When consumers lose trust in marketers and advertisers the whole ad ecosystem falls apart, argues Mel Silva, managing director at Google ANZ. 

During a presentation at Advertising Week in Sydney, Silva told delegates consumers start to lose trust in that ecosystem when they don’t feel their personal data is being handled properly, which means consumers will want more control of their data. 

Silva said this is an opportunity to build a real and genuine trust. Marketers and advertisers need to understand and accept the responsibility that they have to protect people’s privacy, especially when it comes to the ads they see. 

“The truth is that ads play a major role in keeping the internet free and an open place. Ad-supported content is not new but this is a delicate ecosystem that requires consumers, partners, marketers and advertising agencies to all play a role.”

She explained consumers, advertisers and content creators can benefit from these models. 

“When advertising and ad-supported model work for everyone, consumers get great free content that they can watch, advertisers can reach these audiences as they’re consuming that content, and partners and creators can monetise the content, which fuels their ability to make more content that can be consumed.”

Delivering an effective, yet private ad experience

Silva said there are three ways to deliver a privacy conscious and effective advertising experience. 

Firstly, brands need to start thinking now about how they build a robust first party data ecosystem.

“It’s going to be crucial for you to build these direct relationships with your consumers, understand what their preferences are, so that you can provide a more nuanced opportunity to understand and respect their privacy preferences.”

Mel Silva, managing director at Google ANZ

She explained this is also going to let marketers measure the effectiveness of what’s happening on a company’s site and also the campaigns they run. 

“It will be really, really clear and straightforward for users to understand exactly who they are dealing with.”

The next thing marketers need to do is explain what data they are collecting and why they are using it. Silva noted this value exchange is critical to how digital services are going to work in the future.

She uses the example of Google Maps.

“We provide directions from A to B, for that we need your location. This value exchange is very clear, and user get that.”

Lastly, organisations will need to recognise that privacy means different things to different people. 

Silva said, “It is important for advertisers to respect all the preferences.”

This goes hand in hand with personalised ads, Silva said if marketers are unable to personalise ads it doesn’t matter too much because you can still provide a relevant ad experience without having those behavioural signals.

“For example, while this might seem a little bit more complicated, the machine learning advances that we’re seeing are really making this a lot simpler for you be able to find these audiences and can take the targets mass. 

“You can still make it through all of this complexity with a lot less data,” she adds. 

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