to engage with audiences.
Is GDPR good for advertising?
The recent news concerning Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has heightened consumer awareness that their personal data that is being collected and used . Many were only vaguely aware having blindly agreed to long terms and conditions without scrutiny.
There has been backlash from some who feel hounded by products in which they have no interest.
Limitations on data collection and usage will help rebuild consumer trust through improved contextual targeting and relevance.
Advertising will appear better informed of interest and activities.
Good ad networks and publishers will get reputations for providing advertising that is of more value to the consumers. Brands will be more confident their content is reaching an audience who are actually interested in what they have to say.
GDPR is a catalyst for positive change and improved practices for all.
Australian based companies who are yet to be GDPR compliant should seek professional advice as soon as possible however commentary from overseas suggests that European regulators aren’t quite ready themselves.
Reuters recently surveyed 24 commissioners throughout Europe and found that 17 lack the funding or power to enforce the pending law. Of those, 11 expect to get it in the future but only 5 say the laws and funding are fully in place.
Gartner Research Analysts in Europe estimate that by the end of 2018 only 50% of companies directly affected by GDPR will be fully compliant. The regulators may be in a state of disarray but those that fail to comply do so at their own peril.
Legal caveat – The information in this article concerning GDPR is not legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained.