In 2020 programmatic advertising continued to reign supreme, with real-time bidding (RTB) media purchases making up over 80% of media buying in the US. In 2020, global programmatic ad spend reached an estimated 129 billion US dollars, and spending is set to surpass 150 billion in 2021. Programmatic media buying is here to stay and will continue to be a buying vehicle for new media types.
With such dramatic shifts towards programmatic buying, traditional advertising has crossed over by adopting RTB methods. Media buyers find programmatic buying allows them to easily extend linear TV reach with better precision and enhanced reporting capabilities. One by one, traditional media types like out-of-home and radio are being modernized, allowing programmatic buying through integrations with demand-side platforms. This aligns these new media types with the targeting, activation, insights, and measurement typical of digital that advertisers are demanding to ensure the effectiveness of their marketing spend and transparency in the industry.
As marketers and publishers alike continue to push for more digital, demand increases for new capabilities and technology variety. In order to maintain a desirable ratio of working vs non-working costs, publishers need to adopt more robust technologies that offer unified and cohesive tools in order to avoid outsourcing and multiple agency and technology fees.
Advertisers need to be ready to adopt tactics equipped to handle the changing availability of new identity signals. Because regulatory and technological changes are taking identity signals out of the industry, advertisers must have more authentic engagement with their customers and create first-party interactions.
Overall, the advertising industry has been very agile in adapting to changes in regulation and technology to continue delivering the value exchange between publishers and people. These changes allow for innovative solutions using machine learning to ensure that we retain the effectiveness of the campaigns, but in a way that is more transparent and centered around ethical data usage.
It is critically important to embrace the changes and start experimenting with new tactics now. Now is the time to create more granular tests and try more dynamic buying and selling to keep campaigns reaching valuable customers. All-in-one media buying platforms, like Choozle, can help bring together these new tactics and allow for seamless integration. By visualizing and managing campaigns from one central location, marketers can move beyond the technology and focus on how these tactics are affecting business results.
Additionally, strategic partners can help guide you through the ever-transitioning digital landscape efficiently. With the launch of ChoozlePro, dedicated account managers will collaborate with you as your consultative partner on every level, ensuring you can maximize your outcomes while testing, optimizing, and measuring new strategies.
This shift towards programmatic advertising can create a new outlook for marketers and publishers when evaluating ad space, campaigns, and the results driven from them. With greater efficiencies in targeting and tracking from DSPs and cross-channel platforms, there is an ability to move beyond the traditional marketing metrics. The siloed views created by focusing on leading indicators, like click-through rates, fall short of proving to an advertiser the value of their investment in marketing. As an industry, we need to be more focused on outcome-based advertising.
When it comes to business outcomes, clicks don’t really matter unless they can generate revenue. Outcome-based metrics help grow more quality interactions while creating awareness at the top of the funnel, which will go on to affect the bottom of funnel conversions. In combination with other tactics, programmatic advertising campaigns can help feed cross-channel effectiveness and allow marketers to measure true outcomes. Effective programmatic advertising campaigns must create a balance between the efforts and messages throughout the customer journey.
Third-party data and privacy
A shift is happening right now. Third-party cookies are being deprecated, Apple is making anonymized emails available for publisher registrations, and user privacy is being prioritized. But the changes with third-party cookies don’t need to incite panic. These changes do not mean the end of targeted campaigns, but it does place a higher value on first-party data.
Marketers that have been responsibly engaging with their customers and have built transparent consented first-party data will have an advantage through the next set of changes. While others will need to put these processes into place. Since first-party data is becoming more important than ever, many companies are creating innovative ways to gather this data. More publishers and companies will collect email addresses from newsletters, coupons, content paywalls, and data exchanges.
But this does not mean that third-party data is going away entirely. Third-party data is beginning a transformation into newer, safer unified IDs that data providers can use. Based on user information like name, email, or address, this ID is then used to model the data collected on the user, making information more accurate and secure.
As these changes to third-party data take effect, it is important to ask how this will affect the greater digital marketing landscape. Power is shifting back to individuals’ choice, which is incredibly important to the long-term health of the ecosystem. In the short term, there will be a drop-off in third-party data and the level of targeting. But this is not a bad thing; it only asks for advertisers to step up and earn the right to people’s data. These changes bring more transparency, more responsibility, better accuracy, and more rights for users. Advertisers will need to spend more time creating authentic interactions and building trust to drive marketing efforts while providing real value to consumers in exchange for their information. This creates a huge amount of opportunity ahead of all of us. Small businesses can still succeed in this environment, and programmatic advertising can be a critical driver. People everywhere desire transparent solutions and local selection that is tailored to them. Data targeting is not going away, and when it is done right, it is only getting better.