On May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. It will have an immediate and ongoing impact on the collection and storage of personal information of citizens across the EU. Brands that use data to target and enhance their digital marketing efforts must now take action to ensure that they are complying with these new regulations.

The most important points to remember about the GDPR are as follows:

  • People own their data, not companies.
  • Data privacy is a right for all.
  • All identifying data must be protected.
  • Businesses must obtain consent to collect and store data. The consent must be informed and given explicitly.
  • Consumers may withdraw their consent.
  • Consumers may delete or modify their stored data.
  • Regulatory breaches must be reported.
  • Failure to comply, even accidentally, can result in fines.

Before this regulation, brands could play quite fast and loose with consumer data. Now that they have to operate within these restrictions, their approaches to digital advertising must change.

If you own a company that isn’t in the EU, you aren’t in the clear. As long as you do business with consumers there, this impacts you. GDPR may also impact the B2B sector. The Data Protection Act of 1998 declared the data of sole traders and partners personal data. Nothing in the GDPR explicitly changes that.

One of the ways to target ads while remaining GDPR compliant is to simply use the content on the website the consumer is viewing. Anyone who has ever scrolled past a news story they were reading to see ‘Other stories you might like’ or ‘Recommended for you’ has seen content recommendation in action.

Using data to target social media and PPC becomes significantly more challenging

Prior to the GDPR, Facebook and other entities could target ads to users by mining their personal data for information. They could also engage in behavioral targeting. The only consent requirements could be met via ‘bundled consent’. This catch-all consent is no longer acceptable.

The path forward will be creating and targeting customer segments without the use of personal data. Google is already doing this with its non-personalized ad targeting. Rather than using private, identifying data, it uses information such as current site content and location data.

GDPR brings new opportunities in native advertising

The very nature of native advertising may just make it the best option under GDPR. After all, if consent must be gained to market to consumers or marketing must occur without the use of identifying data, native advertising is the easiest option to pursue.

When it works as designed, native advertising delivers valuable content to consumers first. This may:

  • Direct them into the funnel simply on the basis of its own merits.
  • Make them amenable to more targeted efforts in the future.

The latter will happen because native advertising builds trust and establishes thought leadership. Consumers that see brands improving their online experiences and offering up information that is relevant to them are more likely to consent to sharing their data in the future.

Brands will be forced to take a more thoughtful approach to targeting and publishing

Targeted advertising based on the collection and mining of data has always been a numbers game. Advertising through Facebook or Google was targeted to people whose data happened to meet certain criteria.

With the new consent requirements, more thought will need to be put into where to publish native content, and how to best target digital advertising efforts, according to Andrea Taini, founder and CTO of the blockchain company, Multiversum. “This could motivate marketers and salespeople to find sources of quality leads and nurture them, rather than playing a marketing numbers game. For example, a company selling luxury goods may carefully research online publications on which to place their native advertisements,” he explained.

Brands and consumers can both benefit from such personalized effort and consideration.

Content recommendation platforms become more viable

Content recommendation platforms like Revcontent, Nativo, Outbrain, Taboola and TripleLift may actually benefit from GDPR. Their business models don’t need to change significantly under new regulations. Brands that need further reach than their own capabilities when it comes to selecting websites for publishing their native content can now rely on these platforms to handle their targeting efforts for them.

Brands and publishers will seek to boost on-site content and engagement

Building on the idea of content recommendation, publishers like Newsweek have been implementing a new technology, Engage.IM powered by Revcontent. The publishers may be able to use the utility to keep readers on site, potentially allowing them to consume a never-ending feed of relevant content. Advertisers may use it as a tool for targeting their native ads. Users may personalize the content that they see. The result may be unprecedented relevance that benefits everyone.

As Newsweek Media Group CEO, Dev Pragad, pointed out in a Forbes articleNewsweek has seen 531% higher average time on site when using Engage.im than when using social media, and a 4-5X increase in engagement before personalization. Users also engage with content up to 11X after they personalize their content.

GDPR will benefit consumers who have largely been at the mercy of brands which have not always employed the most ethical practices when it comes to using data. In order to comply and continue to thrive under these new conditions, native advertising may be the best choice for marketing in the future.

Source :

forbes.com