Like medieval monks lashing themselves for past sins, marketers have been wincing in shame at their data behavior. The flood of webinars, white papers and new technology announcements related to Google’s decision to end third-party cookies (a move now slated for 2023) have essentially apologized for targeting, presuming that marketers will retrench from most online one-to-one tracking.
So let’s pause and consider something radical. What if it’s OK to track consumers individually? In fact, what if marketers have a moral mandate to personalize advertising? Let’s explore some facts the industry narrative overlooks.
Consumers need advertising. Admit it: While surveys show that most consumers dislike advertising and online tracking, they depend on billions in advertising to support their universe of unpaid content. Only 16% of Pandora users pay the subscription fee to avoid the ad clutter. Facebook could remove all ads entirely if its 2.8 billion users paid $3 a month for membership – about 10 cents a day! -- but we won’t. So, advertising is essential.