Mutually beneficial relationships need a functioning feedback loop to work.
Couples talk through their differences; antagonistic coworkers keep things cordial; even opposing parties in bitter lawsuits keep a dialogue open.
Between digital advertisers and their audience, however, the relationship is closer to predator and prey. The result: a captive audience that tries it’s best to ignore advertising, and advertising that dives ever deeper into user data to get a reaction.
We believe a platform dedicated to personal data spending power is the answer. Here’s how.
Modern advertising is a one-way street
Functional relationships require two parties who each get something valuable from their coupling.
So far, advertising is a one-sided relationship. Advertisers pay social platforms, digital media, and search engines to place ads based on the data they freely mine from consumers. Consumers, though, don’t get anything in exchange, outside of the occasional ad that truly excites, educates, or inspires.
On the other hand, getting users to click on ads still isn’t easy. Advertising audiences are captive audiences, who have developed an uncanny ability to ignore ads, and a growing propensity to block them out altogether.
One element can change this dynamic: personal data spending power.
Advertisers should compete for the opportunity to target user data
The most logical way to mend the relationship between advertiser and consumer is to make it a two-way street.
By commodifying user data, consumers get compensated each time they view an ad message. And on a secure platform to enable such transactions, advertisers get a dedicated space to entice would-be customers.
Think of an app where consumers swipe through proposed advertising messages, and where their feedback and behavior is looped back to advertisers for better targeting, without revealing any personally identifiable information.
This spending power transforms the relationship: each internet user becomes an individual ad platform, and their anonymized data becomes a highly sought-after commodity.
It’s nothing short of a fundamental change in the architecture and social dynamics of advertising.
Permission-based advertising unlocks a mutually lucrative business relationship
Modern digital advertising is intrusive — like morning announcements in high school. Even if the content itself is useful or engaging, the relationship begins with resentment by virtue of it being mandatory.
Because of this, it’s difficult to capture attention online. Advanced targeting has helped greatly, but few variables in advertising are as powerful as gaining undivided attention. It’s why we see ads on smaller screens and minimalist social platforms like Instagram outperform traditional display advertising.
And beyond lizard-brain-like attention afforded to advertising on the internet, the context in which the ad is viewed compromises consumers’ willingness to engage.
After all, people typically see ads when they’re trying to do something else. When advertisers compete against users’ original intention to surf the web, they lose nine times out of ten.
Personal data spending power greatly amplifies ad performance by virtue of being consumed by willing participants. Moreover, it incentivizes consumers to stay engaged in protecting their privacy and earning money. It allows for even more precise targeting that rewards users with better ads and advertisers with better performance.
This doesn’t merely flip the old paradigm on its head, it turns a complex web of perverse incentives into a relationship that unites advertisers and the advertised, for potentially the first time ever.