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If Data Is Currency, Consumers See Sampling as a Smart Spend

Balancing data privacy and ad relevance is a challenge consumers and digital advertisers have been grappling with for years. Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is used online, but at the same time would prefer ads that are relevant to them.

They also wrestle with the fact that that a bit of privacy and a lot of ads are the price to be paid for accessing online content, not to mention the social media and search tools they depend on.

The point is, consumers today want something in return if they are going to part with personal data, and all these scenarios represent different ways in which that value exchange can play out online.

But what if the advertising value exchange could be simpler? What if in exchange for a click on an ad promoting a product that’s relevant to them, a user could be rewarded with something tangible and desirable? That’s the currency model digital sampling is based upon.

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Even on top of the brand awareness and the direct sales that digital sampling campaigns can generate, there is tremendous value in the post-sampling actions consumers willingly take as part of the overall transaction.

Across our sampling campaigns, nearly half of digital samplers (47% on average) agree to opt-in to future marketing, for example, and that’s before the sample has arrived. To put that in context, a 5% opt-in rate is considered pretty good for a standard marketing email campaign. Furthermore, 12% of digital samplers willingly complete opinion surveys about the sampling experience, providing valuable product feedback to inform future marketing and product development.

The bottom line is that even after a sample has been delivered, consumers are often willing to share additional data, feedback, and product reviews with the advertiser. Clearly, they feel they have received something worthwhile.

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Publishers benefit, too

The data value exchange is a conundrum for publishers, too, who want to give their audiences a positive and privacy-minded experience yet offer good returns for advertisers. Sampling campaigns can offer a win-win: driving incremental advertising revenues for the publisher while offering an enhanced user experience that, far from being a turn-off for readers, can actually boost audience retention – and all within a CCPA/GDPR-compliant framework.

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