Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and each dramatic change comes with its own set of challenges. Today, the industry is consumed with fostering transparency, and adhering to ever-tightening privacy regulation. What’s more, Google’s commitment to terminate third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, a promise that competitors Safari and Firefox have already followed-through on, has triggered a seismic shift in the foundation of advertising technology.
Yet whilst this change is undoubtedly a win for consumer rights when it comes to privacy and data protection, it marks the beginning of an irreversible change in the way our industry operates. For many on the buy-side, the most pressing question is how they get a handle on current challenges, old and new, in the context of a web without cookies. Anna Kuzmenko (pictured below), COO at programmatic media buying company Fiksu, shares her perspective on the latest changes in ad tech.
How would you describe ad tech as an industry, and how does Fiksu fit in?
Ad tech is a growing industry with immense potential and a lot of competition – you have to be creative and think outside the box if you want to stand out. With changes occurring thick and fast, companies would be wise to look to expand their offerings to new and emerging channels, and to direct their spend to areas that will drive growth and deliver results.
Evolution being a definitive characteristic of our industry, innovation is a priority for us at Fiksu. We believe that this is reflected by the recent launch of our self-serve platform for marketing on CTV, BidMind by Fiksu. BidMind uses a targeting algorithm to help our clients choose suitable machine-learning models and audience similarity, with our clients able to create a new audience from a hundred thousand different segments.
Things change rapidly in ad tech, and success within this industry depends upon a business' ability to adapt to these changes. However, staying tuned into the latest trends and developments within the industry, and working to provide solutions that respond to these changes, will help companies overcome the challenges that accompany them.
The latest updates of iOS 14 and Android 11 will see users take more control over their data. What impact do you think this will have on digital marketing, and how is Fiksu responding to it?
Fiksu, along with other leading market players, is looking for solutions to the inevitable disruption these changes will cause. The impending updates will obviously complicate targeting – advertisers simply won’t be able to access the same level of data they once did, and will receive far less or even no information about the people who see their ads. In particular, the new restrictions will affect retargeting – now, users can decide whether or not to be tracked, and have the power to block access to their devices at any time.
Unless they adapt to the changes, I believe that tech giants Facebook and Google may end up suffering the most due to their market coverage. In contrast, I think Apple could stand to benefit substantially, as the company has the resources to create a new marketing environment for targeting, and which they can take advantage of going forward.
Apple’s postponement of tightening the regulations of IDFA plays into the hands of developers by giving them extra time to get ready for the changes. Perhaps the lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple is behind this delay, as it’s possible that the case may have sparked an open conversation about the company’s high commissions, and that this is how Apple intends to demonstrate their commitment to all users, including app developers.
How can companies foster trust with their users, and what is Fiksu doing?
The first and most obvious thing companies can do to assure their users of their trustworthiness is to abide by all applicable data and privacy regulation. It goes without saying that we strictly adhere to the legislative requirements of all the territories we operate in, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Lei Geral de Protecao de Dados (LGPD) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the United States, Brazil, and Europe respectively. On top of respecting clients’ rights to have their sensitive data handled securely, companies should also highlight their rights to deny them access to their data. This is something that we do at Fiksu, where we enable our clients to easily request to have their personal data deleted from our systems.
For us, transparency and brand safety are of paramount importance, and we use our focus on both to guide all our company processes. As part of our commitment to our users’ personal data, we have signed up to IAB Europe's Transparency and Consent Framework, which enhances our ability to safeguard the privacy of our users. We’ve also signed Data Protection Agreements with our partners, which may be connected to processing EEA users’ personal data.
We also believe that communication is key to fostering trust and providing high quality service. Therefore, we have a dedicated team of data protection officers on hand to answer any questions regarding privacy, and we stay in touch with all our users, even if they opt for a self-serve interface.
Which medium do you think offers the biggest opportunities in ad tech?
In this era of immense content consumption, the lion’s share of the media market belongs to businesses, as they understand exactly what their audiences are looking at. With this opportunity, brands and agencies can target holistically, satisfy consumer's requests, and stay ahead amongst ever-changing competition. We firmly believe that connected TV (CTV) is the best medium for businesses to achieve all of these, and we are therefore focusing on developing and growing our CTV solutions. Our launch of BidMind emphasises how important we feel it is to support companies in this sector – the solution looks to provide more precise targeting, which can help us to manage our clients’ campaigns more effectively and improve our services. We are delighted to have already collaborated with a number of partners through this offering, and are working on expanding this list going forward.