There are multiple topics to remember about 2017, but for me, several stand out.
Google removing 3rd party pixel tracking from YouTube
As for Global events, this year Google announced changes that marketer lists uploaded for YouTube campaigns must use Google’s identity-matching service, not an outside cookie-based matching provider. At some point, it is great that Google is moving stronger to the audience ID implementation and allowing advertisers to use Google search history data to target users onYouTube, but on the other hand, it gets harder to run Omni-Channel campaigns with both YouTube and open-ecosystem videos. Ad buyers who want a holistic view of their campaigns will need to figure out how to connect data both within and without Google’s walls. Marketers and agencies that relied only on cookie-based DSPs and ad servers to target and measure on YouTube, lost. To regain some of these efficiencies, marketers need to work with independent identity providers to help them bridge and measure online and offline channels.
Apple crashing retargeting strategies for brands
One of the major shake-downs of 2017 was Apples iOS 11 and introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari browsers. If your company is targeting users via online browsers, now you have only 24 hour window when Safari users can be retargeted since visiting website. Main blow here goes to traditional ad networks and companies, which focus heavily on retargeting services. Users can still be retargeted if they use Chrome or Firefox, but not Safari. In my humble opinion, this is a silent kick from Apple to Google and major DSPs, as Facebook anyway relies mainly on App users or its own Audience ID and not cookies. Publishers will also be losers in this situation as their first party data loses value if the core audience comes via Safari browsers.
EU citizen’s data collection and processing lifted to the next level
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect next May, and businesses across the digital ecosystem are waking up to a startling reality. Companies will no longer be able to collect or process a European citizen’s data without obtaining “unambiguous” consent. It is clear that GDPR will have a huge cost effect for all the companies, advertising in the European market. Third party data targeting might become a questionable benefit and now there is a potential market for new and next-generation first-party data agencies, born from mobile operators. They are in possession of first-party data all the time and they might provide new payment plans with reduced cost for services if users opt-in to special advertising data sharing programs. This data will unquestionably be obtained with “unambiguous” consent, thus everything will be legal.
Brands fight for ad viewability and transparency
P&G raised a wake-up call for all brands and agencies cutting more than $100 million in YouTube ads because it couldn’t be sure they weren’t running alongside objectionable content. Of course, brand safety is essential but so is the quality of the content. Media agencies should think twice before showing toothpaste ad to someone watching children cartoons or kitty videos. This is below any standard.
Right after P&G CMOs wake up call, Unilever raised the question of ad view-ability as well and why somebody is being charged when ads are shown, but not seen. After this concern, GroupM (Unilever Media agency) raised ad view-ability standards. Many agencies and brands followed these steps and today one of the main topics in agency discussions with their clients, of course, is the fact that Viewable CPM should be the standard for CPM.
Tech-savvy brands began in-house media buying
Brands want to make sure that data is not leaked and that their audiences are not cross-used for other media agency clients. This in-house media-buying and analytics raise the demand for industry professionals, which were on demand even before that. Brands are interested in having best and most efficient audience reach and targeting that they could have on the market. If they strictly rely on products, that agency offers, they might lose in this game due to incomplete information, as media agencies sometimes have a corporate policy to use their own proprietary solutions instead of what is best in the market.
Telcos might be turning into next-gen digital agencies
Telcos, with access to logins, user browsing, and monthly billing data are emerging as strong challengers to the Facebook and Google duopoly. Telefonica already stroke a deal with Axonix to provide access to their 31 mln. user base and better improve programmatic trading. The only question now is “who is next”.
These are the key Digital Media moments that shaped the market for me in 2017. What were your most memorable moments? Is there anything You would love to add to this? Share in the comment below.