Dan Larden, Global Strategic Partnerships Director at Infectious Media, answers DigiTrust's questions on the industry measurement revolution.
How did Infectious Media become involved with DigiTrust?
Whilst we weren’t part of the original group of companies that launched DigiTrust, we’ve always believed in what they’re trying to achieve. Since joining in 2014, we’ve taken the lead in flying the flag for DigiTrust here in Europe. We believe the opportunity is just as big, if not bigger, this side of the Atlantic. The UK ad tech market, for example, is a close-knit community, predominantly found within the same square mile in the heart of London. It’s the perfect environment for the kind of collaboration DigiTrust require for it to really take off.
How do you think DigiTrust will change advertising?
The most important thing DigiTrust is doing is helping to create a more transparent and open relationship between advertisers and consumers. A key part of this is the clear guidelines the organisation is laying down around consumer opt-outs for sharing data with advertisers.
The problem with opt-outs is that most people don’t really understand what they mean – what information they’re being asked to share or how it’s going to be used, etc. The simple reason for that is it’s seldom properly explained to them; and even if they do opt-out of one company or publisher, there are hundreds of others that are disconnected from that decision. Through DigiTrust, however, users will have much more of a chance to be clear about what they are opting into and out of, and why. It will build up more trust by explaining exactly what the tradeoff is and, crucially, why it’s so important to get free content. It both improves the rrelationship and helps to educate the user on how a free internet is funded.
This was Infectious Media’s first educational event focused on publishers – what has their reaction been to DigiTrust?
The initial response has been extremely positive, but publishers still have concerns. A number of them have been asking questions like: “Why do I need more technology to solve tracking problems?” And: “How can we deploy one solution across multiple platforms?” Many struggle to understand why they should invest in yet another technology solution, when there are so many out there already. What makes DigiTrust different to other solutions is that it’s a cross-industry initiative – it’s being built by people who understand this space, designed by people who have no other interest than making it better.
To help break down these concerns, DigiTrust are setting up technical working groups which will be attended by senior product executives from across the ad tech industry to answer publishers’ questions directly. The idea is to enforce the fact that that this will become an open-source solution that anyone can test and contribute to, as well as move the product forward so it suits the largest population of users and is as easy to implement as possible.