“The tectonic plates of the industry are shifting.” – Andrew Susman, Institute for Advertising Ethics, Programmatic I/O 2022
By now, it’s no secret the ad industry is facing broad, foundational changes. Many of the fundamental processes with which we’re familiar— including audience identification and targeting, measuring and attributing performance across channels, and the laws governing day to day operations—are being upended.
Conversations at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O 2022 centered around these familiar industry woes, but it was the tone with which they were delivered that set them apart. Sessions were as much an educational moment as they were a rallying cry—and, often, a reality check.
Case in point? Research presented by Permutive found that digital advertisers can reach just 30% of consumers on the open web today via traditional targeting methods.
Rewriting the playbook on how you engage consumers and drive business objectives isn’t easy. However, the conversations held at Programmatic I/O provided great insight on how to get started by re-focusing on the fundamentals.
Here are four takeaways you can act on now:
1) Educate, Evaluate, and Engage
Education holds a fundamental role in successfully navigating how ongoing industry shifts or incoming regulations impact your business needs or day-to-day operations. It’s also pivotal in evaluating new solutions—separating the smoke and mirrors from viable opportunities—and the resources you’ll need to effectively meet your business objectives. At Basis, we are doing our part to provide the latest info on our blog, in our webinars, and through our podcast, and consuming a diverse array of thought leadership will leave you best positioned for future success.
And it’s not just about self-education: it’s imperative to also educate and engage with your stakeholders on these industry trends and new opportunities. Building rapport with these key decision makers ensures you have the support needed to successfully test new industry solutions.
2) Trust New Opportunities…and Then Test Them
Partners across the advertising ecosystem have worked diligently on solutions that fill the gaps caused by signal loss. There’s been meaningful growth within capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning, publisher-defined audiences, automatic content recognition (ACR), and mixed media modeling. The real question is, do you trust these solutions enough to test them?
You can move forward with confidence by setting expectations for each test opportunity: What business needs does it meet? What is the expected audience scale or outcome? Where does it sit within your broader media strategy? How are you gauging success?
Leveraging an advertising automation platform empowers you to fluidly test a variety of solutions and determine the mix that’s right for you.
3) Adopt meticulous media planning
Digital marketers can maximize their media investments—and the efficacy of those investments—by adopting a greater level of care and intentionality within media planning and buying.
Panelists at Programmatic I/O emphasized the need for higher standards within the inventory supply chain. From a media buying perspective, customizing brand safety and ad fraud practices as well as optimizing away from bad actors creates an accessible layer of protection. Both the buy side and sell side can create greater accountability and transparency within the supply chain by practicing supply chain optimization and implementing frameworks like the IAB’s ads.txt.
In addition, be intentional about where and what you’re buying. The channels, sites, or ad formats you’re running within not only define the quality of media in which you’re investing, but the experience consumers have with your brand.
Optimize your investment by maintaining audience targets (ex: removing previous converters), seeking out premium inventory via private marketplace deals, and creating a better audience experience with high impact or rich media ad formats and quality creative.
4) Create the experience you’d want to have
Consumer perception and favorability toward your brand is derived heavily from the experiences they have with your brand—essentially, the experiences we create for them.
L’Oreal’s SVP and Head of Media, Shenan Reed, redirected the focus back to the consumer by reminding us to treat consumers the way we’d treat one another in real life, even giving a few cheeky examples like, “Would you repeatedly ask someone on a date after they’ve turned you down multiple times? Probably not.” So, why do we continue to bombard consumers with ads after they’ve communicated they’re not interested?
In an increasingly competitive, fragmented, and complex space, brands should consider how they can best orchestrate each channel, tactic, and creative asset to create a compelling and meaningful consumer experience.
Adapting to change can be daunting, but the message at Programmatic I/O was clear: it’s time to get moving. By taking the first steps, each of us contributes to the future of the industry itself.
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