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Clean Rooms Digital Advertiisng Data Privacy

Think you know about data clean rooms? Here are 3 common myths debunked

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June 9, 2022 | 4 min read

By James Prudhomme, chief revenue officer, Optable

By James Prudhomme, chief revenue officer, Optable

Gartner recently predicted that by 2023, 80% of advertisers with media budgets of $1 billion+ will be using data clean rooms. Inevitably, there’s excitement around these platforms, but also misconceptions. So let’s address three myths I often hear, and set the record straight.

Myth #1: Everyone must use the same platform to benefit from data clean rooms

No, they don’t. While facilitating secure data connections and maintaining security and privacy are central to data clean rooms, they’re also about fostering collaboration. This calls for approaches offering ease of use and flexibility. An effective data clean room moves away from closed systems that limit choice and focuses on interoperability and open-source, decentralized approaches. Dictating which platform to adopt introduces friction at a time when businesses want to work with fewer technologies, making it more of a forced marriage than a collaboration.

Real value occurs when a partner can create a data clean room and invite another party to collaborate directly, irrespective of the platform they are using. So make sure you choose a solution that provides a simple, straightforward method for achieving frictionless, platform-agnostic collaboration. Data clean rooms should overcome data fragmentation, but not at the expense of platform fragmentation.

Myth #2: Data Clean Rooms don’t enable easy activation

Yes, they do. Ease of activation is critical for an effective data clean room. Indeed, straight-line activation must be an essential requirement for any data clean room provider.

A good data clean room is a low-technical environment that doesn’t require specialists to run it but can be accessed by anyone who needs it. For example, a publisher making a data clean room available to a brand should be able to enable activation with one click of a button.

It should also allow ease of data activation via a range of different methods, whether that’s a customer data platform, leveraging prebid to activate seller defined audiences, or hinting cohort members to an ad server.

From extracting audience data in one platform to activating it in another, a data clean room must provide a quick, direct, and seamless process - so the real focus is on how the data can be applied to the marketing objective.

Myth #3: They’re a fad

Google launched its Ads Data Hub in 2017, so describing data clean rooms as a craze doesn’t ring true. And as data sovereignty is a priority for today’s publishers, data clean rooms have a critical role in advertising’s future. When third-party cookies die and personal data disappears from the bidstream, they hold the key to maintaining the quality and value of advertising solutions going forward, and delivering the much needed ‘cleantech’ solutions the industry needs.

While current advertising approaches have undermined trust, the collaboration that data clean rooms foster will help rebuild it. Far from simply being a replacement for third-party cookies, data clean rooms represent a sustainable and better way of targeting and engaging with consumers. And by providing a privacy-compliant approach that’s delivered in a consumer-centric manner, they ensure publishers and brands can operate in a way that respects the wishes of consumers.

While myths exist, it’s true to say that data clean rooms are becoming increasingly crucial for the future of advertising. As consumer data is the lifeblood of marketing, they ensure it will remain central to targeting, measurement and effective advertising. This means publishers can secure revenues and brands can continue to rely on data-driven precision targeting.

So let’s dispel the idea that data clean rooms are a fad - they’re here for the long-term.

Clean Rooms Digital Advertiisng Data Privacy


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