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Marketers in Asia-Pacific must solve the privacy/ personalization paradox ahead of the potential loss of cookies

Marketers in Asia-Pacific must solve the privacy/ personalization paradox ahead of the potential loss of cookies

Illustration by Sarah Kim / Getty / The Current

Adobe, Procter & Gamble, and research and advising firm Forrester address identity on a myth-busting webinar.

Brands, media agencies, and publishers recently discussed their top concerns about the cookieless future during a myth-busting webinar focused on the Asia-Pacific region. “Navigating the Cookieless World: A Step-by-Step Guide” — hosted jointly by Campaign Asia and The Trade Desk — included speakers from Adobe, Procter & Gamble, and research and advising firm Forrester.

The conversation stressed the urgency of finding alternatives to cookies, given heightened consumer-privacy awareness and stringent consumer data regulations across the Asia-Pacific market. According to data from Campaign Asia and Forrester, 43 percent of marketers in the region are concerned about the potential elimination of third-party cookies.

Further, the research shows that marketers want to achieve personalization while remaining privacy-conscious but are still deciding how to do that. Advertisers must comply with privacy laws in their respective countries while still hitting their benchmarks.

“The key component in the middle is the consent,” said Ian Dejong, Adobe’s principal solutions consultant for the APAC digital strategy group. “With trust being gained and consent being given, that’s where we start to see a privacy-conscious but personalized future for customers.”

Privacy regulation is complex in the Asia-Pacific region because, compared to North America or Europe, the market is more fragmented across multiple countries, all of which have differing regulations across consumer data and privacy. Another factor specific to the region: Smartphones account for up to 66 percent of internet usage, with Androids enjoying over 80 percent market share. By contrast, Androids make up 45 percent of the market in North America.

Forrester’s Principal Analyst Xiaofeng Wang presented the firm’s research during the panel, having surveyed 65 decision-makers from brands and advertisers in the Asia-Pacific region last year. The research shows that 88 percent of marketers in the region consider privacy as top of mind. Brands plan to invest in a variety of tools, which include customer data platforms, marketing automation tools, and identity resolution.

As the industry maps out this future, marketers know that first-party data will be critical for effective campaigns to reach the right audiences. Convincing consumers to share some of their data in return for relevant ads is an ongoing process, or so think marketers: 57 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t believe that “consumers understand the value exchange of data yet.”

Key to this transition is building trust with consumers, the surveyed marketers said.

“In the cookie environment, overall as an industry, we have done a bad job articulating and explaining the value exchange to customers,” said Chris Ngan, the general manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan for The Trade Desk. “That’s why consumers are so cautious and, to a certain extent, reluctant to share their browsing history. The new ID solutions, like Unified ID 2.0, provide a perfect opportunity to hit the reset button, reshape the communication of value exchange to consumers, and win trust.”

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