Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

MediaLad’s Week in Digital Media: The ICO vice tightens

Who’s MediaLad? In digital media, everyone pretends they know who he, or she, is.

We do. Or do we? What we do know is that MediaLad is NDA’s regular columnist, providing his/her unique, irreverent view of the latest gossip and goings-on in the digital media industry.

The ICO prepared the handcuffs that are going to be strictly applied to us in the media space fairly imminently. The phrase cuffs is more politically correct as it seems a little more like a vice on my balls right now. I mean what are we going to do in a world with no cookies?

We are already battling so many client problems right now and to add this kettle of fish to the mix seems like just another obstacle to make you want to pack up and go home. How do you solve a problem as vast and technically debilitating when you’re facing performance problems and a lack of understanding when it comes to things as simple as CTR, let alone cookies?

It’s a problem we’re all sharing right now but it doesn’t seem to be lessening any time soon. The major players are going to come out in shining colours with their persistent IDs and signed-in data capabilities. These are going to be integral to the online advertising space. If you’re a client reading this don’t be shy to make light work of plans by agreeing to more PMPs or switching to an Amazon buy – obviously accounting for your actual business need first.

The danger of data reliance

Relying solely on a data-driven model means you’re at risk right now of not having a backup plan and you’ve really got to look at the long term sooner rather than later. It’s great to have the biggest technology partners to rely on, but where is the value when it comes to your own data assets?

We hear more and more nowadays that data is the new oil, so listen to that advice and start thinking about your own ID for your customers. Don’t create a new silo but think where and how your first party data should be collected and then actioned against.

You need this holistic approach while relying on the big hitters in the interim. YouTube has great ways to collect customer data and increase lead generation, while Facebook and Instagram are still fantastic in the D2C space, lulling me in to provide my data.

What you do next, is then the most important part. Following up and creating a journey with your audience be it in an acquisition sense or just remaining relevant is increasingly difficult. But no one knows your audience better than you, and how you talk to them should be front and centre for your creative agencies. Give them this challenge and start thinking about your customers’ journeys in a more data-driven, 21st century, ICO-friendly way.

What else can you do if collecting data isn’t an option?

Contextual data is and has never been more important in today’s media buying landscape. The age-old argument of relevance and context has never been more relevant and being prominent in environments that align with your brand message or guidelines should have pride of place within the marketing mix.

Whatever you do, do something soon. That vice is only going to get tighter.