SAN JUAN, PR– Forrester Research vp and principal analyst Joanna O’Connell believes that she was early to the topic when she and her colleague researched the cross-channel video advertising landscape at the end of last year. A long will change, she says; right now, brands are mostly piecing together their disparate video planning, buying and measurement strategies.

But undeniably, O’Connell says, the future of advertising includes video in a big way. But before advertisers can reach their potential with video, the industry needs some re-righting.

“Looking at consumers, publishers, and advertisers, and how out of balance those relationships have gotten, how do we restore advertising to where consumers are less inclined to want to explicitly avoid or step away from advertising? Because that’s not good for anybody,” O’Connell told Alan Wolk, co-founder of TV/REV at the Beet Retreat in San Juan. The solution, she says, is to identify the forces shaping advertising today so that brands and advertisers can get ahead of them and be prepared.

These trends include the changing infrastructure (what will replace the cookie?), ad format innovation and walled gardens. But the biggest force changing the landscape is privacy and consumer data access. That is the lens through which the rest of the industry must be considered, O’Connell argues. Marketers are going to want to increasingly target their ad spend – and are looking at demographics beyond age and gender and other ways to be more relevant to audiences – but if these strategies aren’t shaped with consumer privacy in mind, video advertising will make the same mistakes that digital advertising is still figuring out how to fix.

“How do we not make the mistakes that the industry has made in the past, where we’ve gotten to a place where there is real concern over the use of data, and real concern over how that data moves around and gets transacted?” O’Connell asks, pointing to TV targeted by household and hyper-personalization as emerging areas in privacy.

The solution will lie in brands’ willingness to shape their strategies around this question. O’Connell says that privacy is a concern, but she’s not sure if it’s been “entirely internalized” as to what that means in execution. Right now, brands are simply prioritizing compliance, but not asking the bigger questions that will lead to better consumer relationships around data.

“It’s more about compliance than philosophically, how do we change how we work with customers so they can trust us and feel good about the experience, and we are good stewards of the data?” she says.

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat San Juan 2020 sponsored by 605, DISH Media, NBCU, Roundel & Tubi. For more videos from the series, please visit this landing page.