- A beta version of an industry standard Data Transparency Label was unveiled today at Advertising Week 2018, per a news release provided to Marketing Dive. The label was created by the ANA’s Data Marketing & Analytics division, IAB Tech Lab, Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and the Advertising Research Foundation, to help marketers and agencies more responsibly leverage data and deliver more relevant messages to consumers.
- Designed to look like a “nutritional label,” it discloses source, collection, segmentation criteria, recency and cleansing specifics for audience segment data. The label has four sections to better inform buyers of a data set’s “ingredients,” including data solution provider and distributor information, audience snapshot, audience construction and source information. Also in the works is a centralized database to house the label information and a compliance program overseeing disclosure, certification and validation.
- The media and marketing trade associations invite data, tech, media and marketing companies to participate in a six-month public comment period and test the label with up to 50 syndicated audience segments with providers like Oracle Data Cloud, LiveRamp, Neustar, Lotame, Acxiom, Experian, TruSignal, Fluent and FullContact. During the comment period, those interested can explore the label at DataLabel.org.
Marketers are rightfully more concerned than ever that they have a good understanding of where consumer data comes from, how it was sourced and how accurate it is in the wake of scandals like the Facebook Cambridge Analytica one and others. In some cases, third parties have gathered consumer data without the proper permission, data that can then wind up being unwittingly leveraged by marketers and opening them up to potential legal ramifications. As regulators and privacy advocates intensify their scrutiny of the marketing industry's data use, the need for industry standards that can provide effective self-regulation is growing. The new Data Transparency Label is an industry-wide attempt to address marketers’ concerns over a lack of transparency in audience segment data by offering a standardized method for assessing data quality and integrity.
Better audience segment data could go a long way with helping marketers improve ad targeting and personalization in their campaigns, areas that have sometimes been a struggle, while offering confidence in how that data was sourced.
Even as marketers are investing more in digital, many have been frustrated with the inability to adequately measure campaign effectiveness and ROI. A CMO Council survey from April, 95% of marketing leaders said digital media needed to be more reliable, and 21% said they were cutting back on the ad spend because of inaccurate, questionable or false digital media reporting. Marketers reported wanting more transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement, as well as access to customer data and intelligence. Marketers have also questioned the Media Rating Council’s viewability standards.
As marketing becomes more data-driven, there’s a strong need for tools to help marketers pull valuable insights from the massive amounts of data they have access to. More marketers are embracing programmatic ad buys for their automation and efficiency, but a lack of transparency around programmatic has been an ongoing concern. The new label follows a 2017 report by ANA, the Association of Canadian Advertisers, Ebiquity and AD/FIN that outlined many of these issues, including a lack of standards for analyzing programmatic effectiveness, and offered a multi-step plan for improving accountability.