Media experts worry about changing policies impacting digital media purchases

Integral Ad Science, a global leader in digital media quality, has released its 2022 Future of Privacy-First Advertising report. The study reveals the perspectives of US consumers and digital media experts on the future of privacy-driven advertising and the role of media quality solutions in advancing the industry.

In partnership with YouGov and a market research firm, IAS surveyed 1,131 consumers and 346 digital media experts about their views on upcoming online data and privacy policy changes, the future ad targeting and how media quality solutions can enable marketers to deliver.

The findings highlighted significant consumer concerns about the security of their personal information online, lack of awareness of data privacy legislation to regulate the collection and use of their personal data, and high levels of discomfort with the use of their online data for advertising purposes.

“With upcoming changes to online data and privacy policy, privacy continues to be a priority for consumers and media pundits,” said Yannis Dosios, Global Commercial Director (CCO), IAS. “IAS is well-suited to help alleviate concerns over privacy policy transitions with our contextual targeting solutions that will help advertisers reach their ideal audience at scale, while respecting their privacy.”

The report dives into a disconnect about how important it is for media professionals to understand data privacy policy, how concerned they are about the impact of policies on their work, and what organizations are actually doing to navigate these changes. The report also examines how brands are currently managing cookie impairment through contextual and privacy-focused advertising strategies that target consumers without using personal data.

Based on the report, these key points will guide advertisers’ data privacy approach for the foreseeable future:

  • Online data privacy is essential for consumers, but their confidence in the security of their online data is lacking – While consumers agree that data privacy is a priority, only half (50%) feel confident in the security of their online data when browsing the web. Additionally, more than two-thirds (67%) of consumers say they are more vigilant than ever about their online data and privacy.
  • Consumers are aware of different targeting strategies. Yet they may be uncomfortable using their data for advertising – Nine in ten consumers (90%) know that websites and apps collect and share their data for advertising purposes, but the majority (68%) are still uncomfortable despite the personalization. Brands have the ability to modify the targeted ad experience to focus on contextual relevance, resulting in a more positive experience for consumers and increased results for advertisers.
  • Despite the concern of the majority of media pundits about changing privacy policies, many are unaware of these policies and the majority do not have a clear strategy in place to manage them – Almost two-thirds (62%) of media experts agree that understanding data privacy is a priority this year, with the overwhelming majority (89%) saying the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII) is a priority for marks. However, only around half of digital media experts are aware of privacy policy topics related to browsers (53%), regulations (51%) or mobile IDs (45%). Additionally, nearly a third (29%) of media pundits say their company has done nothing to deal with upcoming policy changes; only 36% said they had appointed a team to manage the changes.
  • Brands need to align ads with contextually relevant content that resonates better with consumers as privacy policies evolve – Two-thirds (66%) of consumers said they are likely to visit a brand or product website after receiving targeted advertising. Contextual targeting is an easy option for advertisers given consumers’ privacy concerns and desire for relevance; only 29% of media experts have implemented this strategy. Most media experts (51%) agree that media quality solutions will become more important to ensure the right audiences are reached – and that ad buyers and sellers need to actively work together throughout privacy changes.

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