If you want to succeed as a brand in the current market, you need to rebuild trust. Consumers have lost faith in many of the brands that they once believed in but there is one simple tool that many companies are ignoring to rebuild that trust: permission.
We aren’t talking about toothless cookie-consent popups or newsletter signup boxes. We are talking about giving the consumers the power to control their experience. We are talking about showing the consumers respect so you can earn that respect in return.
A few weeks ago we saw the latest unraveling of a tech giant's murky practices when it comes to the absence of consumer data protection and the use of tracking and targeting. Reuters summed up the issues in an article titled “Facebook 'operating in the shadows' says whistleblower, lawmakers demand probes”.
KPMG issued some key findings when it comes to consumers' attitudes towards businesses in a report called Corporate Responsibility – Bridging the consumer trust gap. While the focus of the report was on data privacy they found that:
“When consumers opt-in to share their data, it can indicate they are interested in a deeper level of engagement with a business, and businesses shouldn’t miss these opportunities to engage. Businesses can use these opportunities to establish more productive and mutually-beneficial relationships with their customers and prospects.”
At Adtoniq, we work exclusively in the world of permission-based advertising with some of the largest media companies and advertisers. Many consumers use ad blockers for data privacy and security. However, the origins of ad blockers, as the name suggests, was the need for consumers to rid themselves of poor quality, intrusive and irrelevant digital advertising.
In this sphere, we have seen the same results as described by KPMG with regard to advertising: that asking for their permission to see ads and allowing them to opt-in to see ads or not has profoundly positive results.
As further finding highlighted by KPMG is also one we see every day:
“By taking the right approach to data—by becoming more transparent and giving consumers more control—businesses have an opportunity to build consumer trust and solidify access to this critical resource.”
The explosion of ad blocking
Over the past several years, consumers have become increasingly intolerant of advertising technology that forces annoying or intrusive ads on them and being intimately tracked by numerous companies as you move around the internet. In both cases, the vast majority of these activities are carried out without consumers giving their permission.
Whether unseen, under-estimated or ignored, as the use of ad tech grew, consumers themselves became tech-savvy and gained a heightened awareness and understanding of how these digital technologies work. As time progressed consumers have sought to use any tools available to protect their privacy, to eliminate intrusive advertising, tracking and other nefarious actions.
In essence, trust has been lost.
The backlash has been staggering with an estimated 1.7 billion frustrated consumers now using ad blockers, including an average of 31% of American internet users. Secondly, the capture and misuse of personal data have resulted in such an outcry that regulators have stepped in.
We have already seen GDPR introduced in Europe and in the US, the CONSENT Act being introduced followed by The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) establishing new, groundbreaking consumer privacy rights. And these regulations are but the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is likely to come.
The power of permission
At Adtoniq, we have long championed doing right by consumers. We give back control to consumers who use ad blockers by making it frictionless to give permission while respecting their privacy. We have demonstrated that treating ad block users with respect, meeting them in their space and on their terms is a perfect way, and perhaps the only way forward for all concerned.
We are seeing as many as 70% of ad block users consenting to see ads if they are respected and given the choice to opt-in or not. What’s more, these consenting ad block users engage with ads far more than their counterpart, non-ad blocking audience including a 5X increase in click-through rates (CTR).
It sounds counterintuitive but it really does work.
Permission is the key to building trust with the substantial ad blocking community, opening a brand new audience that has been completely unavailable to publishers and advertisers, until now.
However, it requires a change in thinking and action, recognizing that consumers now have the power to decide what is acceptable for them and practices that will not be tolerated by them.
This change in thinking and attitude opens the door to progressive ways to build back consumer trust, leading to growth in engagement, reach and conversions.
Big tech, take KPMG’s findings seriously.