Worried about GDPR? Why we think it’s good for the programmatic industry

15 May, 2018

As 25 May (the day that GDPR finally comes into force) approaches, there’s still uncertainty in how consent will be controlled, and how the programmatic industry will react.

Here’s why we believe that GDPR is a positive step forward for the programmatic industry.

Consent will become more valuable after GDPR

Post-GDPR, an increasing number of users and page impressions will be unaffected by user/cookie targeting. This means that those that still are (because consent has been gained) will become more valuable.

So gaining consent on both the advertiser and publisher side will be vital to successful customer and retargetting programs.

Consent can be gained by a range of tools (including our own ConsenTag). Understanding the changing volumes of opted in users and how many of them can be effectively found for a given cost will also become an essential part of campaign planning.

What happens to users who don’t opt in?

But what is even more interesting is what happens to the users who have not opted in, and should therefore not be impacted by user-based targeting.

As long as the targeting is done carefully, variables such as context, keywords on page, viewability, page quality, GEO (provided it’s not too precise), device, connection type and speed, and applied data like weather, time, events and media schedules are all untouched by GDPR legislation.

Marketing against such variables has been standard fare for decades in offline marketing in many cases. The main difference to programmatic is the speed at which they can be deployed and continually optimised against.

These variables, overlaid with predictive technology as to their impact, will be the most important way of driving success for a huge proportion of consumers. Good programmatic planners in the post GDPR world will be able to predict and understand the likely value of these variables for their campaigns, and react and optimise on a continuous basis.

Machine learning and algorithms will have a big part to play here, but the skill of the planner again will be paramount.

What will happen to creative?

Creative will change too. We hope the practice of lazy product retargeting will be stamped out by GDPR. Retargeting will still have a place, where consent is given, but to maintain that consent the ads will need to be of better quality than many are today (and have respectful frequency caps).

Dynamic ads and creative optimisation based on the GDPR-friendly variables mentioned above become vital. I hope that more time and budget will be spent on creative in programmatic in future.

Why GDPR is a good thing

Once GDPR is in force, we face the prospect of a display landscape turned upside down. And it’s the companies who react fast, and are in tune with the new rules, who will thrive. The gap between these companies and the ones who are slow to adopt will grow even wider with the changes to E-Privacy in 2019.

As a company, we are excited by the changes GDPR will bring. We hope it will remove a significant amount of bad practice from the industry, and allow quality and legitimate marketing practices to thrive.

Are you concerned about the impact GDPR will have on your programmatic campaigns? If you have any questions we’d be happy to answer them for you. Just contact us on dpo@crimtan.com or 020 3262 0416.