In early March, a few of my colleagues and I attended the RampUp LiveRamp Summit in San Francisco. We sat in on a number of digital forward-focused presentations while meeting with a variety of thinkers and leaders in the advertising technology space. Guest panelists represented a diversity of perspectives from companies like Disney, Verizon, Google, and Pandora to more healthcare-centric companies like ourselves.
While the spectrum of topics was broad, many were connected by three pressing matters: the future of cookies, data privacy, and the use of data for the greater good. We’ve had some time to digest how the information we heard impacts healthcare marketers specifically. Here are some thoughts.
1) Living in a Cookie-Less World
Google recently announced plans to end support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within two years. While this declaration has left many marketers in a state of uncertainty about what that means for the future of programmatic, others take this as good news. It presents an opportunity for building consumer-centric privacy by default infrastructure, an ecosystem, which is rooted in trust between brands and healthcare professionals.
This is the approach we’ve always taken, with the explicit understanding that cookie-based online identification is not without limitations—or flaws. Traditional methods of identification leave holes in data profiles. Do you really know who you’re targeting? Other obstacles like default iOS mobile settings, ad blockers, and an enormous amount of fraud, also reduce accuracy.
With DMD’s long-standing focus on data quality and privacy, we’ve wrestled with the challenges associated with creating solutions outside the cookie jar. As far back as 2016, DMD’s Audience Identity Manager® (AIM) solutions have focused on our collective responsibility in data sharing and privacy:
- consent-based real-time HCP-level identification
- universal HCP with identified specialties
- respecting default browser privacy settings
- fraud prevention and accountable media
- easy cloud API implementation
- strong encryption
- privacy compliant
Cookies have never been a perfect system for identification. Many of the panelists at RampUp described the approach as “inefficient,” responsible for creating an environment of mistrust among everyone involved—consumers, brands, and publishers. This may be the revolution that’s needed to install—and instill—more transparency within digital as a whole.
2) Data Privacy Regulations & Impact on Programmatic
This especially applies to programmatic, which admittedly can be a beast to wrangle on its own. Organizations that apply data to programmatic advertising, where the lines between responsibility and CCPA’s requirements are blurred, may face harsh consequences down the road if they are unable to adapt.
Do you really know who you’re targeting?
However, we know it’s not a simple transition. Despite the merits of legislative oversight, no one thinks implementation will be without challenges. For example, Panelist Liane Nadeau, Head of Precision Media, Digitas North America, described the cookie acceptance pop-ups instigated by GDPR and CCPA not as true consent, but rather a “hostage negotiation.” “Either check here, or don’t get content,” she noted.
Programmatic can survive, but it will require all parties to adhere to current and future privacy regulations. Much has to be done so future laws ensure both compliance and a sense of trust between brands and their audiences.
3) Data for Greater Social Good
We talk a lot about the integrity of our data and how that contributes to more meaningful, high performance healthcare marketing campaigns. A session at the RampUp conference encapsulated the concept of integrity as both “responsible marketing” hand-in-hand with the use of data for the greater good of our global society.
In the “Data for Good” session, hosted by Lauren Dillard, Chief Communications Officer, LiveRamp, a panel of experts discussed how each of their organizations have applied data in the “service of humanity.”
Key takeaways covered the powerful uses of data to:
- deliver better patient outcomes
- battle the opioid epidemic
- reduce suicide rates
- create more opportunities for lower income communities
- combat sex trafficking
One example illustrated how better data served the city of Birmingham, Alabama, by illuminating the insights--and care gaps--in accessibility to quality child care. As findings were revealed and solutions explored, the community’s economy was able to shape change and reinvigorate growth.
Our core values have always included serving the greater community. This panel reinforced our commitment to empower healthcare to change and evolve along with the technology that serves it.
In support of “Data for Good,” we have since partnered with LiveRamp to help the telehealth industry address the surging demand for healthcare services nationwide. Read about our contributions here.