Data Driven Advertising


Digital advertising market has doubled in the last five years. Incredible amounts of data are produced each day allowing advertisers to target specific and relevant audiences with personalized messages to drive campaign performance.

In Europe, IAB figures have demonstrated that the sustainability of European digital media relies on data-driven advertising. However, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has seen changing attitudes around the access of consumer data.

Does this mean a new approach to advertising is imminent? One where advertisers really consider the value of data that guides their ads?

Reports like the Adex Benchmark Report references formats such as social, search, video and display. Data is unlikely to appear as a separate item in attribution models anytime soon, even though the Winterberry Group and the IAB in the US have begun to address data spending in their studies.

When looking at total digital advertising spend statistics, data and media are clumped together. Media buyers know the power and value of data, demonstrated by their willingness to put in higher bids for programmatic impressions that come with relevant associated user data. What’s uncertain is exactly how much more they’re willing to pay, since this specific data usually isn’t specifically quantified. To measure the value of data effectively, we would need to have standardized figures for media, as well as the information behind it.

There appears to be a reluctance to draw attention to the value of consumer data since the media hasn’t separated the cost of ad media and the cost of information. The perception when it comes to using user profiles and audience targeting is one of deceit. However, it could be argued that using data to improve the customer experience, while providing more relevant solutions to the individual is a good thing.

Distinguishing between media and data spend would also enhance the advertising industry’s transparency. This could be regarded as a top priority given the high media profile of scandals like that of Cambridge Analytica, where it came to the public’s attention how their data can be misused. There has been a recent trend, however, for advertisers to demand first-hand data collected ethically from the user, as opposed to third-party data, with full knowledge and consent of the user a must.

It’s likely that user consent is likely to decrease, reducing the availability of first-party data, with consumers having mixed views over whether to give their consent or not. In response to the GDPR, however, there are publishers who are getting rid of ad tech vendors that fail to follow the rules when it comes to personal data. Additionally, the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework and other industry standards are getting a lot of sign-ups, which essentially helps to clean up the industry.