Great Ads Are About Winning People’s Hearts and Minds (Not Their PII)

The free ad-supported internet is in the throes of an existential crisis. Cookies, identifiers and mobile IDs are aging out. Trust in Big Tech is in free fall. Content and advertisements are proliferating at a pace that outstrips the amount of consumer attention available. Meanwhile, ad fatigue is real and regulation is rising.

We’ve spent years collecting data on people to advertise to them. While it’s a practice that has been lucrative for platforms, people have found it annoying and creepy as we stalk them around the web. While audience targeting initially gave interesting insights into people like never before, it’s no longer effective and won’t stand the test of time when it comes to emerging environments and platforms or future privacy regulations.

Marketing Technology News: GumGum Joins Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) Providing Contextual, Brand Safety and Suitability Expertise to Industry Standardization Efforts

It’s time to get back to basics and put people first.

Remember when you were excited to be part of the Pepsi Generation? Or you really wanted to buy the world a Coke? Those memorable ads (and there are countless others) still have a place in people’s hearts—whether you’re a Boomer, Gen Xer, a Millennial or a Xennial—and all they start with one thing: They recognize that people are more than data points. They’re smart, sentient beings with wants, needs, hopes and desires. They want to be inspired or moved.

And that’s exactly what we need to remember with digital advertising. There’s a person on the other end of that phone, CTV, tablet or television. And if you can delight and engage people at the right time (context) and the right message (creative), they will reward you with their undivided attention.

This combination of contextual, creative, and attention combined is what we call the Mindset Matrix.  Getting these three things to work in concert allows advertisers to capture a person’s mindset in current and emerging digital environments—without needing any personal information, ever. Overall, the Mindset Matrix framework improves the dynamic for everyone and the future of digital advertising. (We’ve written more on the science of the Mindset Matrix here.)

We can already use technology to understand the full context of a digital environment, not just the keywords but all the signals in an environment including what’s in the video and metadata, where on the web it appears and so much more. And if we pair that with dynamic and engaging ad creative we can change the face of digital advertising and make it something that people find useful, and even fun again—without constantly wondering whether we’ve crossed the line on personal data.

We also need to reimagine how we measure our digital advertising campaigns. Digital advertising is mired in intra-industry disputes over what constitutes a viewable impression. Who cares? What really matters is not viewability, it’s whether a person saw the ad and whether it was good enough to earn their attention.

We call this attention time, the length of time, in seconds, a person actually looks at an ad. It’s a human-centric, quality metric that captures a person’s relative interest (or not) in that ad at that moment. It’s a remarkable feedback loop on ad relevance and proof that we’ve found the match between the right creative and the right context. Even better, none of these require a cookie or any personal data to work their magic.

Each one is independently important, but together they will unlock the future of digital advertising.

People get relevant ads that they value and engage with. Advertisers deliver engaging and relevant ads without having to track and secure personal data and the ads are not only just as effective, they also boost brand favorability and trust.

Best of all, publishers can focus on creating engaging content and covering critical news stories without the fear that the technology advertisers are using will overblock content and kill their ability to earn advertising revenue. And that’s good news for everyone.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Phil Schraeder, CEO at GumGum

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