What’s the light at the end of the advertising legislation tunnel?

Increasingly, legislation is impacting global digital advertising campaigns. So how can brands prepare for changes – and still run successful campaigns? 

With third party cookies dying out, what are the alternatives? And is there really light at the end of the advertising legislation tunnel? This is precisely what we discussed in a recent webinar with Australia’s National Online Retailers Association (NORA). 

The webinar was hosted by Adore Beauty CMO Dan Ferguson, and included industry expert IAB Australia Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs Sarah Waladan, Munro Footwear Group GM Marketing Paul Baddeley and Crimtan Business Director ANZ Laura Kleiman. 

You can watch the webinar in full to find out more about the legislation changes, how brands are coping, ways you can prepare and steps to take to run a successful programmatic campaign.

In this article, Joshua Wilson, Crimtan Commercial Director JAPAC summarises his key takeaways.

Australia-specific legislation to look out for

The Privacy Act is currently undergoing a full-scale review, looking into whether changes are needed for the law to better serve consumers and the digital economy. 

In the webinar, Sarah Waladan, IAB Australia Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs shared three legislation changes that the Australian government is considering that might have an impact on retailers.

1. Definition of personal information

Clarifying the definition of personal information, which essentially determines what data is regulated under the Privacy Act, to include digital identifiers and inferred information. 

The concern is that we could end up with a greater scope of data falling within the privacy regulations, even if it isn’t identifying data, which could have a huge impact, not just on retailers, but on all brands.

2. What is fair and reasonable?

Currently, it is not clear what would be considered fair and reasonable for marketers in the use, collection and disclosure of personal information. It’s not clear whether uses that are integral to marketing and advertising, and functioning of the digital economy, like analytics, measurement or data processing would be affected.

3. Privacy defaults

One of the proposals is that organisations will be required to have the most restrictive privacy settings as the default, despite research showing that this would have a significant detrimental impact on marketers and might cause inconsistency in consumer expectations. 

This is something that IAB Australia has argued against. Instead, they are in favour of other solutions such as a requirement that privacy settings be easily accessible and allowing consumers to make their own privacy choices.

Note that these are all proposals that are in the works, and how much they could impact retailers and brands will ultimately depend on where the government lands.

To keep yourself up to date on the changes, here are a few platforms to consider: 

Four things brands can do to prepare for the changes in legislation

Rome was not built in a day, and it is important to have a long term approach when it comes to protecting your business from legislation changes. 

You can still get customers to say, by all means, I’ll share my data with you. But you need to ask them, and when you do ask them, why do you think they’ll want to say yes? What are you gonna give them? Why should they trust you? What benefits are there to sharing their data?

Dan Ferguson, CMO, Adore Beauty

While we cannot predict the exact laws that will be passed, there are four key things that you can do to ensure that your house is in order for whatever changes there may be: 

  1. Conduct an internal audit: Start understanding your existing practices and systems. Are there any key high risk areas that may be affected by legislation changes?
  2. Consider if existing practices are within the spirit of the law: Are there weaknesses in existing practices? The upcoming changes focus on collection, use and disclosure of data being fair and reasonable. Are there any areas in your business where you’re using data that might not meet the requirements?
  3. Review privacy policies and consent notices: Ensure that these are still accurate, clear and specific, or update the specificity around exactly what you are doing with people’s data. Do consumers have a real choice in these?
  4. Assess third-party contracts: Make sure that you have the processes and provisions in place to take into account any changes in the law.

Alternatives to third-party cookies

Are you team first-party or team contextual? While we aren’t 100% confident which way the industry is going, we do see the pros and cons of both alternatives

First-party data such as login and hashed email addresses that are personally identifiable are helpful for tracking activity on a single domain, but they become less useful when trying to attribute customer engagements to conversions across multiple touchpoints on multiple domains. They are also less scalable, as brands and publishers are definitely more protective of the data. 

Contextual targeting on the other hand, is finding your target audience in the environment they are already in. So, for example, if you are a kitchen appliances brand, you would want to place your ads on web pages that share recipes. While it is not possible to confirm individual customer details, you can be fairly sure that the level of interest in your product is high. 

As with every other adtech company that is navigating GDPR and the cookie-less world, Crimtan has created ActiveID with the aim of facilitating both deterministic (first party data) and probabilistic data. Through a signal triangulation process, ActiveID is able to determine a particular user.

We’re in a golden dawn of creativity and marketing

With recent technology and privacy changes, it’s become increasingly difficult to target the right consumers. Coupled with shorter attention spans, this means brands will now need to be much closer to consumers. 

This was raised in the webinar by Munro Footwear Group GM Marketing Paul Baddeley: “​​How do we effectively use first-party data to build loyalty? How do we take that data outside of our ecosystem and continually find new customers out there?”

This is how brands today can differentiate themselves. Brands that are able to understand their customers, know where they are at, create a journey that resonates, work with publishers, advertisers, media, and create great ads will ultimately find themselves in a good place. 

One way that brands can do this is through dynamic creative optimisation (DCO). Dynamic creative allows you to change your creative on the fly based on different data inputs. These could be based on weather, geo, time, language, product, or even a countdown.

By doing so, you’re able to change the copy, image or video of your ad in real time to share the most relevant message to the consumer looking at it.

Simply put, dynamic creative allows you to send the right message to the right consumer at the right time, at the right place. It is the perfect marriage of data and creativity

Four steps to running a successful, compliant programmatic campaign

Programmatic advertising is about maximising ad budget efficiency to get the best return of investment. Increasingly, brands are required to be compliant with the ever changing privacy regulations and technology updates make it harder to set up a campaign for success. Here are four steps that can help you build a successful programmatic campaign. 

1. Conduct a listening campaign

By placing a pixel on your site, we can decipher how customers interact with your website and segment customers into different personas. This helps us to work out where we need to invest to maximise ROI.

2. Identify which part of the customer journey is lacking

Through the listening campaign, we identify which part of your funnel is lacking. If the problem is prospecting, our team of programmatic experts will come up with strategies to increase the pool of prospects.

If we see that there is a high rate of customers in the abandoned basket segment, our team will analyse the customer journey and come up with suggestions to encourage customers to complete their purchase. 

3. Run a tailored dynamic creative campaign

DCO campaigns can serve tens of thousands of variations of an ad in a split second, ensuring that people see messaging that is absolutely relevant to them at that very moment – and increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion as a result. Find out more on how to create a DCO campaign, including getting your brief right here.

4. Tie in siloed brand campaigns with performance campaigns

Make your campaigns work harder for you by connecting your campaigns across all digital platforms. If you are already running a brand campaign through video or audio, we can help to connect the dots of your customer journey, so you can see the impact of each channel and create efficiencies.

Want to learn more about privacy, legislation and tips from industry experts? Watch the full webinar here: 

Want to future-proof your marketing campaigns? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. 


About the author

Joshua Wilson started his career in digital marketing in 2013 when he started his own affiliate marketing business promoting brands on social networks and mobile DSPs. From there, he moved into content and worked with brands to help build their online presence and communities.

Joshua started at Crimtan as a client services manager in 2015 working on the APAC business leveraging his knowledge for the market and Japanese language skills. In 2018, Joshua moved to Tokyo to build and open the Crimtan Japan office.

Now in the role of Commercial Director, JAPAC, Joshua oversees the operation in the region promoting Crimtan’s local and international capabilities.

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