If you’re a publisher with traffic in the EU or are thinking about doing business in that region, then you probably already know what GDPR is. Consumer privacy is becoming an increasingly hot topic, and — aside from GDPR — has also sparked legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act. As a result of all this legislation, a completely new division of ad tech has sprouted — consent management platforms (CMPs).
What is a CMP?
IAB Europe defines a CMP as “the company that centralizes and manages transparency for and consent of the end user,” and over 100 third-party and proprietary CMPs have been registered with the IAB to date. They came into being because, while GDPR defined and provided the conditions for what constitutes consent and how to capture it, there wasn’t an industry standard method to transmit consent in digital advertising
Further, if a publisher is working with multiple ad tech partners — as is common in the industry — they’d need to make sure consumers consented to sharing personal data with each one. Since not every publisher out there has the resources to build their own tools for managing consent, CMPs came into being to help close the gap between content publication and monetization.
What do CMPs do?
While CMPs may operate differently and provide varying feature sets depending on the vendor, they all explain to a user why a publisher wants to collect data, what the data will be used for and list the partners with which a publisher works and plans to share that data. This consent management process provides consumers more control over their digital footprint and gives them a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes of the pages they browse.
Once a consumer decides whether or not they consent to data collection, the CMP then saves and manages their choices. It also records the date and time the user made his or her selections for later auditability. Ideally, the end result is an educated consumer base that is able to exercise control over their personal data and enjoys a more transparent relationship with their favorite publishers.
Why use a CMP?
If ads.txt taught us anything, it’s that transparency is a good thing for the ad tech industry. Beyond providing transparency and empowering your site visitors with more control over their data and how it’s used, CMPs are also great for your bottom line.
Per AdExchanger, “Publishers who use a consent management platform (CMP) saw CPMs rise 9% and fill rates go up 5% post-GDPR”.
This shouldn’t be surprising. If you’re a publisher without a tool to effectively manage consent, it’s entirely possible that you’re either missing out on a sizable amount of cash from unmonetized EU traffic or putting yourself at risk of massive fines. Of course there are exceptions to the consent rule, but capturing consent is the most unambiguous way to protect yourself while monetizing traffic.
Finally, it’s worth noting that even if a visitor opts out of targeted ads, you can still serve them ads. Contextual ads have been around for far longer than data-driven targeting, and they don’t rely on any personal data. Sometimes it all comes full circle.
Albert Wang, Product Marketing Manager