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    Marching Towards the Future of Addressability and How Marketers Should Prepare Now

    Published on September 23, 2021

    As the advertising industry moves closer to an addressable media future, the uncertainty around it reminds us all of the Y2K scare, when everyone thought a computer bug would break the digital systems that controlled everything from banking to air travel, nuclear energy management, and more. However, there is a significant distinction between the two: Y2K had little impact in the end, while the big question mark on how marketers will continue to engage consumers could be the real Y2K for marketers and media owners by completely changing the principles of the online ecosystem.

    Today, marketers have the opportunity to prepare for the new era of digital advertising by laying a solid foundation using first-party data. If they fail to act, this transformation will have serious and widespread ramifications including reduced capability to address consumers online, loss of personalization, and ineffective optimization. Marketers will also have little to no visibility into the consumer journey, and measurement will be fragmented and inaccurate.

    Marketers are guided by the ambition of providing richer experiences to every consumer. Consumers value choice, quality content, and flexibility, so marketers must assist consumers in taking control and feeling comfortable with whom their data is shared and how. As a result, there are three distinct approaches for marketers to prepare now to avoid another Y2K-esque panic with the proper use of targeted media:

    Build first-party data strategy: While first-party data has always been important, it will become even more crucial to help marketers understand each person’s buying journey. In the future of addressability, marketers will require alternative ways to reach and engage consumers online. And media owners will need first-party data to ensure they sustain yield and deliver exceptional on-site experiences to users.

    Get ahead of further identity changes: While growing your own first-party data is important, you will generate the greatest value by enriching it through the First-Party Media Network, enabling connections across durable identifiers that will be protected from further changes to online tracking. Such IDs include first-party visitor IDs, hashed emails, encrypted phone numbers, postal codes, household IDs, and data passed from third-party identifiers such as RampID, netID, and Unified ID 2.0.

    Grow target audience: Alternative identity and targeting options that meet specific advertising objectives while also reaching new audiences should be tested. Marketers and media owners alike have a unique opportunity to accurately test what addressability looks like while third-party cookies are still in use, enabling them to adjust their strategy for the future of addressability.

    There are several ways to test this including one-to-one addressable targeting, cohort, and contextual offerings. Marketers can also share customer attributes and in-store purchase data to further optimize omnichannel campaigns.

    To leverage first-party data, marketers and media owners can onboard their first-party data into the First-Party Media Network. Marketers and media owners can then activate that data across a range of solutions, such as contextual, cohort, and omnichannel campaigns to find new users, which will help expand their first-party audiences now before the future of addressability arrives.