Data Night: The Evolution of Data & Future Implications

When it comes to data, the only thing we really know is that it is indispensable to our industry. The future of data? Well, there’s a lot of speculation on that.

November was “Data Month” for IAB Canada and to celebrate, we held a Data Night event on November 7th and brought together an expert panel to discuss the future of data, how it can fuel innovation, and what the industry needs to know to keep up with the expected changes. We covered everything from the future of 3rd party data, zero party data, the cookieless world, and government regulations to the significant impacts on our industry and the tools we’ll need to support it.

We began with an IAB Canada Update entitled “The Interconnectiveness of Policy and Tech: The New Reality”. We got our audience of industry leaders and rising stars prepped for the evening’s topic by discussing the following issues:

  • IAB Canada’s policy priorities: fair marketplace, safe marketplace, privacy and data, and economic growth.
  • The Transparency Consent Framework developed by IAB Europe to bring the industry into compliance with the GDPR has seen adoption rates by 70% of vendors and that by March it could be as high as 100%
  • IAB Canada Policy updates/activities in 2019 and looking at 2020:
    • Elections Canada compliance with C-76 on Issue advertising – Publishers were responsible for identifying, registering, and dealing with issue ads. Inspired by IAB Canada’s work in this area, the government may take on the costs and development for future elections in Canada.
    • Marketing to Kids signal-based framework: Using tech to comply with regulations, namely ensuring that specific products aren’t placed in specific areas that violate regulations.
    • How the OPC is looking to GDPR and CCPA for amendments to PIPEDA in 2020.
    • About the direct to consumer brands we are tracking and following. These brands are breathing new life into the digital economy with the digital native approach to marketing and their access to prime 1st party data. 

Data Night then moved along swiftly into our panel discussion entitled, “What Does the Future of Data Look Like?”. The discussion began by underlining the importance of education on government and regulatory changes. 

The panel touched on three major topics:

  1. The prospect of blockchain based browsers or closed 1st party environments that are trying to get into the industry by compensating citizens for their data usage.
    • Companies like Brave and BIGtoken while focusing on consumer trust, struggle with adoption. The panel pointed out that the premise of these eco-systems is based on proven gameable metrics like clicks. Further, they discussed the notion of false-positive data inputs designed to increased personal revenue with no validity for the advertiser side.
  2. The future of cookies. When the last cookie crumbles, companies that have accrued and organized first-party data and direct relationships with their customers best will benefit the most. Furthermore, any company that has obtained their data properly by following the policies and having the right tech in place for support, will be well-prepared for the future.
  3. The industry might benefit from Universal ID as it moves beyond the thwarted ability for third party cookies to scale. Universal IDs open the door to a secured, compliant centralized repository where we’ll be able to transact ethically and transparently with a customer.

We finished off Data Night by voicing some of the biggest concerns for our industry. Highlights include:

  • The pendulum is swinging away from programmatic buying and back to custom deals. As it does, we need to equip our new buyers with soft skills that were put on hold through automation like negotiating skills. 
  • Advertisers in the audience agreed that they are willing to pay more for good inventory. While the cost may go up, understanding the value of a lifetime customer and the importance of scale can bring success.

One thing was certain by the end of this lively conversation, Data will dominate discussions in 2020.

We’d like to thank the speakers, moderators, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers – the event would not have been such a success without all of your support. We look forward to more great events like these in the new year.