Ad brands need more data sources to navigate privacy, consent

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


In this newsletter, I will cover an important, current, and future topic for ad sales that is privacy and consent (in a coming Cookieless world).

Plus, I want to touch on how advertisers are adapting to new ad industry changes and challenges, post pandemic — something we should all be ware of when shaping our sales teams and what they concentrate on going forward.

Privacy and consent

Privacy and consent is becoming increasingly important to consumers. And with data protection regulations becoming more strict constantly, advertisers need to be guided (partly by us) as to a strategic approach to consent-driven data that protects consumer privacy. 

Advertisers need a consent-driven strategy in light of privacy protections.
Advertisers need a consent-driven strategy in light of privacy protections.

There is no doubt advertisers can achieve efficiency and effectiveness whilst still considering customer privacy. But there is also no doubt they must also work more effectively with data.

Advertiser brands need to employ a wider range of data sources and ad technology to truly realise consumer interests and to make sure advertising is cost-effective and efficient. 

The industry is moving towards a first-party revolution to tracking consumers across many touchpoints centred on trust because real, usable data originates from consumer permission. Over time, we can build more intense and better quality customer relationships, and we can target people more effectively — or maybe recommend products that make a difference. So we need to know who has seen our ads and if they have made a purchase or not. 

All that leads to a better ROI. 

There is a definite and more conscious awareness amongst consumers that their data is being manipulated and shared — and that will mean the rate where advertisers capture data will fall. Consumers are becoming more savvy. 

Although an advertising brand’s objectives might be to drive growth and use data to understand behaviour, this must be complimentary with building consumer trust and better targeting. 

So, we should use first-party data to provide trusted information on who buys products. But we should also include other factors such as context data (location, purchase data, prediction modelling, audience traits, etc.), using data sources and machine learning/Artificial Intelligence to find potential buyers.  

This should then allow media planners, buyers, and advertising brands to focus on appropriate channels, formats, and, importantly, audiences. As they are using trusted data, it will translate ultimately into more widespread consumer consent.

Advertisers are adapting to new ad industry changes

With a mix of inflation and economic downturns already affecting the ad tech industry, leaders in their ad ecosystem are scrambling to tighten their belts. For sales teams under pressure more than ever — in a world of factors outside their control— adaptability is part of the advertiser’s make-up.

Not so long ago, sales teams had to adapt to cope with a global pandemic. The ad industry endured partly by ceasing old processes and sales tactics that didn’t support the long-term growth of their media company and adopting real-time strategies they could control somewhat. 

A downtrending economy paired with inflation on the heels of the pandemic require sales teams to be adaptable.
A downtrending economy paired with inflation on the heels of the pandemic require sales teams to be adaptable.

In the process, sales teams saw that they had more adaptability and ability to brave the storm than they probably realised. As the industry continues to deliver effective results, navigating this next recessionary phase of adapting will take a continuous pursuit of sales efficiency.

Focussing on the right ad buyers 

Now is therefore the time to stay focused on generating the highest-quality opportunities for revenue streams, as high-volume, low-quality leads will no longer drive the outcomes advertisers demand. Advertisers can’t afford not to. And if media sales teams aren’t acting on new creative, bespoke solutions for them, they’ll go to a competitor. 

As advertisers rethink their audience targeting — either by amending their customer profiles or rethinking their target account list — they’ll need to move away from sales teams who’re not delivering higher-value actions. Advertisers must also embrace crucial metrics, such as intent and engagement, carefully tracking bespoke ad campaigns plus interactions with customer prospects based on interactions (e.g. via social media), Internet searches, and competitor actions. 

Leaving behind ad strategies that don’t deliver truly focused ROI outcomes help sales teams fully embrace ones that do, prioritising client budgets toward the platforms and services that produce results. 

Focussing on data for better visualisation 

The smart advertising clients are already starting to embrace a transition toward monitoring and measuring campaigns as they move through the various buying stages. Establishing data for each advertiser account is essential from beginning to end, and that applies from the perspective of the ad buyer as well as the ad sales team in media houses. 

A smart data strategy can help advertisers find the right buyers.
A smart data strategy can help advertisers find the right buyers.

Visualising all advertiser accounts fully (via data collection and manipulation), moving from the “customer unaware” phase to post-sales, gives advertisers the power to make trend-based decisions and take the next best steps that directly impact revenue. If an account remains static in one stage for a long period, it could be a sign that the marketing team needs to pull out their last attempt to rejuvenate the account or indeed deprioritise it. 

As advertisers continue preparing for the next change in the market (as if they haven’t had enough change already) within the ad industry, they must remain focussed on the right buyers whilst identifying which strategies they can concentrate on adapting now. 

Using data that allows ad sales teams to have a better view of the overall steps required can and should help them have a clearer direction for the future. 

The advertising industry maybe cannot control the market, but media sales teams can optimise to survive and thrive during challenging and volatile periods. By focussing on taking the next best action, the industry will set itself up to emerge at the other end even stronger.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change” — Steven Hawking. 

Further reading

About this newsletter 

Today’s newsletter is written by Mark Challinor, based in London and lead for the INMA Advertising Initiative. Mark will share research, case studies, and thought leadership on the topic of global news media advertising. Sign up for the newsletter here.

This newsletter is a public face of the Advertising Initiative by INMA, outlined here.

E-mail Mark at with thoughts, suggestions, and questions or follow him on Twitter (@challinor).

About Mark Challinor

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