By Lewis Gersh
Consumers are in open rebellion about how they’re disrespectfully treated by your marketing. Millions now use ad blockers to escape the relentless barrage of online ads, resulting in 32 percent of global page views being impacted by ad blocking. And the rest don’t need an ad blocker because they’re conditioned to ignore the ad. Virtually all email users take advantage of spam protection software and mention receiving too many emails as the top reason for unsubscribing.
This is why it is absolutely imperative for brands to invest in respectful and relevant marketing. They must realize their customer experiences begin with their marketing, and that the customer has a reasonable expectation of respect. This is a two-way street, and you do harm to your own brand by plowing ahead with blinders on.
With this in mind, a brand should:
1. Be vigilant about where your partners (and their partners’ partners) get their data
When buying data for ad targeting and retargeting purposes, vet individual partners and use only those that are a validated, safe, primary data source. But even then, how do you know where that partner is getting their data? They could (unknowingly) be relying on a whole basket of providers from across the ethical spectrum.
Be thorough as you investigate, and only work with partners who use reliable, trustworthy data. They’re out there, and they generally have names you recognize.
2. Boycott data gathered from ambient listening and other unethical techniques
Ambient listening and scraping peoples’ text messages and emails are highly unethical and odious practices, and you want to stay far away from it. Add it to your contracts with data providers to ensure they will not knowingly give you data obtained unethically. Add a damage clause to it, and if they push back, run.
3. Favor publishers with good practices
Marketers should channel their dollars to publishers who prioritize quality content and a good user experience, especially ones that balance viewability guarantees without sacrificing UX.
Marketers should do business with publishers that have strong, plain-language privacy policies, and go publisher direct via private marketplaces where appropriate to reduce ad fraud.
4. Consider taking your programmatic in-house
Many major brands are setting up in-house programmatic efforts to reduce costs, gain transparency into what they’re buying and keep control of their first-party data. It’s a significant investment of time, money and resources — so at the very least, getting more involved in optimizations at the keyboard is worth the effort.
5. Fight ad fraud and deliver ‘healthy impressions’
A “healthy impression” is one that’s presented respectfully, at the proper time, in the proper context and situation. Fraudulent ads aren’t healthy, because they have no chance to influence a consumer. Capping the frequency of retargeting impressions and suppressing retargeting after the consumer has made a purchase are also respectful and healthy practices.
Marketers would be well served by a constant reminder that they are consumers as well. Whatever your personal threshold is, multiply that by 10 for the average consumer not enamored of (or employed by) marketing.
6. Consider regulation with teeth
Take an active, …read more
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