How the GDPR Will Affect Your Native Advertising Campaigns

The GDPR will have a big impact on marketing techniques like e-marketing and telesales and means that alternative forms of advertising like native advertising may well become more popular. However, the GDPR will have an impact on native advertising as well.
how gdpr will affect native advertising

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By Nabeena Mali
Head of Marketing at AppInstitute
UK
Connect


Native advertising is set to become more popular given the advent of the GDPR which kicks in on 25 may this year. The General Data Protection Regulation, to give it its full title, represents a major shakeup of the way companies obtain and store the personal information of EU and UK citizens. It means that…

  • Users own their personal data
  • Data privacy is a human right
  • Brands must gain explicit, informed consent to collect and store user data
  • Users can amend and delete their data at any point
  • Users can withdraw consent at any point
  • Any data that could be used to identify an individual must be protected
  • Breaches of the GDPR must be reported and can lead to large fines

The GDPR will have a big impact on marketing techniques like e-marketing and telesales and means that alternative forms of advertising like native advertising may well become more popular.

RELATED: The GDPR Makes Native Advertising Even More Important

However, the GDPR will have an impact on native advertising as well.

When it comes to targeting native ads, we’re still not fully aware of the ramifications the GDPR will have.

Targeting issues

When it comes to targeting native ads, we’re still not fully aware of the ramifications the GDPR will have. Some form of user targeting usually takes place when delivering native ads.

But the GDPR is making it harder for brands to collect and store data that can be used to personally identify individuals, including IP addresses and hashed email addresses (if pseudonymised data can be traced back to a user then it is still covered by the GDPR).

A lot of the implications of this will happen on the delivery side. So if you purchase native advertising via Twitter, it will be their responsibility to make sure they have explicit consent from users before they target ads at them will be.

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Firstly, design ads that target a specific section of users, drawing on the fullest extent of available data.

Impact on social media native advertising

The GDPR gives consumers ownership over their data and makes it the responsibility of organisations to fully protect that data.

Because this, rightly, puts citizens in the driver’s seat, it means more and more social media users will exert control over their data. That means marketers will have less data to draw on to fully target ads; unless users have consented to their data being used in that way.

Some consumers want to see targeted ads because they don’t like being sold stuff they aren’t interested in. These people are likely to opt-in to allow their personal data to be used for ad targeting.

RELATED: Brands and Publishers Need to Take Social Media Seriously

But others would rather be sold irrelevant products than give up their data to corporations like Facebook (and given the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s easy to see why.) This means, when it comes to targeting native ads, there will be two broad cohorts; we’ll call them the Consentors and the Non-Consentors.

You’ll still be able to target your native ads to the Consentors in the old way, but it will be harder to reach the Non-Consentors. So it’s worth considering taking a twin-track approach.

Firstly, design ads that target a specific section of users, drawing on the fullest extent of available data.

Secondly, you should also design ads that can be of relevance to a broader range of non-consenting users. Creating a mix of personalised and generic native ads means you still harness the power of granular data mining offered by platforms like Facebook, but you will also design ads that relate to a general audience of Non-Consentors.

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The advent of the GDPR can be seen as a new Age of Respect for consumers. This kind of respect will help to regain lost trust in brands.

The philosophy of native

The GDPR will also have an impact on the philosophy or methodology behind native advertising.

Part of the effectiveness of native advertising is that it provides direct value to users, rather than other, more pushy forms of advertising. This resonates with the post-GDPR world, which is a world of increasing awareness of data rights and how brands use our data.

RELATED: Storytelling Based on Data Will Raise the Bar for Native Advertising

Native doesn’t just build brand awareness, it also builds a degree of trust with consumers. It’s your opportunity to say to people, “we are going to treat you as informed citizens and offer you something of true value… then you can make an informed decision as to whether to engage with our brand or buy our products”.

The advent of the GDPR can be seen as a new Age of Respect for consumers. This kind of respect will help to regain lost trust in brands, who in the past have been seen as insensitive to the customers on whom they rely for their commercial success.

Truth be told, the full impact of the GDPR on native is yet to be understood.

Post-GDPR native strategy

Truth be told, the full impact of the GDPR on native is yet to be understood. A statement by Google Adwords informs us that they are revising their policies, and that, “we will be updating our EU consent policy when the GDPR takes effect and the revised policy will require that publishers take extra steps in obtaining consent from their users.”

Exactly what those steps are is yet to be revealed.

It may also be worth tilting towards social media native.

GDPR and native publishers

As a marketer, you should familiarise yourself with how various social media platforms and content publishers intend to comply with the GDPR and what impact that will have on the data they harness to deliver your ads.

For example, premium content publishers are more likely to have access to granular user data to help get your ads to the right people. Other “pay and spray” forms of native advertising may become less effective. In truth, this kind of discernment has always been good practice for ad buying.

RELATED: “If We Don’t Work Together, Native Advertising Will Suffer the Same Fate as Display Ads”

It may also be worth tilting towards social media native. This is because big platforms like Twitter and Facebook are already offering users detailed customisation of the data they hold on them and so the shift to GDPR compliance will have less friction. And Google uses users’ keywords to target ads more than it relies on their personal data, so search ads should be less affected.

By contrast, smaller publishers may have a harder time encouraging users to hand over their data. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t display your native ads on these sites, it just means you should make sure you do your research when deciding which publishers to advertise with. For example, if you own a classic car dealership, a small indie car blog might be the ideal place on which to advertise, even if you can’t rely on mining the data of its site users.

The final thing to consider is that by delivering native advertising content that adds value to users’ browsing experiences, you will give them the confidence that it is worth their while to consent to data use.

Using native advertising to get consent

The final thing to consider is that by delivering native advertising content that adds value to users’ browsing experiences, you will give them the confidence that it is worth their while to consent to data use.

People are interested in new brands and new products that relate to them, but they want to feel like advertisers aren’t time-wasting spammers, and that their data won’t be abused.

Native advertising may be about to lead the charge into a more integrated, personalised experience of the internet, built on trust and true value delivery. It’s exciting to be a part of that.

Do you have a few days to become even better at native advertising? Then join us in Berlin this November for the foremost conference on native advertising – Native Advertising DAYS.

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1 Response

  1. Native advertising will likely become more popular and prominent in our post GDPR world. A word of caution though- you cannot “buy” or bundle consent with a whitepaper download. You CAN include an additional opt-in checkbox to continue to send marketing communications or for your newsletter but the checkbox cannot be prechecked or required to get the whitepaper

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