Doom and gloom. Many marketers are feeling anxious about the future of digital marketing – data privacy concerns and regulations, the changing ad tech ecosystem, Google’s expected deprecation of the third-party cookie in 2022 and the uncertainty ahead. But our Amanda Martin, VP of enterprise partnerships, isn’t one of them. Quite the opposite. She’s feeling optimistic about the path forward, and though she knows challenges lie ahead, she’s already found the silver linings. Read on or watch now as she explains to Magnite why the future of digital marketing is bright.
1) Losing the Cookie, Gaining an Opportunity
Having to give up the third-party cookie isn’t worrying Amanda. “I think we’ve painted this as a kind of ‘sky is falling’ situation, but I look at it as a true opportunity. This is our time to fix an infrastructure that was never solid and wasn’t meant to be built upon to the manner it has been. So for me, the cookieless future is actually a better future than the one we exist in today,” she said.
Amanda knows there will be hurdles to clear, of course, and the ad tech industry will have to do things differently on the way to a better cookieless future, but she thinks all this change is good and buyers should keep a positive outlook. “In the end, we’ll have a far safer consent-oriented landscape we’re working in that respects the users’ privacy as well as the brand’s needs,” she said. “And that will get us in a better place for programmatic to grow in the way and to the size it should.”
In the interim, Goodway Group is primarily focusing on our brands’ first-party data and working on their valuable data assets to help them lay a solid foundation that will withstand the test of time. Even as we all prepare to say goodbye to cookies and work to hammer out new identity solutions that will benefit the open internet, how brands use their first-party data moving forward will play a large role in how well they’re able to reach and engage consumers in the coming cookieless world. Amanda added, “What we’re doing is working with brands to redefine key performance indicators (KPIs) that maybe won’t be available anymore and leading them down a path of identifying metrics for success that work today and will work in the future.”
2) Embracing Collaboration
One thing Amanda finds uplifting about losing the third-party cookie? “What I’m really excited to see is that this issue transcends any one company, and it affects everyone. I think it’s actually the first turning point in maturity for our industry to actually create a collaboration that we haven’t seen in the past,” she said. “It forces everyone in our industry to come together.”
All of us working toward the shared goal of finding new identity solutions to replace the third-party cookie is a major stride forward when you consider the ad tech industry incentivized companies to work alone rather than together in the past. Amanda said, “I’ve seen conversations that used to always stay at the conversation level now transcend into action, and so if that continues, I feel confident we’ll come up with solutions built for the future of digital marketing that are far better than the ones we have today.”
Amanda thinks with all this close collaboration, the data ecosystem will also improve. “With all the cookieless changes, regulations and consumer consent concerns, I think we’ll get to a place where we’ll value quality over quantity, which will ensure brands are truly buying the quality inventory they’ve always strived to achieve,” she said. “At the same time, consumers will also enjoy a better ad experience because the value proposition between consumers and brands will be more honest and transparent, and will help drive up everyone’s results in the end.”
3) Evolving Ad Tech’s Programmatic Supply Path Optimization
Supply path optimization (SPO) is a really important piece of the ad tech ecosystem, and Amanda believes everyone should be participating. She said, “It’s really grown in importance because the tools the industry has created and continues to iterate on afford us insight into more information than we’ve ever had on the buy side, which allows us to action off of signals that we didn’t even imagine, say, two years ago.”
SPO may be a little misunderstood. It’s not all about fees and shrinking the middle. “Though I think SPO started out in this kind of transparency fight to the bottom fee structure, it’s evolved far beyond this at this point,” Amanda said. “Today, I think it’s far more about value and the path to the end publisher and the end user that the brand desires. It’s all about efficiency on the buy side – knowing the value of the inventory you’re buying and guiding brands to the best inventory possible.”
So how do you ensure SPO success? Amanda said that’s a bit hard to nail down. “It’s an iterative process. You have to consistently be working on SPO and tweaking it because the ecosystem is also tweaking it on the sell side, and it’s not something you can simply set and forget,” she said. “To be successful, you have to define your key performance indicators (KPIs) as a brand or an agency and really stick to driving those metrics and then reassess them on a given cadence so your goals continue to match up with the ad tech industry’s latest advances.”
Reassessing is exactly what Goodway has had to do. Over the past four years, how we’ve handled SPO as a performance marketer has changed a lot. Amanda explained, “In the beginning, SPO was really a manual partnership and relationship game. But it’s taken a technological turn of late that’s allowed us to change our bidding strategies. Now, we work with our DSP and SSP partners to improve the efficiency of how we buy and, in the end, get more working media dollars into the publisher’s hand. We’re no longer turning SPO off then on again. Instead, we’re now taking a fine-tuned approach, one that allows us to use all the technology and API configurations we have at our fingertips.”
Whether it’s navigating a cookieless world, embracing industry collaboration, keeping pulse on SPO and more, the future of digital marketing is bright. Want to be sure to embrace all the promise it holds? Download our Going Cookieless 101 Guide today to see where the ad tech industry is headed and for the expert tips you need to go cookieless yourself. Download more of our free resources packed full of the digital marketing news, trends and tips you can’t get anywhere else and can put into action immediately. Or work with us – our award-winning team can expertly guide you and help you achieve your brand goals at every turn along the way on the journey ahead.