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The Fight For Control

Who Has Control?

I always believed that as a marketing technologist that I was benefiting companies, the economy, and consumers. I thought I was connecting consumers that had personal goals to companies who could help them achieve those goals. When I hear stories of third-party platforms constricting brand control by limiting who buys and places ads, inflating return on ad spend, and disintermediating the brand experience, coupled with forcing consumers down a path of reliance on their technology–it leads me to believe that it’s about control. That it’s about power. They’re not driven to help you reach your personal goals through brand relationships.

Obviously, that’s not what we want. In reality, AdTech and MarTech have an identity problem. FullContact believes we can put the control back in your hands and the brands you interact with.

There’s a balanced way forward–balancing the commercial interest of companies with the interests of real people. Through innovation to decentralize identity management, brands and consumers will have more control over the brand experience and personal identity.

What is Identity Resolution?

In order to start the process of change, let’s define what Identity Resolution is. Identity Resolution consists of your identity, regardless of what channel or device you interact through. It’s taking all those little fragments of who you are–like your email address, phone number, or just your digital footprint–and compiling them into a representation of yourself.  This representation allows the brands to enhance your customer experience and ensures brands you don’t want to interact with don’t bother you. This serves as the foundation of the connection between you and brands across channels. Through a higher fidelity of understanding of you, brands hope to deepen your relationship.

Transparent Identity Resolution (through a company like FullContact) allows the open internet to behave with everyone’s best interest at heart.

The new foundations of AdTech and MarTech need to be built on privacy, security, and real control for you and brands. To get there, identity needs to be ubiquitous, and the process needs to be more democratized, so brands can control the experience you get, and you can control how the information about you is used.

If we focus on real control for you and brands, we can succeed AND do what’s right for society.

The Way Forward

There’s no one entity that is going to fix the current issues. It will take hundreds of principled actors. Privacy-minded AdTech and MarTech companies need to cooperate, and advocacy and standards groups, like the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the FIDO Alliance, and the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) need to continue to influence change.

Governments and regulatory bodies will need to create thoughtful legislation to drive adherence. Unfortunately, GDPR may have inadvertently consolidated power to large platforms, not brands or individuals. So it’s not just about legislation, but well-written regulation that doesn’t further put the control of identity into the hands of the powerful few.

Throughout this series, we’ll continue talking about what’s on the horizon for the industry and what we can do to get there. The next blog in the series looks to the future of Privacy.

If you want to learn more, or if your company has the same principles and fundamental beliefs as FullContact, we’d love to hear from you.

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