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Taking Control of Trust– What Marketers Need to Know

Louqman Parampath, VP, Product Management at Roku
Louqman Parampath, VP, Product Management at Roku (Image credit: Roku)

The latest corporate reputation rankings from Axios and Harris Poll indicated that companies with struggling reputations have low ratings when it comes to attributes like Ethics, Culture, and Trust -- especially as it relates to data privacy. 

Now is the time for marketers to ensure first-party relationships with their consumers based in connection and trust. 

When third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs are retired this year, brands have an exciting opportunity to  become better stewards of consumer data, better innovators of new ad experiences, and better practitioners of ad measurement.

Better Stewardship of Consumer Data 

Brands are built on consumer trust. Decades of research show that people often stick with a brand to control risk – the risk of wasting money, the risk of wasting time, the risk of disappointment. Consumers seek companies that invest in being reliable, familiar, and transparent. In a digital world, this also means investing in privacy. 

Advertisers have a clear choice – partner with companies that build trust through a direct relationship with their customers or partner with companies lacking a direct relationship with customers in the first place.   

The former are companies with household names. People know that they have an account with the brand. They have opted-in to data sharing and can easily find a privacy policy. They know who to call when they have a question or want to change their preferences. 

The latter companies are intermediaries. They collect data with logins and IDs that most consumers don’t understand. They use consortiums to pass data across dozens of partners. They run privacy practices that couldn’t be explained around the kitchen table. 

Leading brands cannot afford to associate with partners who have not built trust through direct consumer relationships. Brands must believe in privacy design. Consumers are looking for control over how their data is collected and used – which brands need to remember when they are choosing who to partner with.   

Better Advertising Experiences 

The first radio ads were just read-outs of a print ad. The first TV ads were just images on a radio ad. The first streaming ads were just :30 second linear TV ads. With each new technology, marketers start with the creative they have, but soon they grab the new technology in their teeth and create something entirely new. 

Now is the time to create advertising experiences that are a more relevant ad or a personalized content discovery process. This is made possible by brands leveraging the first-party data they have at their disposal. Increasingly, we’ll see brands and partners offering a value exchange for an opt-in as the value of data becomes increasingly valuable– for example, asking customers to share their email in exchange of 14 days of free TV episodes. 

Smaller brands can feel like a larger brand by partnering with platforms or channels that a value exchange to offer, incentivizing the customers on their behalf. In this way, the end of third-party cookies creates an opportunity to level the playing field with brands (regardless of size). More information and data is only as valuable as how you use it.  

Better Ad Measurement

Platforms or partners that lack a direct relationship with consumers are both limited in the kind of data they can collect and the measurement that they can offer – leading to constraints or an inability to show the success of a brand’s message. 

The result is that more transparency over data collection can yield more accurate ad measurement. While some brands are very good at measuring ad effectiveness themselves, first-party data can provide more accurate signals that can benefit all brands. These signals allow more effective targeting and measurement as brands also strengthen their identity graphs. 

Direct Relationships Win

Ultimately, brands that fail to choose partners who lead with a direct relationship to the consumer will struggle when third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs go away. While this is true, it won’t only be about capturing the most data – but about honoring the relationship with the consumer and doing the best for brands (both big and small). 

Louqman Parampath leads product management around Ad products at Roku, where he is responsible for building new capabilities on the Roku platform to support Roku’s growing Ad business.