Three ways to leverage data for enhanced advertising

The media industry must rebuild consumer trust to deliver better advertising.
02 September 2020
Three ways to leverage data media industry

Global Director, Advertising Intelligence, Media Division

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As consumers use more and more connected personal devices to organise, curate and discover media, the opportunities to reach them through advertising have exploded.

At the heart of better advertising is data fueled with dynamic creative. But data itself must be collected and used with care. Ignoring consumer concerns can have very negative repercussions.

Insights from our 2020 DIMENSION report into the key challenges facing the media industry reveal that 60% of connected consumers in the UK find it intrusive when they receive advertising as a result of past online activity.

Furthermore, 73% claim to see the same ad over and over which is too repetitive. Consumers know it is their data that is being used to fuel this unwelcome targeted advertising and they want it to stop.

But this is where the key dilemma lies for advertisers – how to make advertising more relevant (and thus less intrusive) without compromising consumer data privacy in order to do so. Especially when 58% of UK connected consumers are concerned that more tailored content might compromise their privacy.

Getting that balance wrong can mean overstepping a very fine line, a view echoed in a recent interview we conducted with Marcia Esteves, CEO, Lew’Lara\TBWA Brazil:

“I love advertising, but when I'm doing something on my mobile, I don’t appreciate an ad interrupting me. We're forgetting that consumers’ behaviour and experiences across different screens are not always the same. We need to find new formats for different screens, and we’re far from being able to deliver that.”

Our 2020 DIMENSION research examines where data can best be leveraged in the pursuit of delivering better advertising and has revealed three key pathways:

1. Trusted advertising = effective advertising

We must be clear, honest and straightforward when it comes to how we collect and use data.

Consumers must be confident that brands, their agencies and partners are using appropriately gathered data that doesn’t compromise their privacy.

Many advertisers have suggested that in their early experiments into addressable media channels the pendulum may have swung too far towards deterministic data gathered automatically through web traffic and clicks and too far away from probabilistic data whereby a sample of consumers have willingly participated in a survey or panel – such as through Kantar’s audiences for online activation.

Too often, too much focus was placed on outcomes and that customer who did click, whilst what went unseen was the damage wrought on the relationship with the customers who became thoroughly disillusioned with the brand after seeing the same ad pop up for what felt like the hundredth time.

2. Be transparent and act responsibly

Too many behavioural data sets still sit within a walled garden, closed to any detailed, objective external verification, analysis or examination. The reluctance of platforms to share this data in a fully transparent way has prevented advertisers from using these media forms to their fullest extent and taking a truly holistic approach to campaigns.

Brands, agencies and media owners must be transparent and act responsibly and collaboratively if they are to re-build consumer trust in data privacy. All data, regardless of source, must adhere to the highest research standards. It must be collected in a privacy-safe way that respects the rights of consumers.

3. Data stewardship requires responsible partners with transparent methods and tools that are easy to use

Driven by consumer and data privacy concerns, brands are taking increasing control of their media output. The result is that there are more stakeholders throughout the organisation who need access to the data and insights being produced.

Advertisers must navigate this deluge of data, the regulations that increasingly govern consumer data use and the permissions required to ensure compliance. Placing trust in partners and suppliers is now more critical than ever

Media data currencies play an important role in fuelling the ad technology used in advertising and media today. Our own development work ensures that the data built into the various systems and working methodologies is collected and analysed in a transparent manner and that it can be used and accessed by multiple stakeholders in our client organisations.

Discover more findings from our consumer and leader interviews in our report Delivering Better Advertising in an Addressable World.

Find out more about the fieldwork here.

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