Data breaches, deepfake videos, fake ads, micro targeting. Trust in technology is shot
The only question that is really important for advertising technology and digital media in 2020 is: "How can we regain trust?" After so many years of brand security scandals, data breaches and insincere behavior by technology company titans, the time is ripe for real reform to ensure that marketers can trust and measure the purchase of digital ads while consumers can rest assured that their data is being extracted cannot be exploited to destroy their privacy.
Most of the major marketing tech stories of the past year have been somewhat mistrustful: the rise of fake videos; The scourge of the news is unnecessarily removed from advertising. an investigation into programmatic violations of advertising data; fake political ads and "micro-targeting"; and problems in measuring the effectiveness of influencer marketing.
If 2019 was the year chickens came home, we can expect big eggs to hatch on both sides of the Atlantic soon. It begins this month with the information commissioner's update on how the signmaking industry has started to remedy major data breaches in real-time bidding auctions. The Internet Advertising Bureau and Google, the main arbitrators for real-time bidding standards, will be under pressure to tighten to prevent the UK data keeper from imposing a cascade of GDPR fines. This coincides with the California Consumer Protection Act, which comes into force in the United States. While the CCPA is not as strict in Europe as the GDPR, it will gradually change the rights of consumers to process their data.
However, the main regulatory signal could come in November if the US holds its presidential election. Unless Donald Trump survives impeachment and triggers an election shock, a Democrat becomes president, with Elizabeth Warren, who has committed to break up the big technology companies among the frontrunners.
The so-called "streaming wars" should intensify in 2020 as Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Apple and the BBC / ITV are supported by a growing number of channels that offer video-on-demand services. Amazon and Apple have a special opportunity to perform the most aggressive actions in this area, for example by bundling subscription entertainment packages with purchases of the latest iPhone.
Speaking of Apple, the biggest iPhone launch in recent years is expected to take place in September. The device, which is probably referred to as the iPhone 12 Pro, offers access to 5G for the first time. The limited launch of superfast 5G internet in 2019 has generated little enthusiasm among consumers, but Apple's marketing genius could spur demand.
Closer to home, we can assume that deepfakes will become a more immediate problem for marketers and media owners as they will be even easier to produce. In April of last year, a "Deepfake for Good" video by David Beckham attracted attention after R / GA London hired a "video synthesis" specialist to make the football icon appear as Polymath. In September, a Chinese app called Zao enabled smartphone users to "play along" in their favorite films only by uploading an image. So this could be the year that ordinary people are given more access to "off-the-shelf" deepfake creation tools that can destroy confidence in digital media and have harmful consequences for brands, interest groups and politicians.
In the meantime, AI is likely to play a major role in disrupting agency and brand business. The Publicis Groupe attracted attention last year by introducing an AI-based tool, Marcel, which was used across the company on a large scale. Now, more big agencies are going to drop Excel spreadsheets in favor of AI-based solutions for planning advertising campaigns across markets and channels. For brands, there will be more automated processes for repetitive tasks, e.g. B. Retailers who forecast demand or sales and plan logistics.
We should also see that AI is being used more widely in natural language processing, which Reach is already using to combat unnecessary keyword blacklisting. There is also an opportunity to expand the copywriting theme for digital creative as brands use programmatic tools to customize news based on time of day, weather, and location.
AI improvements should also bring smarter chatbots to the fore as customer service and marketing tools. This is likely to happen first in the financial sector, a sector that has been radically affected by technology in recent years and where brands aim to offer new services such as robotic advisors and "copbots" to combat online fraud.
After so many stories in 2019 about dubious behavior related to influencer marketing, it is this market that needs the most urgent need to build trust among advertisers and consumers. More advertising agencies that are directly involved in campaigns run by influencers should bring more professionalism into the room, while the growing popularity of "micro-influencers" with smaller but dedicated follow-ups, the advertisers' obsession with viral posts and vanity indicators (likes ) should dissuade and video views).
So improve data protection and use the efficiency of automation
Agency director at Google UK
The coming tech year will be jointly defined by the industry to ensure that it adapts to the changing face of the online world. This is vital for tech platforms, advertisers, publishers and agencies. The key to this adjustment is prioritizing transparency and data protection. With initiatives such as the ePrivacy Regulations and the GDPR, which offer important protection for users, Europe is a leader in the development of the new road traffic regulations. Web browsers also make important changes to limit the use of third-party cookies for personalization.
The key message for 2020 is that data protection and personalization are not in conflict. Billions of users trust Google every day with data about their activities. We use this to improve the user experience and to give users control and transparency about how and whether they are used to personalize ads. The central question for the coming year is therefore: What amount of data can the industry use the least to achieve an excellent advertising experience?
Machine learning technology plays a fundamental role in bridging this gap. It can increasingly help simplify the guesswork of personalizing, bidding, and creating ads while minimizing human access to data, adding another level of data protection. Advertisers need to make sure that they use automation and increase the efficiency of their technical solutions to keep pace with this rapidly changing ecosystem.
We are also responsible for ensuring that the web works for both creators and users. Quality journalism is critical to a healthy web and to society – and for publishers, the focus must be on the obligation to be transparent about monetization. If this focus goes hand in hand with a doubling of data protection for advertisers, there is hope that our industry can restore confidence in advertising and the online ecosystem through technology.
After all, agencies have to invest in innovation and technological progress, while independent specialists and consultants are on their heels. You need to learn to understand the changing creative landscape and what it means for digital media, and to use innovative and experimental technologies to get the best results.
Throughout the year, tech companies have a responsibility to restore confidence in advertising and broader digital ecosystems.
As an industry, we can create a future that works for everyone in a world where privacy is paramount.
Break the silos
CEO of Digitas UK
Fortunately, the 2020s have come, which means that we can draw a line in a terrible decade of social, political and economic division.
We are politically divided. Isolationism has dominated political teaching. Borders have closed. People are lonelier than ever as they struggle with social media addiction. From a business perspective, the separation harms our customers' business.
The main reason for all the division and separation? Silos that separate people. All over.
Silos are a double-edged sword. They specialized and made agencies, but they also made our value close and downstream. Procurement departments devalue what we do. As a result, consultants intervened. Basically, silos prevent people from coming together and understanding different perspectives. Without careful management, they breed tribal backgrounds and narrow perspectives.
In our industry this means:
- Performance and brand marketing activities are separate from each other, which leads to the problem of short-term and risks long-term growth.
- Channels are separated according to the structure of the organization, which leads to unconnected customer experiences.
- An empathy gap, as Andrew Tenzer's excellent research has shown, with the danger that we will deliver work that does not appeal to the target group.
To gradually change customer experiences and marketing activities, we need to help our customers manage their own silos. But we also have to dismantle silos within the agencies. We need to bring media, creativity, data and technology together. We need to become more empathetic and understand our target groups better. We need to use data science to understand emotions and bring empathy to our strategies. We need to embrace diversity that divides silos and brings people of all types together to ensure that all viewpoints are taken into account.
After all, we have to join forces as a sector to master the greatest challenge of all: the climate emergency. At the beginning of 2019, Digitas UK employees welcomed flexible working and joined the march of climate awareness.
As an agency partner, we have a responsibility towards our customers to deliver and challenge them in this matter, regardless of the task. I think we have to think and act differently to dismantle the silos. Here is the opportunity – and the value -.
And use the technology to increase your creativity
Group Strategy Director, R / GA
The technological headlines are always the same – faster networks, better distribution of computing power, more networked automated things, big leaps in AI and many other exciting and nerdgasm-inducing advances.
With all the noise of such "progress", it is important to consider: progress for whom? For the people who design it, for companies that want to use people's data for commercial purposes, or better for all of us?
If we want to get the best out of technology, 2020 must be the year in which we put people back in the center. Let's go back to using technology to solve people's problems by involving more types of people in the conversation and showing how they and human creativity can be a force for change. So while it is tempting to look at the latest technology muscle, in our new year we want to decide to stick to an approach that puts people first. Our industry can play a key role in assuming responsibility for finding a common denominator between business ambition and people's needs.
To develop technology that meets people's needs, we need to hire people. And by that I mean more than one type of person. The tech community is still mostly male and white. The time for window dressing is over. A real change must now take place so that the technology we develop reflects the world we live in and not a very small privileged part of it.
"What can I do?" I hear you cry. Make room for different types of people and give them training, support and real opportunities to contribute. Encourage new narratives instead of reducing people to narratives of diversity. Recognize and confront your own prejudices (trust me, you have them). And listen a lot.
As part of the 2018 Techlash and documentaries such as The big hackWe urgently need a more sensitive approach. Devote yourself and your teams to developing technologies that serve a real human purpose instead of developing technologies because we can.
As with innovations, technology should not be the domain of a select group of employees in your company. It should be everyone's responsibility. Employers need to make sure that the culture around technology supports people instead of demanding things from them. Think of this as a tool to improve our skills. As something that gives our creativity super powers.
So think of the Amara law, no matter what lands in 2020: we always overestimate the short-term effects of technology and underestimate the long-term effects.
Let's make sure that humanity guides our long-term journey.