Trust is the most important component of every relationship, including the business one. In Marketing and Digital Advertising, where nothing could be referred to as “simple,” making internal systems transparent to your customers and partners is the only way to avoid a vicious circle of suspicion.
This year DMEXCO was focused on transparency more than on all other subjects, and that’s why “Trust in you” was established as a core motto of the exhibition. Media giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Verizon, and the vast of 1,000 exhibitors gathered together under one roof to discuss how technologies can encourage and sustain confident collaborations within the digital economy.
VR, AR, ML and AI
Today brands are working differently with customer experience. Involvement, gamification, and the ability to test a product before purchasing are integral parts of the selection process. Virtual and augmented realities are those technologies that make these things work. Soon, the development of VR and AR will replicate the revolution of photography. As soon as the ease of use and affordability of these technologies reach sufficient bar, the scale of their application in Advertising and Marketing will increase at lightning speed.
Artificial Intelligence has become a standard for processing large data arrays. Together with Machine Learning, these technologies greatly impacted programmatic advertising. Self-learning algorithms easily define the most effective impression at RTB auctions by processing billions of informational layers. As well, using principles of decentralization, AI and ML will soon be involved in user data protection. Blockchain is what already provides support for it.
The greatest problem of the advertising market is that buy-side receives a very limited amount of information about purchased impressions. Sure, advertisers can track generally available metrics, such as clicks, views, performed actions. Nevertheless, this is only the tip of the iceberg, the real effectiveness of these depend on the quality of traffic, inspection of which is borderline impossible. Likewise, companies see only the total cost of services and stay largely unaware of potential hidden fees and margins.
Every year, the number of brands that no longer want to cope with this situation increase. Based on an immutable decentralized ledger, Blockchain ad platforms become a new point of trust which enables complete audit for demand and supply partners on an event-level basis. Blockchain controls the integrity and chronology of transaction data placed in separate repositories. This is extremely important for combating ad fraud and protecting user data.
Ads.cert and app.ads.txt
During the last couple of years, the world’s ad community has been paying special attention to transparency when it comes to purchasing digital inventory. Today even user data can be faked: such information is generated by specific algorithms in order to deceive advertisers and make them pay for it. The most common example, however, is click fraud, but there are other ways of cheating, including domain spoofing, installs hijacking, and video watching imitation.
With a purpose to detect and block these manipulations, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has launched a number of initiatives. The first one is ads.txt: a text file placed on the publisher’s website that enables authorization of inventory sellers and resellers. Then was released ads.cert. This is a file that made it possible to verify information about inventory up to details. A great step towards an effective fight against bot manipulations.
Finally, in 2019 the majority of AdTech companies including Google started enforcing the new standard for mobile and OTT environment protection: app-ads.txt. The mechanism of work of app-ads.txt is very similar to ads.txt. Thanks to publicity and transparency, users will be sure that they see ads from reputable sources, and advertisers will be confident in sellers and resellers they buy inventory from.
GDPR and CCPA
As people become more tech-savvy, they demand more assurance that their personal data is not misused or traded to third parties without their consent. Some customers opt-out of personal targeting, the others block cookie collection or refuse to provide their personal data. This is because the era of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is already here.
While GDPR already impacted those companies that didn’t manage to comply, CCPA enforcement will take place only in 2020. As more and more countries will join the global movement towards privacy and fundamental user rights, third-party user data will be harder to collect. Before this, cookie collection in most cases was performed by websites automatically. With a consent agreement set in place, some users will reject it. Naturally, the volumes of “purchased-sold” third-party data will shrink. This means that businesses will have to rely more on first-party data that they will have to gather themselves.
To Wrap It Up
Digital trends are changing like leaves on the trees. It seems like just a few years ago we talked about pioneering mobile environment. Today it is a story about smart algorithms that surpass humans in all kinds of decision-making. Only one thing doesn’t fail to keep relevance: it is trust between business, its customers, and partners.
Blockchain, user privacy regulations, inventory protection tools, and smart algorithms were the hottest topics at DMEXCO 2019 because transparency is a new efficiency. Companies that operate in Marketing and Advertising areas should know how to apply technologies not only for their own good but also for making their internal processes more open and accountable. Yes, it’s difficult but it is crucial for sustainable success.