Three Takeaways from Programmatic I/O 2021

November 15, 2021, 03:11
By Ray Gilbert

This year’s Adexchanger Programmatic I/O conference brought together leaders from across the entire digital marketing industry to discuss the major trends that are shaping the space. During the event, there were some key themes that all of the conversations seemed to circle back to including, identity, CTV, and the evolving role of agencies.

Here are some of the things that stood out most to me during the two days of discussions. 

The deprecation of third-party cookies will bring the industry together 

The industry has been reeling since Google’s announcement to deprecate third-party cookies, and while that is on hold for the moment, marketers, agencies and tech vendors have been scrambling to find the solution that is going to set them up for success in the cookieless future. But the truth is, there isn’t going to be one single solution that can act as a holy grail for each individual player. Although Google’s delay has given us all a little more time to get our affairs in order, we are still facing the same challenges for how to address identity tracking, targeting and attribution. 

One important message that was at the forefront of a particularly interesting session I sat in was, that in order for the industry to overcome this, we will all need to work together. There needs to be a partnership amongst the buy-side, sell-side and everything in between, in order to move any solution forward. Rather than working in silos and trying to develop solutions independently, we need to be able to collaborate so that we can test and share what is working and what isn’t. 

Google getting rid of cookies also means that first-party data is becoming more important than ever. Working with a partner that allows you to really capitalize on the data your brand already has and owns will be crucial for success. 

CTV continues to rise, but it still has its challenges

CTV consumption has been on the rise for years, with an accelerated growth due to the pandemic, but there seems to be no sign of slowing down. Buyers and sellers alike are all bought in CTV and OTT as viewership is in the millions in the US alone. However, there are still some challenges within the CTV space including fragmentation and measurement. The industry is going to have to work hard to resolve these but the potential to reach valued audiences through this channel is unmatched. 

The role of the agency is changing 

Agencies have faced some hard times over the recent years. It seems that both the major and independent agencies have had to continuously prove their value to brands who are increasingly looking to in-house their marketing capabilities, resulting in lack of client retention and internal churnover. This seems to have resulted in a restructuring of the agency so that it can more easily evolve and adapt to what their clients need and want. 

The key for agencies is to find vendors and partners that help them to optimize their resources so that they can scale and help their clients reach their business objectives. 

Final Thoughts

Throughout the two days of conversation, it is clear that the loss of third-party cookies seems to be top of mind for everyone in the industry. Ad tech constantly evolves, adapts and reinvents itself, so I have no doubt that this will be any different. While it will be challenging as we enter uncharted territory without existing infrastructure, I am confident we’ll see a shift for the better. 

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