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Guest blog: Fixing online advertising

Posted on: Monday 1st of February 2016

Guest blog by Nicholas Oliver, Founder and CEO of people.io, a digital service that starts to give people ownership of their data, and rewards them in doing so.

We’ve all had the experience of ads following us around the web – and products we’ve recently searched for popping up next to the stories we’re reading. For many of us, that’s a quid pro quo but, as the meteoric rise of ad-blocking technology shows us, there is a growing consumer backlash at the increasing intrusiveness of digital marketing.

I’ve always been fascinated by the evolution of advertising and how recently, it seems to focus on simply increasing the number of impressions and views, instead of trying to enhance a consumer’s experience. Short-term wins perhaps? Six months ago, in a rare moment of quiet, I started writing a deck that looked to the future of how brands and consumers could better interact.  And Just last week, people.io launched in the heart of the UK’s tech industry, Shoreditch.

people.io is a digital marketplace where consumers are able to dynamically licence their time and attention to brands; and be rewarded for doing so. Key to our philosophy is that the consumer, at all times, retains ownership and control of their data and can set the terms of a brand relationship, determining when, where and how often they are willing to receive updates from a brand. By inverting the current industry model, giving the consumer control of their data, and ensuring a fairer value exchange for personal information and engagement we create a more equal relationship.

And for brands, the ability to communicate meaningfully with consumers and see real attributable conversion from digital is compelling. As a result we’ve already seen significant interest from brands, agencies and marketers.

people.io is the consumer-facing platform, where the personal data is kept and protected. Our sister company, C8 Management, will act as the intermediary between brands and consumers and manage the campaigns. For every pound spent by an advertiser, we take a small commission, the rest goes to the consumer.

For now, we are focused on a sustained and sustainable growth: Shoreditch and the surrounding area for month 1, nationwide in the next 3 and one of more European territories by the end of the year. Our challenge is similar to that of the perfect party hosts – bringing the right blend of interested consumers and intelligent brands to create the perfect marriageable mix.