With the outbreak of COVID-19, we have increasingly relied on tech to not only work from home, but to also remain connected with friends and loved ones. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that marketers and brands are using the data being collected in proper ways, while ensuring user privacy is a top priority.
Targeting and data have helped define digital media as an option much more effective and cost-efficient than a traditional media source such as print or TV. However, with those targeting capabilities come stipulations on what is and isn’t allowed to be used to reach users, especially as we look at it through the lens of e-commerce. Increasingly, more regulation has been put in place by the FTC and other agencies, at federal, state, and global levels with laws like CCPA, COPPA, and GDPR. These laws are designed to protect children or others from any data vulnerabilities or predatory advertising.
With these laws in mind, what does it mean to be an advertiser in this new age of data and privacy, and what are advertisers doing to make sure they are within the guardrails of the law as well as innovating and finding the right users to advertise to?
At Velocity Commerce Group (TPN’s Digital Consultancy), we have provided solutions to our clients while honoring the guidelines and proper procedures that have been put in place by regulators and lawmakers.
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged, along with other high-profile cases involving data on Facebook specifically, the platform made strong efforts to rein in the type of targeting at an advertiser’s disposal. Features such as specific demographic and income-related indicators were removed, pushing brands to lean more either on third-party data from a trusted source such as Oracle or Acxiom, or on first-party data.
At Velocity Commerce Group, we recommend a blended approach where we use a mix of native targeting data, comprised of user interests and other valuable on-platform information, mixed with either the third-party data or hashed first-party data if available. With this combination, we are able to remain within the scope of the law and precision target while also getting ample reach and efficiencies.
One of the largest sources of data that advertisers use to gain valuable insight into how and where to reach a consumer is third-party cookies. As we look to the future, Google is transforming its advertising services to be a cookie-less environment. With this change, this means, more than ever, advertisers need to be prepared to utilize data from other sources.
First-party data has been, and will further become, the mainstay of many digital campaigns, with advertisers uploading email and CRM lists to platforms to help reach users across ad platforms. This change is slated to take place in the next two years. Google is working extensively with federal regulators as well as independent review boards such as the IAB to understand the impact that these changes will have on advertisers and ad tech companies alike and what the execution of this new policy will look like.
Though influencers have become an essential part of a successful media mix, with it comes increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators alike. A few years ago, focus was placed on clear disclosure from influencers in their posts if there was some sort of paid content.
This is still the case and the FTC has made it very clear that not only do influencers need to use a disclaimer like #Ad, but they also have to disclose in the copy or video that they received the product for free and were paid to post. The general consensus is that influencer is a key tactic, but it is crucial to be diligent when working with them to avoid any fallout that may come from a lack of disclosure.
At Velocity Commerce Group, we have been closely tracking strategic solutions and providing them to our clients, leveraging the latest data and influencer policies. We have evolved our practice as these industry-wide changes have been made to ensure that we are not putting our clients and their brands in harm’s way. Our strategic campaign development takes into account all of the stringent rules and regulations set forth by regulating bodies while maintaining a hard lean into data and innovation.
To learn more about how Velocity Commerce Group can help, please reach out to us on LinkedIn, at our website, or directly to me.
Photo Credit (Caution): Photo by Fernando Arcos