The gauntlet has been thrown. Two of the world’s largest technology and advertising giants are at odds.
And over what? Data and privacy. Your data and privacy. Not just the collection or the use of data, but the perception and philosophy of data usage that companies support.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, fired the opening salvo: “Do I want a business that serves my customers? Or one that takes advantage of customers to serve my business?”
We live in a time where advertising has exploited the concept of ‘leveraging data for smarter targeting and performance’ for years. The more data you can gather, the better you can target your audiences leading to more efficient advertising.
Right? Maybe not. Tim Cook also reminds us that “advertising existed and thrived for decades without using data that was collected in less than transparent ways.”
The test of time finds this true. And as Apple rolls out changes like iOS14 data privacy and app tracking transparency, more and more consumers will opt out of having their data tracked. As a data-driven marketing agency leader, this statement can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Data can mean many things and come in many forms, not just data collected by scraping users’ smartphones or monitoring behavior.
The biggest challenge to overcome will be restoring a creative playing field for advertisers. Truly engaging and inspiring storytelling that moves a consumer to take action or remember a brand. The future won’t be defined by how much personal information you can access and exploit. The future will be defined by learning from the past, when leveraging creative thinking and strategic output always served the good of consumers. Only then can we truly understand the motivations behind how consumers engage, and use that data to fuel more great thinking.