The consumer has perfectly internalized that their news, entertainment or educational content will be financed with a small portion of their time when there is no specific payment or subscription.
The exchange is perceived as fair, because time is money and the relationship between the two is more or less elastic depending on the circumstances of each. Thus, for example, at the end of last year it was estimated that Netflix saves its audience 9.1 days of their life during a year in advertising content, compared to traditional television channels. Of course, it supposes an outlay of ninety-six euros during that period.
Now, there is a giant leap between accepting to pay with one’s own attention and assuming that the audience demands relevance or personalization in a context of interruption of its main purpose. It is increasingly evident that neither people want to drag their behavior patterns into said transaction, nor is the advertiser in a position to offer any relevance with the minimum guarantees.
Let’s start with what the first does not want. Being Last Database undeniable that segmented advertising generates more reactions or clicks in the short term, irrefutable data accumulates on the negative impact it has on brand perception or user experience.
4.5% of users with purchase intention leave the conversion funnel due to the feeling of persecution generated by retargeting, in addition to maintaining a negative image of the advertiser, according to a 2020 study (Farman and others), and a 79% of consumers assured SAP Hybris in 2017 that they would abandon a brand if they found out that it “spies on them.”
It is no coincidence that the use of “ad blockers” on mobile devices will skyrocket 64% in 2020 (according to PageFair and Blockthrough) reaching up to 35% of the population, when 45% of those surveyed by HubSpot and AdBlock Plus say they feel persecuted by retargeting brands.
Ultimately, CTR (Click-Through Rate) increases with RTB (Real Time Bidding), but so does the urge to scratch at a rash or mosquito bite.
Let’s move on to the second problem: an empty promise. What relevance is possible, beyond the pursuit of a cookie in the short distance, when it is proven that the market works with completely outdated data? Two recent books, “Subprime Attention Crisis” (Tim Hwang) and “Bad Men” (Bob Hoffmann), perfectly illustrate the house of cards on which stands the alleged relevance that we still think people yearn for.
To throw a few brushstrokes: the behavioral programmatic market does not exceed a precision of 42% for the estimation of the sex of the audience (male vs. female), being below a random estimate. Accuracy drops to 24% for two attributes combined (Neumann, 2019). Of course, there is no harm that does not come: this mismatch in profiling gives hope to those who believe their privacy is compromised.
Now, compromised or not, privacy comes to give the coup de grace to the promise. A recent study (MIT and other universities) confirmed that only with the use of dark patterns a 42% acceptance of consent for the use of third-party cookies is achieved. These data will be foreseeably less to be replaced by shared identification systems such as Unified ID, as they are supported by real contact data and require greater legal guarantees. Put the icing on the cake with ATT (App Tracking Transparency), just launched by Apple this week and demanding an opt-in for audience deduplication in mobile environments, and we will see that there is little left to scratch. Of course, applicable regulations and derived measures arise from social alarm, and not from a summer whim.
Ultimately, I believe that the audience of 2021 is little by little educating the advertiser of 2007. Paying with attention does not mean doing it with data. And it is still fortunate that what one does not want coincides with what another cannot give him: we eliminate two leading zeros and we all win.