Deepak Gupta: why cybersecurity should be a priority for data-driven ad agencies

Technology has revolutionized the advertising industry. Powered by the rise of the internet, this sector has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Customers have also come a long way. It is now time for advertisers to catch up with the audience by providing compelling and satisfying content. This has been borne out by data, as a study has found that companies prioritizing customer experience grow their revenues 4 to 8 times above their market.

However, this can only be achieved by blending technology with creativity. An immersive experience turns customers into promoters with a lifetime value of 6 to 14 times that of detractors. Blending technology and creativity is especially important because of the changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with two-thirds of ad agencies reporting a drop in their revenues.

We keep hearing of new-style agencies aligning tech and creativity, but how does that work? To understand that, we need to find the answers for the following questions.

1/ What do you want to be known for among the customers?
2/ What course of action to take to create the maximum impact on your target clients?
3/ How can you leverage customer feedback to enact change and learn from it?
4/ What aspects of the experience you provide ought to be changed to make the clients happy?
5/ To make sustainable changes, how do you anticipate and mitigate risks?

Five ways to blend digital tech with advertising

Advertising has always been about connecting with consumers on their terms. But with the emergence of the internet, those conditions are changing at a rapid rate. Hence, digital transformation in advertising has become a prerequisite for agencies to stay in business. These are the five key ways digital tech has improved advertising.

Automation

Whether it is for selling ad space or determining which ads work and posting more of them, automation has done a lot for advertising agencies. Sophisticated algorithms can rapidly make advertising decisions that save companies a lot of money and bring in a return on investment quite rapidly.

Social media-driven advertising

Although this raises some serious targeted advertising privacy issues due to the vulnerability of user data selling ads on social media is a top priority for companies around the world. Fortunately, most social media companies have robust platforms for advertising.

Native advertising

Developed in a bid to be non-disruptive to users, native advertising incorporates ads within the original content of a website in a seamless manner.

Reaching customers on their own devices

Another popular trend that leverages digital tech for advertising is the strategy to reach out to customers on their own devices. People spend a lot of time on their smartphones or tablets.

Advertising in different formats

New age online advertising companies have realized that reaching customers has become difficult due to the multitude of ads competing for attention. Therefore, advertisers are utilizing the latest tools of the trade to remain competitive and expand their reach.

What is the relation between ad-tech, privacy, and data protection?

Since most clients trust ad agencies with sensitive information, ensuring its safety is of utmost importance. Increasingly, cybercriminals are attacking agencies, knowing that their emphasis on data protection is lax at best. Since agencies have access to a treasure cove of confidential client information that cybercriminals can exploit, data security in advertising has emerged as a concern for security professionals.

Notably, data breaches in an agency can lead to crucial client data, such as sensitive marketing material, competitive intelligence, stakeholder information, intellectual property and banking information among other things, becoming vulnerable.

How ad agencies can employ a sound cybersecurity marketing plan while advancing with digital tech

Although there is a necessity for more efficient cybersecurity services, there are still many steps that can be taken to bolster security while executing your marketing plan.

• Internal security training is a crucial step in making policies and procedures known to staff, both internal and outsourced. Also, it is prudent to put in place measures to prevent data vulnerabilities caused by rogue IT staff.

• Undertaking constant Data Protection Impact Assessments of your real-time bidding activities, and employing privacy by design approach to your use of RTB, can go a long way towards bolstering security.

• Also worth noting is the crucial piece of advice that it is access that is to be shared and not passwords. Adhering to this rule ensures that unauthorized personnel are kept off-limits from sensitive information.

• Employing two-factor authentication for the web-based marketing tools of your agency will put you in a stronger position from a cybersecurity standpoint.

• Tracking logins proactively can help you be on top of the situation in case of sensitive information leaks.

The bottom-line

The need for employing proactive measures to keep the client data safe cannot be overstated. While it helps to a certain extent to follow privacy regulations and enforce conventional safety measures, there is no substitute for the practices mentioned above, leveraging technology and creativity. Doing so will ensure that the digital advertising industry remains trusted and sustainable.

Deepak Gupta is the CTO and co-founder of customer identity management provider LoginRadius.

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