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Adswerve’s Peter Crofut Sees Privacy Legislation as an Opportunity [VIDEO]

This AdTech Explained video is brought to you by MadHive .

Trying to tell the future of ad tech is sort of like trying to put together a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle while only being able to see some of the pieces. But there are companies out there that have a bit more vision, including Adswerve

Peter Crofut, current Director of Partner Relationships for Adswerve and former Chief Evangelist of Google’s Platform Marketing Solutions, is grappling with some of the biggest questions in the industry today, questions that everyone, from the college-kid intern to ad tech CEO, is pondering. Questions like: What is the role of the ad agency in this world of walled gardens? What’s the difference between personalization and privacy invasion?

Crofut sat down with TV[R]EV to answer them in this video (transcript below, for those who prefer to read).

TV[R]EV: What are some trends you are seeing in ad tech?

Peter Crofut: Trends that are impacting digital media, from the consumer side, more choice and more platforms and more fragmentation. And that’s good for consumers. It’s exciting to be a consumer. From the brand side, you see a lot of brands starting to take their media buying, their ad tech operations, in house and owning the data. That’s exciting. And agencies are having to adjust.

TV[R]EV: What does personalization look like in the age of privacy?

Crofut: Focusing on consumers first is absolutely critical and consumers have made their voice known through their legislative bodies.

So, last year, we saw the GDPR being passed, which was one of the most significant pieces of legislation coming across from our friends in Europe. The California Privacy Act just was initiated now and there’s still some amendments being made and there are several other states that are considering similar legislation.

There’s a lot of confusion, but amongst marketers and agencies that have to be compliant. So privacy in a data first world, you have to be able to reach those consumers in a relative way, in a privacy safe way. And privacy is no longer something that is just a “nice to have,” it’s a right, and consumers have made their voice known around that.

So brands have to think, and I know that Google — being there for as long as I was — as well as Adswerve takes the privacy of our users very, very seriously. And it’s not something to be afraid of, it’s actually a good thing to be able to reach users in a more relevant way, in a way that will help them connect to your brand and drive a better business outcome.

TV[R]EV: How can marketers prepare for the age of privacy?

Crofut: So the first thing is preparing for your privacy policy. Where the GDPR is opt in, CCPA is opt out. So, how are you actually thinking about making sure that your own internal technology and processes are going to be in line with that? So, thinking about privacy in a serious way, is very, very important.

But there’s another byproduct of privacy that that isn’t often talked about. I think Google’s done a very nice job of leading the way in this discussion, which is this move from what we would call predictive analytics — right user, right place, right time — and saying, you know, that’s been the model that we’ve had.

And moving from precision marketing — which we’ve been in the era of for the past five to 10 years for those three things, you know, right user, right time, right place — to actually thinking about more of a predictive model, which is: How do we actually know what “right” is? What is the right time? What is the right context to meet a user? As cookies start to go away, that power of looking at first party data and measurement in terms of “What is the user journey?” becomes very important.

One of the exciting areas that brands are thinking about and having to pivot is around cloud, and the use of having one place to have your data and able to do more, train machine learning algorithms to start looking at that. To do lookalike modeling, to do custom segmentations in a way that wasn’t necessarily possible before, but doing it in a privacy-safe way where that data from that advertiser and that technology partner are clean.

TV[R]EV: Tell us about Adswerve.

Crofut: So Adswerve is a top Google partner and we’re a company comprised of roughly 150 analytics and media pros. We have an account management team as well as analyst and data sciences. And as marketers are being challenged with a data-first approach, we help them unlock the power of the Google marketing platform. And we help them understand how analytics actually should work and the power of bringing analytics and media together.

We believe at Adswerve that data is only as good as the human insights that we can bring to it and then using those insights to make more purposeful media decisions and investments. And we’re not just talking at the campaign level, we’re talking at the enterprise level. What is marketing doing, and how are we converting users? Or how are we capturing new segments? How does that convert to the health and the growth of the overall business?

And I think that oftentimes gets lost in translation in our business with all of the jargon and acronyms and technical specs. What we really do is help these next wave of marketers and large brands that we work with, to actually transform their marketing and embrace digital with a data-first approach.