Are You Late on GDPR: Don’t Press the Panic Button Yet!

For Marketers, GDPR Will Enable Opportunities to Turn Consumers into Members. More High-Quality Data Means More Personalized and Effective Content and Ads Across the Board

The first quarter of the year is already over, and the doors are closing quickly on the companies that do not have a clear strategy to handle GDPR. With marketers scurrying to stay on course with their marketing technologies and data management strategies, is it too late to hop on the GDPR bus? In case you are unprepared or feel that you may have just missed the bus, the gut feeling would be to hit the panic button straight away! Wait, not yet! That’s exactly what most global-level business executives that we interviewed in the past six months felt.

Tim Mahlman
Tim Mahlman

This time, we sat down with Tim Mahlman, President, Head of Advertiser and Publisher Strategy at Oath. Tim explained how marketers can actually make the most of the disruptions brought about by GDPR. In addition to his views on GDPR, Tim also spoke on Mobile Advertising, and the shifting trends in mobile content marketing.

Seize the GDPR Moment!

GDPR Facilitates a Better Experience for Consumers by Giving Them Greater Control over What Data

Tim explained that General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance was a key focus for the quarter – and understandably so for most companies. Tim explained, “The EU’s GDPR is poised to spur an evolution in the way the digital media and advertising ecosystem delivers data rights to consumers on a global scale. Overall, GDPR facilitates a better experience for consumers by giving them greater control over what data is collected, stored and activated by businesses.”

He added, “For marketers, GDPR will enable opportunities to turn consumers into members. More high-quality data means more personalized and effective content and ads across the board. It will also dramatically increase the quality and integrity of data available for marketers. While it’s still early days, in the long-term, GDPR could deliver real value. (My company, Oath, has prepared for GDPR and we’re approaching it in a few ways.)”

We Need Mobile Ad Format Innovation

How Can Brands Break Through on Mobile?

Tim said, “This was a question I’ve heard repeatedly over the past three months from both advertisers and partners. Mobile is the consumer’s first screen. People spend five hours on it every single day. But, there is an exploding competition for attention there. The key is ad format innovation.”

The unprecedented level of interactivity and engagement they deliver is uniquely appealing to consumers and advertisers alike. Demand is surging. This will force even more innovation.

He added that video and AR are part of this next wave. Tim said, “We’ve recently rolled out new mobile ad formats for testing in select international markets, including an AR unit and a full-screen native ad unit. Our competitors also spent the quarter talking about innovation. Better data — like location, for example — to power and personalize these formats will also be key. The future of mobile advertising will be won with these types of experiences.”

Mobile App Growth Is Slowing

Consumers Have Almost Maxed out the Amount of Time and Energy They Can Devote to Their Smartphones

Tim stated, “Flurry recently looked at mobile app growth in EMEA. According to the data, mobile app session growth has slowed considerably worldwide. In 2017, the UK and France both saw year-over-year declines of 4%, while Germany saw 1% growth. This compares to the 6% year-over-year global growth for the same period.”

Further, Tim explained how consumers have almost maxed out the amount of time and energy they can devote to their smartphones, and we’re seeing them shift and prioritize their time on devices and across apps.

For Tim, this was a key theme in Q1 and it speaks to the need for more innovative distribution channels for app publishers. It also underscores the value of quality mobile ad inventory as app growth slows, overall.

Tim reasoned that “quality has been a challenge due to low-end mobile ad networks.”

He added, “Still, the decline isn’t necessarily a bad sign. Mobile buying has ballooned. Shopping on mobile in the UK, France, and Germany saw high double-digit growth last year. Consumers are increasingly comfortable making purchases on their phones. The adoption of digital wallet services like Apple Pay has only helped accelerate that. This represents an enormous opportunity for mobile advertisers.”

As m-commerce (Mobile eCommerce) has increased, ad experiences that captivate consumers and compel them to buy are more important than ever. Again, this ties back to innovation. The potential ROI is incredible as behavior shifts.

Thank you, Tim, for chatting with us.