Could we have ever imagined twenty, ten or even five years ago that a single, pocket-sized device would become our main gateway to the digital world? A world where content and services are personalised to our individual needs, and billion-dollar industries have grown thanks largely to the innovations in advertising that have created so much new value.
In the early years of mobile advertising, data was the rocket fuel that powered incredible growth. At this time, less emphasis was put on privacy and data protection with innovation and growth taking precedent.
Thankfully, today the landscape is very different. Consumers now understand that their data has value and that it is they who should decide with whom it is shared, and how.
Today, privacy is at the heart of martech
Tech companies have also woken up to their responsibility to treat the data of their customers better. Not only do we have laws like Europe’s GDPR and CCPA in the USA that has removed the ability for unscrupulous companies to harvest consumer data, but more and more companies are proactively putting privacy and data security at the top of their agendas.
Mobvista is an example of a company that has changed and adapted as attitudes to privacy has evolved. As a company that works with customers all around the world, we have needed to become experts in navigating the privacy landscape. Just recently we were awarded California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) validation – proof of our commitment to being held to the highest standards.
Across our whole group of companies, privacy is a key value. This is why, alongside the CCPA validation awarded to Mobvista and Mintegral, we have also achieved certifications such as the ePrivacy certification, the ISO/IEC 27001 certification, the SOC Type1 and Type 2 reports and more.
The changes our industry has made to put privacy first have been great, but there is more yet to do. The current industry talk about a future full of cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse may be very exciting, but all of it will depend on building technologies and services governed by privacy and the ownership and exchange of data in a secure way.
The emphasis on privacy and respecting customer data has radically changed the mobile marketing industry. Where previously advertisers relied on huge amounts of personal data to target individuals with ads, now it is time focused on creating ads that are much more compelling, and which resonate with them more effectively.
So how can the global advertising industry look forward? Here are three of the most important areas of change I believe that brands and advertisers need to consider:
The arrival of new privacy-enhancing technologies
The mobile advertising industry is inextricably linked to huge amounts of data, so it is important that we develop technologies that maximise data security and uphold data protection principles.
Known as Privacy-enhancing technologies (PET), these give users control of their personal data, allowing them to choose how and by which services it is handled, and ensuring the protection of that data when using online services or apps.
At Mobvista we were early to realize the importance of data security and user privacy protection to our long-term growth. In 2020 we made the decision to fully open-source the Mintegral SDK, so that our customers could see for themselves exactly how we were handling their data. We were one of the first companies to open up their programmatic platform in this way.
More recently, we have been working to implement something called FATE, or Federated AI Technology Enabler. FATE is an open-source project which uses AI to enable Mobvista to work with big data in a way which is extremely secure and meets all the necessary privacy regulations.
We continue to invest in developing enterprise-level platforms built around the management and utilization of data, and I believe that this is an area where we will see lots of innovation and growth in the years ahead.
Creativity is back at the heart of advertising
By moving away from advertising which is highly targeted, we have returned to an approach that favours creativity – but is supported and enriched by data. The most important thing for advertisers to now do is to create adverts that excite, entertain and reward their audiences, as this is the best way to drive engagement.
Especially with the changes to ad tracking introduced by Apple in 2021 and Google’s planned ban on 3rd party cookies, the importance of great ad creative will only increase. Effective ads now need to meet the needs of many, all at one time. Through our own Mindworks Creative Studio and smart automation tools like PlayTurbo, we offer advertisers world-class support in getting their creative strategies right.
More power to consumers
Alongside greater privacy, we must also offer consumers more choice. More choice of when and where to engage with marketing, on their terms.
This means that brands and advertisers need to provide points in the consumer journey where they can opt-in and opt-out, giving them more transparency and confidence in how their data is being used for their benefit.
This is more than just smart marketing. Laws to protect consumers and their data are likely to become more commonplace – so having a proactive approach to privacy and transparency is the best way to future-proof your business.
Privacy, martech and the future
The martech industry has achieved amazing things and created incredible value in the hyper-connected world we live in today. But the world of tomorrow will be even more connected, as we start to blend the virtual and real worlds, and blur the lines of which is which.
As consumers become used to living more of their lives online, conventional online and offline advertising methods have fallen away. We live in a world where almost $85 billion is spent online shopping in a single day, and more than a million people spent time in Fortnite watching a virtual concert. Conventional offline and online advertising has been replaced with online and in-app advertising, social media influencers and a new generation of platforms such as Twitch, TikTok, Fortnite and Roblox.
These are just some of the platforms being labelled as the beginning of the ‘metaverse’ era. With the metaverse, the vision is that we will use digital representations of ourselves to do many of the things we do in the real world in virtual reality.
If this is to happen, then the martech industry will be pivotal to its creation and success. Not only will advertising be pivotal to many of the businesses that will populate our virtual worlds, but as an industry, we have become experts in how to create, process, store and share information and data related to people and organizations. I believe that we and companies like us will be at the heart of these new experiences.
When I look at how far we have all come in the years since Mobvista was created, I am amazed at how much we have achieved together. This is why I am confident that the technologies we have created, the expertise we share with our clients, and our dedication to excellence means that we are ready – and looking forward – to the future of our industry.