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BizReport : Advertising : January 12, 2021

4 Data trends to watch in 2021

Changes to privacy laws, an increase in overall digital usage because of the continuing global pandemic, social media connection. These are just a few of the areas advertisers are looking at to help them connect in 2021. Here are four ad trends that could make or break merchants' year.

by Kristina Knight

First, privacy vs. identity

"More state and country privacy laws modelled after GDPR are inevitable in 2021. There's been talk of a federal privacy law in the U.S., which would help the digital advertising industry's compliance efforts. In the meantime, authenticated solutions will suck up a good deal of oxygen until the market gets wise to the risks of email alone as a total and complete solve for privacy concerns. Privacy will be the competitive advantage in 2021, and it will be interlocked with identity solutions that embrace data minimization, true privacy by design, and a non-PII approach," said Andy Monfried, CEO, Lotame.

Second, cookies aren't over quite yet

"Google Chrome's announcement in January of its plans to remove third-party cookies set off a firestorm of confusion and panic. In the months since, a conflation of third-party cookies with third-party data and privacy has proliferated, with the cookie becoming the punching bag in digital advertising. We don't expect 2021 to deviate from that headline dominance as various players across the ecosystem claim cookie independence and revel in the cookie's demise. On the flip side, advertisers will ramp up pressure on publishers to meet their various tracking, targeting, and measurement needs," said Monfried.

Third, more paywalls not less

"We predicted in 2020 that publishers would see the forest through the trees in putting up walls. Some did, but the bigger players are banking on first-party data alone as their lifeboats. As pubs invest more in context and erect walls around first-party data assets, they will face increasing scrutiny to prove ROI and scale. Walled gardens may work in the short term for the likes of the New York Times but mid to small publishers won't survive on context alone. This may lead those players to lean in more aggressively to data enrichment and testing multiple identity solutions, proving their flexibility and agility to meet marketer's needs," said Monfried.

Fourth, data quality not quantity

"Data quality will be digital advertising's "Marie Kondo" moment. As marketers and publishers accelerate first-party data collection, data quality will be the "joy" everyone is looking for. This is a win-win for everyone, including consumers. Out with the old and kluge players and in with higher standards -- and standards! -- for data across the board. As data quality improves, those players without the means to put up walls will lean into data enrichment to bring advertisers accuracy at scale when looking for their customers and next best customers. Those with richer, high quality profiles will see addressability soar," said Monfried.

Tags: advertising, advertising data, data privacy, data privacy trends, data trends, digital ad trends, Lotame

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