Digital advertising has acquired the top spot in the media plan of modern brands. But it faces a major challenge of how to balance the privacy concerns of the consumers and still send them the messages that are relevant to them.
While all of us prefer to receive the ads that would interest us, but we still deepen our suspicion when Facebook feeds begin to include the ads of the items we often run a search for. While relevant messages are important, many consumers are simultaneously becoming concerned about the use of merged databases.
It is clear that the advertisers know not only about our buying habits but other sensitive information like our income and health-related issues too.
As the scope for of digital advertising grows, there has to be a sweet spot that will allow the ads to reach consumers without crossing their privacy-boundaries.
A UK based company—Gener8—is launching new software that may address this dilemma concerning advertising.
Get paid for viewing ads
It is soon launching a product which will be a browser add-on, unlike a separate browser, that will allow the consumers to block ads they don’t want to see and get paid to view the ones that will interest them.
The consumers can select the type of ads they would want to see and their preference would apply across the web, excluding Facebook. The company is giving tokens for viewing each ad, and they can convert the tokens into currency or donate to charity.
Sam Jones, CEO, and Founder of Gener8 Ads, stated that his company aims to be “the world’s first brands that will enable people to control and monetize their data.” The company so said that its strategy will shake up the advertising industry by putting the consumer first.
What is Gener8’s idea?
Jones advocates the data transparency and adds that people should know what is happening with their data. Through his company he wants people to get educated about the fact that when they go to any website, their data is being used (sold) and, it now wants to enable people to participate in this transaction and be rewarded from it.
Although just a start, but if this technology gets rolled widely, the advertising industry may be at some advantage due to this. Few of the advantages are:
Advertisers may avoid ad-blocking
Advertisers are aware and also wary, of the fact that ad blocking is quite common, especially among the young consumers. Over 650 million people worldwide used ad blockers in 2018, and the blocking costs to advertisers stood at estimated $40 billion.
With reward-linked advertising, advertisers can reach the interested audience and collect data for better future targeting.
Also, since the access to the first-party data is harder under the new data sharing law in Europe, the first-party data may be availed easily when the user will consent to share data for advertising purposes.
In return, Gener8 will make money as it will charge a premium from the advertisers to throw ads to their target audience.
Engage consumers effectively
This system will make consumers to see more targeted messages. This should lead to a more engaged consumer and lead to more purchases and better ROI for the advertisers.
Gener8’s applying a common sense by showing people what they want, when they want and that seem to work well.
Revenue for Viewing Ads
Getting relevant messages is a benefit in itself, and the fact that there is monetary incentive to do so, makes it sustainable and provides a compelling reason to participate.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and new European regulations, there seems to be a global concern for data transparency. Will consumers really be willing to share their data and willingly surrender their control over the use of their data?
Besides, the media-content gets huge revenues from advertising. The consumers have always resisted paying the “sticker price” for consuming media. If there was no advertiser support, the media subscription in any form would have been costlier. A shift toward an advertising that would pay the middlemen and the consumers will negatively impact the business of some media outlets. So, media outlets may considerably resist the Gener8’s technology. The media houses my even try to convince the ad agencies and advertisers not to participate.
As Jones says that his company would put the consumer first in advertising, the consumers will be more than willing for Gener8 to have its way but they should remain concerned about their privacy.
Gener8 may be at the right place at the right time by milking the opportunities in digital advertising by getting consumers on its side, but the privacy-issue will make consumers ask – “Do I trust Facebook or Gener8 or no one?”
The advantages of the technology are significant. But some shake-up is required and the impact on advertiser-supported media is a concern. Only time can tell if the there can be a middle ground where media companies get involved in the process and middlemen and consumers still could get the optimal solution.