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Maximizing ad reach: A guide for marketers to scale ads everywhere

February 6, 2023

The global marketing industry has been hard at work to find alternative solutions to target, serve, and measure advertising campaigns ever since Google announced the deprecation of third-party cookies in January 2020.

However, the question of how advanced marketers' plans are, three years later, is still to be answered. Similarly, how likely are these alternatives going to deliver both the results that advertisers need, as well as the privacy-compliant yet relevant advertising that consumers are demanding?

The open web opportunity

One trend that the industry will be highly familiar with is the weighting of ad budgets towards the major social and ‘walled garden’ platforms - especially those that have the allure and mystique of being new. Promising 100% addressability, these platforms have a clear appeal for marketers. However, recent research shows that 66% of users' time is spent on the open web, whereas only 40% of advertising spend is actually funneled there.

Therefore, reaching addressable audiences on the open web represents a significant, untapped opportunity for many advertisers. On top of this, advertisers will have the opportunity to not only reach new audiences but also support independent journalism and the free internet - a win-win for all.

In fact, LiveRamp’s recent research, in partnership with Censuswide, found that 72% of advertisers are planning to spend more on the open web in the future. This reinforces the opportunity for both marketers and publishers.

The ambition of all marketers

The recent research also aimed to gauge marketer preparedness in the face of the cookieless internet. It found that 73% of UK marketers are not well-prepared for the withdrawal of third-party cookies, despite 92% believing the deadline won’t be extended again.

Given the majority of internet users spend most of their time on the open web, delivering targeted advertising to individuals at scale on the open web, without the need for third-party cookies, is the ambition of all marketers. Yet, many brands are still delaying testing and adopting strategies, even though they will be key to effectively targeting consumers in a privacy-safe way once cookies are gone.

Marketers must develop a sound data strategy, and quickly - and can turn to reliable partners to speed up this critically important process. Once they’ve made this switch, they’ll find that people-based marketing helps address many of their concerns, including frequency capping and measurement. Most importantly, marketers should know that these solutions work today and can immediately impact the reach and ROAS of their campaigns this quarter.

Now is the time

Around 50% of the internet is already cookieless, so regardless of Google’s next move, there are considerable benefits to making the shift to alternative methods sooner rather than later.

For marketers considering the future of addressability for their organisations, there are key areas that must be considered.

The mediation between privacy, personalisation, and performance is critical. Brand advertisers increasingly wish to respect the privacy of consumers, but they also recognise the power of targeted, relevant advertising.

From our research, we can see that there are a number of different solutions available to marketers to alleviate the impacts of third party cookies, from contextual to Google Topics. For any portfolio of solutions that a marketer assembles, first party data is going to be key.

Finally, there is a significant mismatch between the investment in the walled gardens from advertisers and the time spent there by audiences. In addition to the opportunities on the open web, there are a variety of emerging addressable media channels like connected TV, digital out-of-home and digital audio.

Our research revealed that many brand marketers have a long way to go to formulate their future-proofed, privacy-compliant addressability strategy. Those who wish to stay connected to their high-value audiences across the open web must begin their cookieless preparations now. Those who do will achieve the coveted first-party relationships with their customer base while supporting the survival of the free and open internet.

Key takeouts

  • 72% of marketers are looking to close the gap between where consumers are spending time online (open web = 66%), and where they're allocating online adspend (open web = 40%) - addressable audiences make this possible

  • 92% of marketers believe the cookie depreciation deadline won't be extended, yet 73% still don't feel fully prepared - don't squander this time

  • For any portfolio of solutions that marketers assemble for the cookieless future, connecting first-party data securely is key

Click here to see the full report.

Author: Travis Clinger, SVP Activations and Addressability, LiveRamp


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