Charging Ahead: How data privacy is powering the future

Charging Ahead: How data privacy is powering the future
Ben Cicchetti
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Two years ago, I made the switch to an electric car. Like many, I had been eyeing the EV market with a mix of curiosity and skepticism. The early models of EVs seemed to carry more burdens than benefits: limited range and sparse charging stations made them seem overly inconvenient. Yet, as technology and infrastructure evolved, my confidence in EVs grew, leading me to finally embrace the change. The experience exceeded my expectations. Not only were the range and charging infrastructure more than adequate, but the performance was also exceptional - my Mustang Mach-E goes from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

A parallel transformation has unfolded in the world of data-driven advertising. For a long time, prioritizing privacy in advertising was viewed similarly to how early EVs were seen: a noble yet burdensome pursuit that might hinder effectiveness. However, as the landscape of technology and infrastructure has evolved, the industry has realized that embracing privacy is not only achievable, it's advantageous. Today, advertising strategies prioritizing privacy outperform legacy methods that rely heavily on intrusive tracking.

Evolving Technology: Beyond the Early Limitations

The early electric vehicles grappled with range limitations. The battery technology of the time hadn't quite caught up with the demands of modern travel. But as technology progressed, so did the capabilities of EVs. Today, many electric cars boast ranges of 250 miles or more, with some exceeding 300 miles. This leap in battery technology has transformed EVs from niche to mainstream.

A similar technological evolution has reshaped the digital advertising ecosystem. As privacy concerns grew and regulations like GDPR and CCPA came into play, the advertising industry’s perception of privacy was that it was a hindrance and hurdle that would limit the effectiveness of digital advertising. The technology of the time was heavily reliant on data-sharing practices that simply wouldn’t stand up to consumer expectations or the evolving privacy landscape. 

A new breed of privacy-enhancing technologies focused on data collaboration rather than sharing emerged. These technologies have proven themselves capable of not just maintaining the performance status quo but significantly improving the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Tools like data clean rooms enable direct collaboration between brands and media owners, with media agencies, data providers and identity vendors able to play crucial roles. This collaborative approach powers more precise planning, activation and measurement of media campaigns. 

Infrastructure Improvements: Building a Supportive Environment

Range anxiety was a genuine concern for early adopters of EVs. The rarity of charging stations made planning long trips a logistical challenge. However, this landscape has dramatically changed. Charging stations have become ubiquitous at gas stations, supermarkets, service stations, and even local gyms. This widespread availability of charging options has significantly eased the transition to electric vehicles.

In the realm of data-driven advertising, the crumbling of the third-party cookie was seen by many as a major setback. The industry has long relied on an infrastructure built on tracking and targeting consumers across multiple sites and devices, with the consumer having minimal knowledge or awareness of this happening behind the scenes. At the heart of this was a select few legacy data onboarders and identity resolution businesses that hoarded data from all their clients - centralizing and commingling that data into extensive identity spines. 

Thankfully, as the cookie has crumbled a new infrastructure has begun to take shape. This infrastructure is built on privacy-enhancing technologies, enabling the effective use of first-party data. Importantly, this infrastructure is designed to stop practices that put consumer privacy and data security at risk through clumsy sharing, commingling and mishandling of consumer data. 

Privacy maximizes performance

Much like the performance of my EV far exceeds that of my previous petrol car, so too is the performance of the new breed of privacy-first data collaboration technology. The proof that privacy and performance go hand in hand can be seen in the impressive results brands and media owners achieve using data clean room technology.

Image showing impressive results brands and media owners have achieved through first-party data collaboration.

In the dynamic world of marketing, speed isn't just an advantage; it's a necessity. The technology underpinning marketing strategies must keep pace with the rapid beat of business today. Much like my EV propels me from 0 to 60 in mere seconds, InfoSum’s data clean room technology offers a comparable velocity.  Gone are the days when onboarding, matching, and activating data took weeks. With InfoSum, data matching is instantaneous, enabling organizations to collaborate, derive actionable insights and launch campaigns in a matter of hours or days, not weeks. 

Finally, one of the key numbers I think about since transitioning to an EV is the ROI on the car, when I consider the saving on high petrol costs balanced against increasing energy costs. The same is true of those investing in data clean room technology. Fortunately, a recent study has found that organizations achieve a 3x ROI on data clean room technology within three months on average!

3x ROI on data clean room technology within three months

Embracing the Future

The journey of electric vehicles and data-driven advertising highlights a key insight: embracing change, especially when it aligns with evolving societal values and technological advancements, can lead to superior outcomes. In both domains, initial skepticism gave way to widespread acceptance as technology improved and infrastructure expanded. Today, we see that prioritizing sustainability in transportation and privacy in advertising addresses ethical and environmental concerns and offers performance benefits that outpace traditional methods.

As we look forward, the lessons from these transformations are clear. Innovation and a willingness to adapt pave the way for a future where we don’t have to choose between doing what’s right and achieving high performance. So now is the time to give up on the outdated technology that recklessly spews data into the ecosystem, much like a gas-guzzling petrol car, and embrace a more sustainable, efficient, and privacy-conscious approach that delivers greater performance.

Test drive the InfoSum data clean room today.

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