Anticon:The Evolution of Privacy and AI

By Georgia Izon, Head of Digital Innovation and Operations

Anticon is a MarTech, SalesTech, Ad Tech & future tech event, with talks that range from the evolution of digital advertising, the future of programmatic, measurement, and (of course) AI, to name but a few topics. Two of the key themes from the talks on the day were the future of digital in a post-third-party-cookies world, and the future of AI in marketing.

In the post-third-party-cookie conversation there are two parties; those that view the upcoming changes as a threat, and those who view it as an opportunity, I’m in agreement that those who view it as an opportunity will be the winners.

One of the key themes when talking about the incoming privacy changes is the need to return to audience-centricity. Instead of focusing on audience targeting alone, we need to consider the value exchange that we are offering to our audiences. Users visit a website to fulfil a need, not to click on an ad, and we need to ensure we’re giving them the best experience possible. In addition to this, user consent should be viewed as an opportunity to build trust with our audiences; advertisers and publishers want high quality user data, to get this we need to give users transparency of their data when building a consent framework, focusing on building a lasting relationship.

As we’re moving forward into this post-third-party-cookie, privacy-first world, we also need to focus on better quality, from the environment we advertise in, to the data we use, and the experiences we give the user. For this, as with most future challenges, collaboration is key, ensuring agencies, media owners and advertisers are working together to build a better ecosystem.

On the topic of AI, one talk was named ‘AI is not the future of marketing’. The presenter immediately confirmed that the title was clickbait, and that AI, of course, will be front and centre in the future of marketing.

The topic got more interesting however, with the thought that actually, while AI is the future, it is likely to become a commodity at some point. While there is currently a lot of variety in knowledge, usage and availability, this will change in the future and AI will inevitably be built into the systems we use and processes we build. While this will lead to changes, it also means that AI won’t necessarily be the competitive advantage or USP that we currently think it will be.

The argument was that the data we collect, how we use that data, and how we equip our people to deal with future changes is how we ready ourselves for the future. An organisation’s data is their USP and the key to their future marketing, and most companies still haven’t unlocked their full potential. Lastly, while it’s imperative to try to get ahead of the AI curve at this point, it’s important to equip your organisation to be ready for change, and equip employees with the skills to handle this change and stay agile.

Change is the only certainty for the future so we need to be ready to meet it.