Looking beyond GAFA, a case for mobile advertising independence

By Zoey Tung Articles Comments Off on Looking beyond GAFA, a case for mobile advertising independence

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The duopoly of Google and Facebook accounts for 67% of the mobile ad market in the US, and what’s more…the combined value of GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) is $200Bn more than the CAC40. There are no doubts that these powerful American tech players are exercising their clout to write the rules in the industry.

Transparency is the most important edge against the rise of walled garden platforms in our data-driven business. Here are three principles that advertisers, end users, and ad tech platforms need to agree upon to set transparency as a norm in the mobile advertising ecosystem.

1) Users need to be respected

Let’s not forget that a single click from mobile users can mean converting an ad into a purchase, or blocking out brands forever. Mobile users and their data need to be respected. Advertisers need to draw a clean line between personalised and anonymised data. Both of these data belong to users and they are willing to exchange their anonymised behavioural data in return for free content and services. Conversely, to respect this equilibrium, personal details such as name, age, gender, telephone number, personal photos, emails, social media activities should be off limits. This is not the case for platforms based on logged environments today. It is entirely possible to send desirable mobile advertising that provides added-value for the end user just based on anonymous data from each device’s unique ID. Like cookies, users can reset this ID, however this is not the case for their login usernames and passwords.

2) Advertisers, own your campaign data

In the same logic, advertisers are fully entitled to their campaign data. These datasets are the key to understanding how your target consumers are engaging with your efforts. These insights empower advertisers with ways to better optimise and reach highly sought-after audiences. At S4M, our advertisers can retrieve their campaign data in real-time with visibility into each user’s behaviours (clicks, views, post-click engagements etc). This should be an industry norm because without this ownership, advertisers will not have independence and risk losing a lot more than that. Think about all the insights that arise from post-campaign data and its potential for future marketing strategies. With Google or Facebook, they retain the ownership of these valuable post-campaign data.

Can you trust these walled gardens to not leverage your campaign insights to advance their own agendas or share it with your competitors?

3) Time to level the playing field

Our battle is to ensure the advertisers are getting what they paid for and users receive desirable ads with added-value. Without trust, this is not possible. Trust is founded on mutual agreements, like standards, that helps to level the playing field between GAFA and the rest. One industry example is the need for technologies to be validated by third-party accreditation organisations, like the MRC. Our technology is dedicated to upholding standardised counting methods and the MRC accreditation to avoid measurement discrepancies ir order to deliver the highest standards in the market for advertisers. Next, interoperability and an cooperative attitude to key to better serve our clients. This is why the S4M technology is open and compatible with industry measurement players such a Integral Ad Science, Nielsen DAR, ComScore and many others. This kind of transparency will make our data-driven business more efficient for everyone.

I think we have heard mobile users loud and clear last year when mobile adblockers were introduced, now it’s up to advertisers to make sure they are heard. At the end of the day, it is up to them to choose a technology that is open and transparent. Advertisers should choose how their campaigns are charged and evaluate their investments based on certified KPIs. We need you: advertisers, and we’re here to protect you!

Let’s not forget that transparent alternatives is the key to guaranteeing added-value for all stakeholders. That’s why we continue to stand for independence in the best interest for our clients, mobile users, and the future of our industry.

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This article was originally published by Christophe Collet on LinkedIn Pulse.

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