The programmatic ad ecosystem has built its foundation on audience data. But now that foundation must be re-engineered based on trust and transparency.
More than a third of consumers feel digital ads are too intrusive, while 56% want more control over their data, according to GroupM’s Consumer Trust In Digital Marketing report, published in March 2020.
No wonder more than half a billion people now use ad blockers, according to PageFair – failing to offer disclosure and controls over use of audience data has harmed user trust and, with it, ad effectiveness. Publishers and advertisers, too, feel the flows of their data and dollars are similarly obfuscated by opaque intermediary systems.
A reboot is coming. Regulations put consumer consent front and centre. Apple’s decision to make its mobile ad identifier and location tracker opt-in will dramatically increase user control, while the deprecation of third-party cookies will curtail the current practice of cross-domain user tracking.
These are the forcing functions the industry needs to finally fix its trust problem, pushing publishers and brands, instead, to enter into meaningful trusted audience relationships based on the conscious supply and management of identity data.
To gain these relationships, to drive user authentication, they will need to work hard to offer real value in exchange for identity. Their reward, however, will be stronger revenue models for publishers and better measurement capabilities for advertisers.