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Martje, CRO of RevX, alongside Thomas W. from Foodpanda, Jayan Dy from SM Retail, Sharon Gai from Alibaba Group and Mike Ghasemi from Mike Ghasemi Research Pte Ltd, discussed how to best build your programmatic advertising strategy, reach audiences and optimize ad spend in today’s privacy era.

Here’s the session recording.


Programmatic is hyper-relevant for eCommerce businesses.

Programmatic is an ever-changing ecosystem where all is about automation and using a data-driven approach, especially when it comes to its auction model.

Due to this dynamic nature of programmatic where we have new types of inventory, new creative formats into place, new specialized marketplaces being born, it becomes essential to stay up-to-date. And when it comes to campaign measurement, incrementality and transparency are crucial fundaments. This makes programmatic an important channel for Retail apps’ growth.

Personalization matters, and opt-in becomes relevant.

In this non-ID era, personalized messaging still matters but becomes harder to achieve. Users are still seeking that relevancy so what can advertisers do to meet those expectations? Opt-in is one of the solutions.

In Martje’s words,

“I have to say that, since I’m getting the ATT pop-up from Apple, I think I’ve been opting in 100%. That’s because I don’t want to see irrelevant ads. I actually want to see what’s going on in the relevant ad space. And the funny thing is, previously I’d been opted out for a while. So now I’ve become an opt-in user.”

Users appreciate the relevancy of content and having a personalized ad experience. Since ads are here to stay and because businesses depend on them, we might see opt-in rates increase in the next few months.

The power of creative storytelling in advertising.

How can eCommerce advertisers reach out to their target audiences and deliver a personalized message to them? The answer lies in creative storytelling.

By using creative storytelling to bring more relevancy to ads results, advertisers are ultimately driving conversions, driving sales.

If advertisers consider targeting the higher level of the mobile retail funnel, they have to think about engagement and branding, which entails driving a story to engage users.

Ads are growing on this trend and have to become much better than they were before. Advertisers are moving away from trying to drive as many impressions as possible and paying more heed to the quality of users they reach. More and more, app marketers are leaning towards figuring out which campaigns are engaging, what is working, and how they can present their ad in a more entertaining fashion. So, even if they don’t get immediate conversions, they’re assured that optimized creative campaigns have a significant branding effect in the short term.

As mentioned by Martje,

“And I think Retail can take a lot of learnings from other verticals that do not have a shopping funnel. Think about gaming or other verticals with a shorter funnel, where we cannot drive [conversions] in the same way with dynamic ads as we can in Retail. They also depend much more on static or animated creatives that cannot be built from a product feed. [Instead, when it comes to their ads, these verticals] have to refresh [their creatives], have to bring in the story, have to bring in some emotions, have to make people bond with the brand. 

This requires much better work on the creatives. So, [we’re] back to the old times, where there were creative directors launching really great campaigns. And now, combining this with the daily work of churning out lots of campaigns, which need lots of creative sets.”

The solution to the lack of user identifiers.

The problem with trying to use parallel identifiers is always adoption at scale. So if there’s no adoption at scale, marketing campaigns cannot grow based on those identifiers.

“In light of the IDFA “opt-in, opt-out” mechanism that Apple has introduced, the situation doesn’t constitute a duplication. It’s just a new switch where I [as an app user] have to decide “do I go left or right today?”, and later on, I can change it. 

We’ve seen the ATT prompt becoming much more customizable. That’s really great for the advertiser, who can explain why the user needs the identifier, and [let] people then decide: “Okay, do I want to give that consent?”. 

So if you think about app technology, if the device ID is not there, it will be very hard to use any type of more personalized data because fingerprinting is not permitted. And we are basically relying on supply-side data.

In a nutshell, working with identifiers with a limited scale is not feasible. We need to think in terms of gaining scale again across advertising inventory. And, the best way to get that scale is to make more publisher information available for targeting. The most scalable approach would be to try to get the relevancy back based on publisher data and make it session based.”

Do you wish to discuss these topics in more detail with an expert?

We’re available to consult you on a programmatic strategy for your app and help with reach your audiences and optimizing your ad spend.
If you want to discuss any of these topics 1-1, feel free to reach out and book a call with us.


Marta Gaspar

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