• [Editor’s note: Lou Mastria, Executive Director at the Digital Advertising Alliance, was a speaker at #RampUp17. We invited him to share his thoughts on data and marketing trends.]

    Data is increasingly at the heart of consumer engagement with brands. Recognizing data—and the insights that flow from it—as a prized asset also means it must be handled with care.
    This truth is also tied to consumer expectations. The data-for-value exchange can only be built on consumer trust. It can only thrive on consumer acceptance.

    In digital advertising, data tender loving care is at the heart of the Digital Advertising Alliance Principles and a robust advertising self-regulatory privacy program—which provides a construct for responsible data collection for the purposes of enabling relevant, interest-based advertising.

    As an industry, we can have meaningful consumer privacy transparency and control and advertising innovation. In fact, these never can be mutually exclusive.

    Hundreds of companies and thousands of brands understand that. They recognize that cleaning up the advertising supply chain by, in part, using Digital Advertising Alliance Principles and asking partners to respect the same level of consumer notice and choice that they do, helps to create trust. The flexibility and responsiveness of self-regulation – as innovations occur—is always driven by industry consensus to ensure our solutions work.

    Thus, effective advertising self-regulation can only happen when it keeps pace with the dynamics of data collection for advertising—and the manner in which consumers today engage with brands.

    1. Advertising self-regulation for interest-based digital ads began in the desktop environment—and today has expanded to include mobile platforms and cross-device environments
    2. It has expanded from “cookies” to all types of consumer recognition technologies—in fact, effective self-regulation must be technology agnostic (or better said, technology fluent)
    3. Self-regulation must speak the consumer’s preferred language—where she interacts with brands
    4. Wherever interest-based ads are engaged in whatever format (display, in-app, native, etc.), self-regulatory principles must govern use—so it’s a consistent privacy, transparency, and control experience

    When effective advertising self-regulation takes hold, results happen. The first and most important dividend is consumers’ growing trust in the value-for-data equation and exchange.

    A Zogby Poll, commissioned by Digital Advertising Alliance , showed that consumers place nearly a $1,200 value on all the ad-financed information and services they access in digital and mobile environments. That’s powerful economics.

    It also helps when policymakers pay attention to what we do—and even cite support for it. For example, FTC in its latest staff report on cross-device data collection in the marketplace, included this statement of support:

    “FTC staff commends these self-regulatory efforts to improve transparency and choice in the cross-device tracking space. Both the NAI [Network Advertising Initiative] and DAA have taken steps to keep up with evolving technologies and provide important guidance to their members and the public. Their work has improved the level of consumer protection in the marketplace.” (Page 11, “Cross-Device Tracking: An FTC Staff Report,” January 23, 2017).

    Yes, marketplace innovations present advertising self-regulation challenges – but they also enable opportunities we can and must meet. We have figured these challenges out together in the past and we will figure out the challenges of the future together, too. By continuing to come together as an ecosystem, we can foster consumer engagement and trust.

    Lou Mastria was a speaker at RampUp 2017. Watch him in the panel, Consumer Engagement in an Age of Skepticism, below.

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