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NEW DELHI : The two converging trends of customers demanding greater privacy but remaining open to sharing data as long as offerings can be personalized will dominate the landscape for advertisers and businesses going forward.

This was the essence of what experts said at Mint’s 2021 Marketing Summit that saw the participation of Sandeep Bhushan, director and head of GMS (Global Message Services), Facebook India, Vineet Ahuja, managing director, Accenture and the company’s consumer, sales and services lead and Anubhav Sonthalia, CEO, Merkle Sokrati. The session on “Personalization & Privacy-An Industry View" was moderated by Ashwin Moduga, head, research, Mosaic Digital.

Accenture’s Ahuja pointed to the shifts in the digital industry. Consumers are looking for greater privacy, governments are trying to bring in greater regulation and even browsers trying to self-regulate. Google had spoken of working on tools to improve user privacy in digital advertising.To be sure, in line with Apple’s new policy, the recent iOS 14 update requires all apps to explicitly ask for user permission before tracking activities and behaviour.

However, Ahuja cited research which shows 80% consumers are willing to pay a premium for personalisation. “So while they want privacy they are willing to share personal data if they know the data is being handled in a responsible and trust-based manner, and is being used to give them benefits back," he said.

Merkle Sokrati’s Sonthalia said they were good changes as “it required a hard nudge from regulators and consumers for us to get there. It’s going to be difficult in the short-term as loss of data could diminish our ability to deliver ads in a personalised manner... But there are solutions present."

Facebook’s Bhushan said the play between data privacy and personalisation was interesting, adding that 91% of the platform’s users are looking for personalization.

It is critical for businesses and advertisers at this point to understand and accept that the world going forward, is going to be largely skewed towards data privacy, Sonthalia of Merkle Sokrati said.

It’s not going to be a choice but a matter of time and regardless of how cognizant companies are of the same, they must wrap their heads to figure out the best strategy.

“We must start preparing and not be in denial. It’s not a tools or technology problem, it’s a transformation problem. The path is not super difficult but it needs to be travelled," Sonthalia said, listing out possible tools such as Facebook Conversions API, Google Server Side Tagging, and Google Analytics Measurement Protocol.


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