This May, we’ll see the European Union's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) go into effect, bringing with it a slew of new rules relating to digital data collection. As a result, EU audiences will gain greater control over the ways their personal data is collected and used. The GDPR rules apply to any entity that collects and uses data from EU citizens, even if the company doesn’t have a presence in Europe. So once this law goes into place, APAC marketers are among those who will be affected.
In advertising, GDPR has been received negatively by most. That’s because brands and agencies so often rely on consumer data to develop the most personalized advertising experiences possible. Under GDPR, both anonymous and personal data will carry the same weight, which will impact the ad experience for EU consumers in a dramatic way.
So GDPR sounds like cause for concern, right? Not entirely. While these new guidelines will be problematic early on, APAC advertisers will eventually realize GDPR’s long-term benefits. Here’s a closer look at some of them.
Quality > quantity
Once GDPR becomes finalized later this year, advertisers will see more compliance costs from consumer data. Those who fail to obey could be slapped with fines totaling as much as 4% of their global revenue. Though this might not seem optimal, there is a silver lining. These higher costs will force the ad industry to alter and improve its data strategies. Typically, advertisers value data based on size and volume. But as the new regulations boost the compliance costs of datasets, it’ll become less practical and more costly to focus solely on volume. As a result, over time, APAC advertisers will develop data strategies based on the quality of data, instead of quantity. This is a shift that is long overdue and will now be fast-tracked because of GDPR.
Take advantage of high-quality data
Studies show that most advertising data becomes obsolete—and unusable—after about a year. And as GDPR impacts which information is fair game for advertisers to use, they’ll have no choice but to devote attention to only the best datasets. This will prove helpful, as it’ll allow them to focus on the highest-quality data for more actionable insights to positively impact business.
Thus far, this has been one of the biggest challenges for marketers. A study by IBM found that only 3% of marketers feel that they have an ‘excellent’ ability to act on customer data, while more than half describe their ability as “poor.” With the new GDPR rule, marketers will gain access to more actionable intelligence and customer data than they’ve had to in the past. This means more authentic, higher-quality campaigns, which will lead to better results, including an uptick in opt-ins.
Transparency will increase
Transparency is an increasingly important topic for the digital advertising industry. And with GDPR, the relationships between brands and agencies and their data providers will become more well-lit than ever before.
Data providers will need to rework both their technology and processes to meet the requirements of GDPR. The best players are already deep into this process, actively working to adopt and implement the new IAB consent framework. As a result of the changes, it will become more critical than in previous years for marketers and agencies to be comprehensively briefed on how data providers are delivering on compliance. This will bring with it new clarity on data provider protocols at large, well beyond GDPR, likely ushering in a new era of partner transparency.
So while the GDPR ruling might seem like something that advertisers should worry about, it can actually be used to their advantage to get the best quality data, and more. Understanding this new rule and its benefits will help APAC advertisers improve their marketing strategies moving forward.
Alex Sibois is APAC managing director at Lotame.