How will the Ethical Use of Data Shape Advertising in 2019?

By Celtra

It has become table stakes for customers to surrender personal data in return for something else — a login, account, membership, subscription, discount, promo code, the list goes on. But at Celtra, we believe there is a key difference between the ethical and unethical use of that personal data, and making sure we’re on the right side of the debate is at the center of the work we do.

As a creative advertising technology company, we set a high bar for ourselves in making sure that all of the work we do with our partners is using data in an ethical way. While the assumption might be that Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is beneficial to the user by default (because it optimizes the creative to be hyper-relevant for that specific user based on what it knows about that person), we always ask ourselves, “Is this true?” 

Imagine walking into a BMW car dealer and someone from a Mercedes Benz dealer follows you in and tries to sell you their newest C-Class. It wouldn’t sit well with you. As a matter of fact, it would feel awkward and uncomfortable. Well, this is exactly how the digital advertising industry has been treating consumers for several years now. You could be shopping for hotels in Santorini, and another advertiser, completely unaffiliated, not only knows that you are looking for hotels in Santorini but also knows your purchase behavior.

Our CEO Miha Mikek recently told LinkedIn for its 2019 Big Ideas series that 2019 will be the year when the exploitation and abuse of third-party data comes to an end. Consumers will demand the ethical use of their data, and in turn, personalization will become much more responsible. And that means brands will be leaning much harder into first-party data like emails and mobile numbers. In other words, putting precision marketing centre stage. Given that the brand has already won the consumer over at some point, the consumer is more likely to be receptive to personalized engagements. Marketers will be doubling down on precision marketing and spend more time cementing the relationships they have with current consumers rather than chasing potential customers. (There’s data to back this up — Gartner research from its 2017-2018 CMO Spend Survey noted, “CMOs’ budgets have become heavily skewed toward retention, with retention budgets dwarfing acquisition budgets by a ratio of 2-to-1. But a focus on retention should be driven by a goal of building long-term, profitable relationships with the right customers.”) We couldn’t agree more.

The challenge for marketers ahead is to maximize the impact of their precision marketing efforts by building a powerful omnichannel strategy infused with first-party data. By combining first-party data with an advanced creative management platform, marketers now have all the ingredients they need to transform their digital strategy and build meaningful relationships throughout the customer journey.

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