The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Thomas Hobbs, Journalist

March 9, 2020 | 5 min read

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The fact brands can no longer rely on third party data and cookies won’t hinder marketers, but will actually help to revive their industry, according to Neal Richter, chief scientist at video ad platform SpotX.

post-cookie world

In a post-cookie world there’s a big opportunity to move away from the false precision of billions of cookies

Speaking at SpotX’s Future of Video breakfast event last week, Richter explained: “With Google getting rid of cookies, we are in the midst of a bit of a revival for marketing. It’s a lot like 2010 in that we have to take a look at our foundations and figure out what to do from here; but this is definitely a positive, and not a negative.

Marketing revival in the post-cookie world

“There’s a big opportunity to move away from the false precision of billions of cookies and all that last click attribution, and get back to aligning a great piece of content with a group of users you want to reach in the pursuit of good sales. In a post-cookie world, the user is fussier about the advertising they wish to take in or the brands they want to trust, so this means marketers need to go back to basics and ensure they’re really producing great advertising that’s contextually relevant.”

Richter would also like these changes to result in more publishers cleaning up their act. “Our sites have been overloaded with tech, so cleaning up those ad units and reducing the amount of code, and replacing these with just a few higher class ad units that are more contextually relevant, is definitely the future,” he added.

First-party data and streamlined user experiences

Agreeing with Richter’s assessment, Fern Potter, managing director, Neo Media World called for brands to use the changes around cookies to get closer to their customers. “In the cookie-less world it is important for brands to enrich first part data as part of their strategy to create better advertising,” she explained during a panel session following Richter’s opening talk. “It is about having a true value exchange with consumers and working with complimentary brands to achieve this.”

When asked what this might look like, she added: “I definitely think you're going to see more alliances, and more publishers coming together to say, look, we're just struggling with data, so why not combine forces? Let’s build an app that we can all use.”

As third party data becomes more and more obsolete, Ed Wale, managing director at SpotX, called for more “streamlined browser experiences” and predicted that we will see a rise in brands trying to create app based content because of its benefits of first party data. However, he also warned brands who do create their own app experiences of “subscription fatigue” and said they must put a “true value exchange” into these services to make it worthwhile for the consumer. “Maybe that involves reducing their subscription fee in exchange for more first party data,” he pondered.

But if app experiences are going to succeed, brands must first get the basic right, warned Alex Hodge, director of ad sales and programmatic at Discovery. “As much as monetisation and apps is going to be what will now grow, having the right user experience and design is fundamental to ensuring users come back to enjoy your content. You have to really prove that you deserve their attention, and marketers can’t lose sense of that reality.”

Looking forward to the future, Cadi Jones, commercial director for EMEA at Beeswax, warned that publishers who refuse to innovate will “get left behind”. She concluded: “Not enough publishers are innovating. My advice is to make a plan and start implementing it right now. The sooner your test and learn, the more meaningful data you will get on what works in this new brand landscape.”

Google Spotx Discovery Communications

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