Over the past year, we have all been susceptible to a multitude of unexpected and unpredictable situations. The adjustments we have had to make in both our personal lives and our business lives have been at times monumental. Those of us in marketing or advertising have witnessed an accelerated shift as to where, when, and how to engage with potential consumers. While the shift to digital has been on the rise for some time now, the world has leaned more heavily digital this year than ever before. And while this shift in behavior has created many challenges, it has also created some new opportunities.
The programmatic space is accelerating at light speed. It takes a lot of effort to try to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for what lies ahead. In order to do this properly, agencies must track trends and consider how the technical adjustments coming down the road will affect where advertisers should invest their ad budgets, while attempting to be proactive and determine how consumer behavior will continue to morph as we move forward. Let’s take a look at a few things I’m seeing right now.
No more Cookies
Not the kind your grandma bakes, the kind Google is eliminating. As the gradual disintegration of the 3rd party cookie continues due to user privacy concerns, marketers need to re-think their strategies for reaching the right audience. For agencies who need to continue data targeting for their clients, implementing a system that connects a brand’s data with publishers’ first-party data will be the key. Tools like personal and business emails, coupled with device IP addresses will be a key tactic.
Another option may be to revert back to contextual targeting. Contextual targeting allows advertisers to display relevant ads based on a website’s content rather than using data about the visitor. With minimal reliance on personal data, contextual targeting is safe, when it comes to regulatory concerns. It will still be a viable method, but less accurate always guaranteeing the correct audience.
Along with the targeting changes that we need to make, campaign goals will also have to evolve. Relying on frequency and viewability won’t be enough. After all, there is no point to relying on viewable CPMs if you’re uncertain who is engaging with them?
CTV and OTT are on Fire
Video is king and has been for several years. The pandemic has only increased the volume of Connected TV and OTT being digested daily. It’s beginning to be a standard weapon in an agency’s arsenal. A vast majority of viewers, primarily “Chord Cutters” and “Chord Nevers” are watching more OTT than ever and on both Connected TV’s and mobile devices. The revenue generated by this medium is already in the tens of billions and is now expected to double in just the next few years. Hungry content consumers are flocking in droves and advertisers need to make this part of their strategy if they want to remain relevant.
For an advertiser, the biggest benefit is that people who are watching content on OTT platforms cannot skip ads, close a window, or install an ad blocker. Metrics like click-through rates are not very relevant when it comes to OTT on TV, except for ecommerce companies, since it’s not possible to click a TV screen, so ad interaction is rare, unless conducted on another type of device. Video completion rates are very high however, and there is no comparison with the much lower numbers of in-browser digital ads.
Make Budgets More Effective
Unlike days gone by, now, more than ever, marketing budgets are expected to pay for themselves. Agencies will need to sharply focus advertising budgets and shift to results-oriented lead generation and direct-to-consumer advertising for better efficiency. Advertising on e-commerce channels is growing rapidly and this growth is expected to continue. The shift to E-commerce advertising has provided better measurability of ROI, which is going to be very important for marketers in the coming years.
The bottom-line these days always boils down to one question: Where should I place my ads? Over the last year, the shift in consumer’s behaviors, the gradual fall of third-party cookies, and new capabilities in ad serving and consumption have been a few of the new defining characteristics. It’s going to be harder moving forward for the short term but vetting the proper data and DSP companies will be key to measuring successful tracing metrics. This year, they are all pointing to an increased confidence in programmatic advertising as a strong answer to my client’s questions.
But maybe their question should be: how do you know we’re hitting the proper audience?