As we are reminded daily, the FMCG digital revolution is gathering speed.
We all know how it feels being bombarded by endless pop ups and ads on websites that somehow know everything we have viewed. Whether you see it as an amazingly clever use of technology, as a Big Brother style imposition on your privacy or as the most tempting reminder of all the stuff you dreamed of owning from ASOS, the fact remains that digital marketing is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of brands.
As a consumer it does feel a bit like we are caught in an asteroid field. Ducking and defending against the storm of social channels and new marketing innovations flying at us from all angles.
Personally, I find the innovation fascinating. Yet the Big Brands are starting to put the brakes on the free-for-all. They are making rules to the game, they are cutting digital budgets down to create a more streamlined targeted strategy.
For example, P&G have reduced their digital marketing spend by $200m and they along with Diageo, Unilever and Mastercard have agreed 8 new principals by which the brands can feel ‘reassured’ and ‘consumer interests are protected’.
The eight principles are as follows:
1. Zero tolerance to ad fraud.
2. Strict brand safety protection.3. Minimum viewability thresholds.
4. Transparency throughout the supply chain.
5. Third-party verification and measurement as a minimum requirement.
6. Removal of ‘walled garden’ issues.
7. Improving standards with data transparency.
8. Taking steps to improve the consumer experience to make ads less intrusive and disruptive.
I want to believe this is a genuine attempt to help provide clarity to agencies in terms of what behaviour brands expect and guard our personal information. However, to me they seem hazy and ambiguous.
Personally, digital media, personalisation and targeted campaigns make me feel special! I hope there aren’t too many more rules/principals, I guess we shall watch this space and see.
The call for reform follows growing concerns over the challenges facing the digital ad ecosystem, many of which are yet to be solved despite mounting pushback from marketers. And while brands have to play their part, they need other players in the ecosystem to come on board too and for the industry to work together.