Apple’s transparency guidelines for tracking and subsequent updates to an opt-in model, Google’s privacy regulations for Android and Play developers combined with the motion to weed out third-party cookies in Chrome have led to a significant drop in third party data. Web searches, general browsing and random surveys are a few examples of third party data. Sure, they cast a wider net and are rather arbitrary but when merged with first party data, they can be used to build worthy buyer personas. A recent Data Summit hosted by The Drum estimated that 70% of consumers have gone “data dark.”
This darkness so to speak has led to an increase in the value of anonymized first-party data like shopping cart contents and spending history. Pandemic induced surges in online shopping and loyalty programs have brands and by extension retailers focusing on their first party information and using it wisely to build Retail Media Networks which can then be used for precision ad-targeting. Retailers like Target, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Sephora are all of the opinion that the exchange is valuable as shoppers are getting a customized experience with brands they trust.
Online ads used to be dependent on third party data like cookies that track consumers all across the world wide web. But with constant updates to restrict tracking and an ever-growing concern for privacy, this sort of data is becoming less and less accessible. Brands like Apple and Google are of course fine with it because their privacy amendments have made their own walled gardens of first-party data incredibly valuable.
According to Andra Mititelu of Permutive, “Consumers now have more choice, and they are deciding to exercise the choice that is given to them by privacy changes. They are opting out of their data being used by the ad tech layer in the middle but they’re not necessarily opting out of direct first-party relationships with brands and publishers they know and trust. They understand that where they have a direct relationship with a brand and there’s a fair value exchange, they don’t mind sharing that data.”
I can understand the appeal of customized ads but there’s a thing as too much customization and that can often become borderline creepy. Plus, if I only get targeted ads for brands I am already into, how would I ever get introduced to new ones?
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