Market Perspective + New Data on Consumer Sentiment

Mar 15, 2011 - Tom Chavez, co-founder & CEO - 0
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I want to take a moment to share some thoughts on the heels of the IAB summit in Palm Springs. 

What a difference a year makes.  At the same event in 2010 in Carlsbad, the camaraderie and cocktailing were in full effect, but I think we were all still a bit weighed down by the residual effects of the prior years’ market meltdown.   As I spoke to many of you about Krux and our big idea in 2010, we all saw the glimmer of what was about to happen.  What none of us could have guessed is just how quickly it would unfold.  In less than a year, we’ve seen an entire industry crystallize around the core concept of audience data, the result of converging technology, economic, and regulatory dynamics.  And unlike other flavor-of-the-month developments, this one is big and durable and truly transformative. 

We’re laying the groundwork for addressable digital media, which creates jitter among regulators and legislative fodder for former presidential candidates.   All those soccer moms, auto intenders, and frequent travelers are coming to terms with the fact that their every move is being watched, tracked, logged, and analyzed in one way or another.  The average consumer is getting hip to the idea that his digital signature has value, and he’s increasingly curious about how to manage (http://ti.me/eEMtoV).  As audiences are identified and tracked independent of the content they’re consuming, the role and responsibility of the media company shifts.

To better understand what people are thinking when it comes to privacy and choice on the internet, Krux recently conducted a survey of over a thousand US Internet users.  Some of you may have seen some summary results featured in eMarketer early last month (bit.ly/fGp45Y).  This week, we’re making available the full results on our website via a short video presentation here: http://bit.ly/f40Cbh

I invite you all to take a moment to view that video, as the findings underscore the importance of getting audience targeting ‘right.’  The main takeaway is that consumers are taking control over their data signatures through the disparate solutions they’ve been given, but would welcome more control and would reward those who made the process easier.   Of particular interest:

  • 80% would feel “more positive” about websites that provided controls for managing profile information.
  • Most interestingly, 81% of respondents would even volunteer additional information about themselves if there was a clear value exchange for doing so.
  • 85% would use centralized tools for managing profile information and controlling how that data was being used.

Media companies favor self-regulation because a botched regulatory regime could first undercut the open information flow that powers the internet, and second further upend an industry already wobbling through a disruptive technology shift towards digital interactive media.  I myself doubt that Congress aims to destroy the media business model, which has been premised for centuries on the idea of attracting and engaging with audiences.   Benjamin Franklin was, after all, a newspaper publisher before he became a Founding Father.  But the drums of consumer privacy will continue to beat, and the media companies who successfully navigate the impending transition are the ones who move quickly and deliberately to demonstrate responsible stewardship of consumer data.

At Krux we believe that internet publishers share a higher responsibility to create a media environment that fosters transparency and choice for consumers.  In light of the broader tectonic shift that puts consumers increasingly in charge of their content experiences, it only makes sense that they take charge of their data signatures as well. By embracing the challenge and working together to solve it, we all win.   It’s a rare opportunity to do well by doing good.   

We at Krux look forward to continuing the dialogue with you in the weeks and months ahead.   In the meanwhile please enjoy the survey results, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

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