Consumer data has been mishandled systematically for decades. 

GDPR acts as a turning point. But how has it changed consumer opinions? And what does this mean for marketers?

To answer this, Ogury conducted the world’s largest research piece of its kind. 

‘The Reality Report’ 2019 surveyed 287,000 consumers from around the world about their attitudes towards mobile marketing, advertising, privacy and data.  

In this blog, we’re going to reveal exactly what consumers told us about privacy and data specifically. 

WARNING: It’s not all pretty!

Question #1:

“After GDPR came into effect, do you feel that you have a better understanding of how companies use your data?”

Key Finding: GDPR still has a long journey ahead.

One year on from GDPR, only 8% of consumers claim to have a better understanding of how their mobile data is being used by the organizations that collect it.

92% of global survey respondents stated that they either had no better understanding of how companies use their mobile data since GDPR came into law or knew what the GDPR was at all. 

These might be disheartening numbers for lawmakers and regulators, who will have no doubt hoped for a far greater level of understanding from the very consumers that GDPR is designed to protect. But marketers should similarly take heed of this admission by users that the message is not getting through in sufficient numbers.

Given the harsh punishments for organizations that misuse data or fall outside of compliance standards, it pays to have a user base who are completely in-the-know regarding what they are signing up for when opting in for data collection. 

Question #2:

“After reading consent forms and privacy policies do you understand how companies use your data?”

Key Finding: Consent notices are failing to help most users understand how their data is used by advertisers.

Privacy laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) exist to encourage greater transparency and fairness from organizations over how they collect, use, and store consumer data. Consent forms are an imperative part of this. They are an agreement between consumers and organizations. Their purpose is to inform the reader, making them aware (if they consent) of exactly what data they are agreeing to share and how their data will be used. Consent notices should empower users with all the information required to make an informed choice. To that extent, they must use ‘clear, plain language that is easy to understand.’

However, the global survey results reveal that even after reading consent notices, more than half of consumers still don’t understand how their data will be used.

Although consent notices require legal legitimacy, if consumer trust towards privacy and data is to be earned by the industry, consent notices need to be easier to understand. Because today, the notices and opt-in forms used to obtain consent are failing to inform the majority of consumers.

Question #3:

“Do you read consent notices in their entirety?”

Key Finding: The majority of consumers do not read consent notices in their entirety. They need to get shorter and clearer.

78% of all users polled simply do not read consent notices in their entirety. Meaning, at best, over three-quarters of consumers skim-read the opt-in forms they are presented, or more likely disregard reading them altogether. 

In fact, only 22% of consumers read consent notices in full. If this isn’t bad enough, of that 22%, over half still don’t have any greater understanding of how their data will be used, even after they’ve read them. A change is required to remedy this.

Just because consent notices are a legal necessity, does not mean they need to be fundamentally complex or off-putting for consumers. This paradigm shift needs to be driven by the companies who present them; combining expertise from legal, product and UX teams alike.

Nearly all technology success stories have two things in common: complex under the surface, simple to understand and use. If consent notices are to be understood, trusted and valued by consumers, they should be no different.

Question #4:

“What type of data would you be prepared to share to avoid paying to view content or to use apps?”

Key Finding: Consumers would rather share data to access content than pay with money.

A lot of content is consumed on mobile. Up to five hours per day in fact. And most of it is free. But just because content is free, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been paid for with your data and attention.

Sometimes the transaction happens knowingly, with the help of a clear and simple consent notice (i.e. the right way). Sometimes it happens unknowingly, without permission, through forced or ambiguous means (i.e. the corrupt way). 

The former is what we refer to in this question, of course. Our research shows that when given a clear and fair choice, 71% of people prefer to share their data instead of paying a monetary fee. In fact, 58% of all respondents said they would be happy to share the websites and apps they use across mobile, in order to consume content. They consider this to be a fair value exchange.

When it comes to personal data however, the story is different. Globally, only 13% of users would rather share their contact details to access free content, over sharing mobile journey data or paying with money.

Aside from data, 29% of global respondents stated they would ‘prefer to pay’ for content and apps with money rather than share their data. Giving users this option to pay for content with money without sharing data is one route to providing choice and gaining trust, while respecting users’ desire to have control over their data.

Want to know more?

You may have seen results from The Reality Report featured in The Financial TimesMarTech Advisor and AdAge

Or perhaps you caught my talk at Advertising Week NY, where I presented and shared the top three macro conclusions?  

If not, you can watch a video of the full presentation here.

And if you want to go deep, and pour through all 35 pages to see breakdowns per country, age group and sex, you can get your free copy of the full report here. 

Max Pepe, VP Marketing

Advertising Week was filled with workshops, panels, and parties. And of course, there was so much to learn in so little time. With the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) only a few months away, it’s no surprise that user consent and data privacy compliance was a common conversation across the four-day event. 

It’s never been more apparent that there’s an imperative transformation within digital marketing that cannot (and should not) be ignored. 

If you were unable to bear the Broadway bedlam, below is a recap of the unmissable conversations from this year’s conference.

Continue reading to discover the key trends that were brought to light throughout the week.

Compliance defiance is a growing issue

Although data privacy compliance was a common theme, it appears that not everyone is up to speed. In fact, a recent Ogury study of the top 200 apps in the Google Play Store discovered that the majority of consent notices today aren’t GDPR compliant. This puts both brands and publishers at risk of regulatory fines, in addition to potentially irreversible reputational damage when it comes to a consumer’s relationship with that brand or publisher. 

Ogury’s VP of Marketing, Max Pepe presented a talk on “Three Conclusions from 287,000 Opinions on Mobile Marketing.” The presented research revealed that 78 percent of consumers don’t read consent notices. That might not sound too surprising. Consent notices are often complex and filled with legal jargon. What is surprising is the lack of attention brands place on ensuring the data they leverage is collected via compliant consent notices. 

Just because they are a legal necessity, does not mean they need to be complex or off-putting for consumers. By using plain language that’s easy to understand, quick to consume, and published in plain sight, your consent notice can turn from something to be suffered through, into something that builds trust, creating a chance to empower your users to make a clear, informed choice about their data. Discover more by watching the entire presentation, or by downloading the Reality Report.

A mutual value-exchange will build long-term user trust

Another key conversation surrounded the value of data, with many industry leaders weighing in on the notion that consumers now understand how valuable their data is. They’re aware it’s being stolen and being used to target them with ads and monetize content. And they know it’s being done without their permission. In fact, 59 percent of consumers believe their personal information is vulnerable to a security breach, and 54 percent don’t believe companies have their best interests at heart. 

Ogury participated on a panel about the problems, fallouts, and solutions of data transparency, which narrowed in on this topic. Ogury’s Co-Founder and CEO, Thomas Pasquet said that “we’ve been talking to the user like a kid for the past 20 years, it’s time to speak to them like adults.” Consumers are demanding more transparency surrounding the collection, usage and value of their data. The Chief Commercial Officer at Outfront Media, Andy Sriubas said that “there’s a democratization of this ecosystem that has yet to be achieved. If both users and brands understood the value chain, it would be a much better place.” 

It’s clear that a major transformation is upon us, but what isn’t clear is how the digital marketing industry will adapt. View the full conversation to hear more.

Consumers are empowered by choice and convenience

This immanent transformation facing digital marketing is anchored in user choice, which will result in data empowerment for consumers. But unfortunately, it has been difficult for consumers to gain control over their data and digital marketing experience to date. But not for long.

Data privacy regulation has created a huge opportunity for the industry at large. In fact, during the “Building a Brand on Mobile” session which took place on day one, Magna’s VP of Marketplace Development, Jean Fitzpatrick said that  “GDPR is an opportunity to re-write the value exchange between marketers and consumers.” 

This re-written value exchange will act as the foundation of a new kind of digital marketing, centered on user-choice. Operating with a choice-first mentality will not only keep brands safe from privacy violations, but it will also build a thriving and sustainable brand. As 95 percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust, there’s no doubt about it, marketers need to focus on trust. View the full conversation to find out more.

Mobile is personal, and so is the user journey

Another very prominent theme across the content at the conference was how the personal nature of mobile requires a personal approach. When it comes to digital marketing, personalization is nothing new. We’ve been talking about it for years. What is new, is the level of understanding we now have of a user based on their mobile journey. 

Ogury’s US Head of Insights, Kevin Fitzgerald, spoke on a panel about “Mobile Journey Marketing”, in which he stated “consumers at large interact with this media channel differently… we tell our mobile more about us than any channel before.” This session evolved into a discussion on how mobile provides more insight into the human behind the screen, which presents an incredible opportunity for marketers. 

The opportunity to garner insights from a user’s mobile journey, to then reach them with the most valuable message at the most appropriate time, is only effective if the user chooses to be reached. View the entire discussion to see how this conversation developed. 

If there’s one key takeaway from Advertising Week 2019 that you should take note of, it’s that the shift in digital marketing is real. It now starts with user choice. If marketers don’t operate with this mentality, they will fall foul to the growing list of non-compliant casualties. 

Want to learn more about mobile marketing that is driven by user choice? Reach out to me at

Laura Chamberlain, Director of Marketing

The economic thrust of the internet has evolved significantly in the last two decades. We’ve moved from the information economy, to the connection economy, to the sharing economy of today.

The sharing economy is an economic system that allows for the on-demand, peer-to-peer supply of products and services. From shopping and entertainment, to finance and transport, consumers are empowered by choice and convenience. Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit act as poster-boy examples. 

Mobile, AI, and big data play a part in the success of these disruptive organizations. But their ubiquitous adoption, and the backbone of the sharing economy, is more fundamentally based on trust.

Old Wisdom Prevails: No Trust, No Business

The importance of trust in business is nothing new, of course. Trust has always been the cornerstone of any commercial relationship.

When the world of business was mainly physical, trust could be earned by seeing, touching and talking to the vendor. As such, organizations could more easily control the consumer experience and direct the perception of trust. It was all that bit more tangible.

When banks first established themselves as the image of reliable, trustworthy institutions, they did so by constructing grand, impressive buildings in the middle of towns and cities. The very solidity of their structure was an ideal metaphor not only for their access to capital, but for their reliability and endurance through generations of customers. 

However, in a complex mobile-first digital world, where advanced technology is part of everyday life, trust is harder to establish, and even more important.

Trust In A Mobile-First Digital World

Consumers today are obligated to place blind faith in the way companies use algorithms to deliver products and services. They can’t be expected to master all the deep technology on their devices, and business transactions are generally faceless. Consumers need to trust that organizations – and their technology – will do what they say and say what they do. 

Furthermore, with ratings and review sites for everything, online communities, word of mouth at scale and publicly transparent two-way dialogue between organizations and consumers; the power has shifted. Consumers are now in the driver’s seat. They can direct, define, promote (or retract) the perception of trust – at scale.

Organizations leading the way in the sharing economy understand this. They know that trust is the most important currency today. They build trust-mechanics and trust-metrics into their products, their operations, their technology, and their marketing.

The Wake of a Trusted Digital Economy

Twenty years ago, it would have seemed unthinkable to stay in the home of a complete stranger instead of a hotel. Yet today, more than two million people stay in an Airbnb property every night

Similarly, a decade or two ago it would have seemed surreal to shop, bank, or hail a cab just by tapping a screen. However, mobile was responsible for over $1 trillion worth of retail sales in the US alone in 2018, two billion people now use apps for their personal banking, and 14 million Ubers are hailed every single day

The ultimate success of Uber and Airbnb is not based just on clever tech, lots of data, or consumer convenience. It’s more fundamentally based on trust. Consumers can rate and review drivers and hosts transparently. They feel safe getting into a cab and staying in a stranger’s home. And have faith that they will be charged a fair price for the journey or the stay.

Similarly for banking. If consumers don’t trust their money is safe as they transact from a mobile device, they wouldn’t do it, no matter how convenient it might be.

The digital economy is thriving because consumers understand, trust and value it. And building trust is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. 95% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust, and 92% are more likely to purchase additional products and services from trusted businesses. So it makes very good business sense to put trust at the core of any business. 

Digital Marketing is yet to catch up

In the wake of a trusted digital economy, digital marketing is trailing far behind. 

Its foundations have been built on opaque, deceptive business practices, and questionable data collection and usage. Marketers have been forced to rely on non-consented ‘toxic’ data for years, and inadvertently practice rogue marketing. It’s no wonder therefore, that targeted mobile marketing annoys 90% of consumers, and 54% don’t believe that companies have their best interests in mind. Not the best way to build trust! Clever marketers know this, and are already responding.

A necessary, vital transformation in digital marketing is occurring. In part 2 of this blog, we’ll explore its far-reaching implications for both organizations and users.

Max Pepe, VP Marketing