Digital marketing is a global affair. Next year’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has been on the radar for many data-driven marketers who already spent 2018 getting up to speed on GDPR. There is no shiny wrapping or frilly bows on these new regulations: they’ve been unveiled and discussed all year. And yet at DMN, we still received many curious packages we’ve saved for this predictions party. (Some involve third-party, one is zero-party. Go figure.) There is definitely an art to predicting what gifts these regulations will bear because they are only the latest entry in a conversation marketers have been having with American consumers, directly and indirectly, for many seasons. How much does CCPA really change the conversation about privacy, and how far in front of it have marketers gotten? Everybody take a present, and we’ll see.
Less data, different attribution models Until 2016, the main trend regarding data display and data visualization was more data – more report types, visualization types and complicated displays. Over the last three years, however, there has been an opposing trend. Being data-driven is now a must, and as analytics becomes a part of every marketer’s stack, people are tired of endless reports they’re not sure what to do with. Google Analytics, for example, offers Data Studio. It’s become the face of Google Analytics. While it’s a fine solution, it requires highly technical skills to use it and lots of ongoing maintenance. Focused reporting, with actionable data, is now key. In 2020, we’ll see a push for simplified products and easier-to-understand data displays that make insights truly actionable. Apple, through Safari, is now heavily restricting consumer tracking options. For brands and marketers, this will fundamentally change attribution as we’ve known it. Keep in mind, over 193 million people in the US currently have an iPhone. Add in other privacy-focused browser changes from companies like Mozilla and Google, and the problem is even more complicated. While attribution is the key to understanding user flow and how to allocate budgets, the current methodology is broken. In 2020, we should expect to see and build different models and technologies for attribution.
— Iris Shoor, CEO, Oribi
Open door data trail Privacy regulations and a drive toward transparency and consumer choice in data will force data modeling companies to expose not just what we know, but why and how we know it. This will require proscribing certain types of models (like neural networks) which make the reasoning behind declarations opaque. Models will need to move from these black boxes to an auditable trail that any consumer can track, opt out of in part or in whole.
— Omar Abdala, chief data scientist, Lotame
A privacy new deal With CCPA going into effect in January and other new privacy regulations being implemented across the globe, publishers and advertisers must navigate how to both build and interpret consumer identity by providing them value exchanges for data access. In 2020, we can expect to see publishers fine tuning their tactics to actively engage consumers to incentivize user authentication so they can build profiles to build/collect first-party data audiences, as well as an increase in M&As by publishers, adtech/martech companies to reclaim data ownership.
— Justin Silberman, VP, product, Dailymotion
Data portability Growing clamor for consumer data privacy will lead to the rise of data portability. We’re at a crossroads on consumer data and its ownership. Right now, brands such as Google, Facebook and Amazon are still on the winning end of customer data ownership, but I predict this will begin to change in 2020. Governments are now intervening to provide consumers with more rights, including the “right to delete” their data. Retail brands really need to pay attention to new legislation, including the California Consumer Privacy Act, or they could suffer the consequences. I believe the push for data privacy will give rise to new third-party applications that allow consumers to port their personal data into environments they can control. This swap in data ownership will shift the power dynamic in the brand/shopper relationship which will trigger a whole other set of changes, including the ways brands pitch and sell their products to consumers.
— Graham Cooke, CEO and co-founder, Qubit
Identity resolutions The end of the cookie is driving interest toward true identity resolutions for brands to activate consumer data to enrich the customer experience with personalized ads in 2020.
— Jay Friedman, President, Goodway Group
Organizational change As marketers better understand the role of CDPs and how to apply them to their marketing programs and channels, they will quickly turn their attention to change management. Centralization of customer data and audiences with a CDP will force them to think about how to take advantage of this capability by adjusting their organization.
— Craig Howard, solutions lead ? technology architect, Merkle
M&A 2.0: data and identity As 2019 saw the most M&A activity by strategics with content acquisitions, 2020 will see a bigger uptick with data and identity solutions being acquired to leverage and monetize the investment companies already made the year prior.
— Andre Swanston, CEO and founder, Tru Optik
A global effort A major component of 2020 will be privacy and data regulation as CCPA comes into effect in the New Year. The U.S. is not alone in evaluating its approaches to regulations, and we’ll continue to see inputs from governments around the world. In tandem, the industry itself is evolving to support privacy initiatives and provide consumers with greater transparency and choice when it comes to their data. Implementation, of course, will not come without challenges, but the greater focus will create new opportunities and allow for innovation. It’s important for everyone in the ecosystem to act in a principled way and seek to build trust with consumers. In short, what’s good for consumers is good for us all.
— Iván Markman, chief business officer, Verizon Media
Privacy on browsers Browsers are also getting more actively involved in the privacy conversation – Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection have already been implemented to limit third-party cookie tracking, and there are more privacy related features on the roadmap for both browsers.
— Harry Thakkar, partner, Avatria
Trust Earning the trust of our prospects is a top challenge. With recent regulations like GDPR and CCPA, plus the increasingly frequent use of ad-blocking technologies, it’s no longer the case that marketers can spray and pray their way to success. Now more than ever, brands need to earn trust and give people a reason to opt-in and listen.
— Amanda Bohne, Chief Marketing Officer, AppNeta
(More) RPA Automation technology is being ushered into all departments within organizations and marketing is no exception; for years now, marketers have used specific automation tools to personalize customer communications, launch campaigns across multiple channels, and more. However, in 2020 we’ll increasingly see marketers leverage software robots, or Robotic Process Automation (RPA), as a fundamental part of their marketing stacks. We’ll see more marketers use RPA to eliminate the tedious task of cross referencing data between different sources (like Salesforce and spreadsheets), pull together actionable insights by tracking campaign performance over time while applying to quarterly reports and power faster third-party data integration across various touchpoints and channels, vs. the lengthy conventional API-to-API engineering – improving the accuracy of targeted efforts and the relevance of the content used.
— Bobby Patrick, CMO, UiPath
Compliant, actionable surveys Data will be better governed than it is today. Running surveys is very easy because buying and using survey software is very easy. A credit card and a little imagination is all that’s required. But nearly every survey contains personally identifiable information (PII). And if IT isn’t involved in the purchase, setup, and management of the survey software, it’s unlikely that the data is governed, creating a potential compliance risk for the company. In 2020, more companies will look to provide survey-building freedom while simultaneously delivering data governance by standardizing on single feedback platforms. Feedback data will be integrated directly into existing systems to drive action. Most survey data ends up in dashboards and pie charts to be presented at meetings for discussion and debate. But the people who provide feedback expect action. In 2020, more companies will integrate feedback directly into existing CRM, customer-support ticketing, and other customer-management systems to take immediate action on the feedback provided. This will allow companies to close the loop with their individual customers instead of viewing them as an aggregated number in a pie chart.
— David Roberts, CEO, SurveyGizmo
First-party data will reign supreme In this new privacy-focused age, only brands with marketing strategies anchored in a steady stream of timely first-party customer data are positioned to be the real winners. Without customers who opt in to engagements across channels, it is virtually impossible to deliver the sorts of personalized experiences, demonstrating that your brand “gets” them.
— Myles Kleeger, President and CCO, Braze
Adtech and marketing tech working together, finally Analysts have for years predicted that adtech and martech teams would work together, and 2020 will finally be the year that happens. The death of the third-party cookie means that the teams tasked with launching a wide net to find new customers (advertising) will have to turn to those teams with expertise in handling channels where the user is known and a relationship has been established (marketing) in order to forge a path forward. Expect more advertisers to leverage technologies that “resolve” unknown audiences to known audiences (via identity graphs and better first-party data in the bidstream for programmatic efforts), and expect more Publishers to adopt technology that resolves previously anonymous site visitors into known people, thus driving up the value of their inventory.
— Kerel Cooper, SVP global marketing, LiveIntent
Zero-party data has arrived With more power shifting to consumers and ever-growing concerns about privacy, marketers are creating opportunities across the ecosystem by turning their attention not just to first-party data, but zero-party data. Whereas first-party data is “passively” collected consumer data from websites, apps, social platforms, etc., zero-party data is proactively and willingly shared by the consumer. Examples include purchase desires and preferences through interactive experiences like subscriptions, surveys and loyalty programs, etc. It’s completely opt-in, so we can, therefore, presume a high level of quality, transparency and accuracy. And, as regulators and browser companies continue to tighten up on privacy, zero-party data will be more important for programmatic and automated buys. It has the potential to unlock deeper consumer profiling and targeting. Per Forrester, zero-party data would help marketers “build direct relationships with consumers and improve their product recommendations, services and offers.” The challenge, however, for zero-party data is actually getting it. The bar is awfully high to entice consumers to proactively participate in a survey, loyalty program, contest, or subscription service. This means that zero-party data, while rich in quality, will always be difficult to scale. It’s also why first-party data will remain the go-to option for advertisers, with zero-party data supplementing it.
— Charmagne Jacobs, VP/head of global marketing and partnerships, Adslot
Push for federal privacy law As CTV viewing continues to grow both for ad supported apps and ad free subscriptions, the economic harm from not being able to provide cross device targeting and attribution for CTV on a large scale and accurately will lead to the dedication of more time and resources to address this challenge. The state-led approach to U.S. privacy regulation created a difficult situation where adtech/martech firms are required to make their solutions compatible with different laws of different states. On top of it, the state legislation technical implementation wasn’t thought through and as a result companies need to devote exorbitant resources to comply. This has turned a difficult situation to begin with, into an unsustainable situation over the long term. In 2020, we therefore expect a way stronger push for a federal privacy law.
— Roy Shkedi, chairman, IntentIQ