by Sonny Yoon // June 13, 2018 // Blog

User privacy has been a hot topic lately. Over the past year, we’ve seen news of corporate data breaches, misuse of user data and growing public concern over how companies are using their data. This all reached a crescendo on May 25 when Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect; the marketplace effects of which, is too soon to know.

The High Cost of Privacy

What we do know is that failure to respect user privacy will come with a heavy cost. Failure to comply with GDPR, for example, can result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s annual revenue, whichever is greater. And that could be just the beginning. The final cost could extend far beyond the fine. According to a recent NetApp GDPR survey, IT Decision Makers believed that GDPR non-compliance could lead to reputational damage, revenue loss, customer and supplier mistrust, and even put the company’s survival at stake. A report released by Forrester stated that, “Even without a clear violation of the law or a breach of confidential data, consumers sound the alarm when they learn that trusted brands collect their data without obvious justification. In 2018, we’ll see at least one violation of privacy ethics so egregious that it’ll spark a customer revolt worth 20% of revenue — a loss that will surpass any operational damage or regulatory enforcement.” 1

Get the Balance Right

For many advertisers, this is unfamiliar territory. Until recently, advertisers harvested data with near impunity to improve targeting, effectiveness and return on ad spend (ROAS). Furthermore, stockpiling data has been seen by many as a way to prepare for data-intensive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, that promise to supercharge advertising effectiveness.

But in this new climate, advertisers will need to take pause and tread with caution. They’ll need to re-evaluate processes, vendor relationships and anticipate how to successfully navigate a 100% permission-based world. According to a recent study conducted by YouGov, 78% of respondents said that “where possible, I try to limit the amount of personal information/data I put online/share with companies.” With fewer users opting in and technology and regulation limiting advertisers’ access to user data, what’s an advertiser to do?

Back to Basics

One thing advertisers can always count on, regardless of data rule changes, is the power of great creative. It is the one element that can single-handedly make or break a campaign. It can even help overcome certain shortcomings, including insufficient data. Yet, over the years, new capabilities, such as programmatic, and the drive for cost efficiencies have influenced marketers to focus on media, oftentimes at the expense of creative. A recent Ad Age White Paper titled “Refocusing the Role of Creative” (which we’ve made available here), delves into this in great detail.

The need for great creative is all the more obvious in a data-challenged environment. Using Celtra’s Creative Management Platform (CMP), brands can not only focus on producing the best possible creative in the most efficient manner possible, but they can use its unique features to measure and improve it! Known as incrementality, we’re seeing major interest in this optimization strategy and the brands who’ve embraced it are reaping its benefits. Companies can also rest assured knowing that Celtra is an approved vendor of IAB Europe’s GDPR Transparency & Consent Framework.

With access to data growing more limited, either by user choice and/or new regulations, the implications are clear: brands that emphasize and elevate their creative will be more successful at overcoming the challenges presented by a shifting landscape that has the potential to usher in a new era in advertising.

1 Predictions 2018: Europe’s Privacy Laws Will Bite US Martech And Slow AI’s March Into Marketing, Business Case: The Customer Trust And Privacy Playbook, Forrester, November 7, 2017

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