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As marketers navigate a fast-evolving digital landscape, programmatic advertising remains a steadfast solution. However, in a world where user privacy is paramount, it must evolve to stay relevant. Privacy will continue to be a determining factor in a landscape long dominated by deterministic data. It’s time we shift our perspective away from inertia to innovation. Only then can we discover new ways to reach our audiences and make meaningful connections with them.

Data for Value: A Win-Win for Users and Advertisers

If history has repeatedly taught us something, it’s that value drives data sharing. For instance, iOS 14.5 was one of the biggest pivots for the AdTech industry. Apps suddenly had to strive harder to show value before asking permission to track. Despite the hue and cry, a new realization slowly settled in; privacy changes were not a threat to mobile advertising but rather an avenue to enhance both user and advertiser experiences.

At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and this applies to the Internet as well. Ads are the price we pay for quality content and services. For a user, ‘opting in’ is how one gets more value and relevance in exchange. This realization is both fundamental and profound in how businesses drive value on the open internet.

For app developers and marketers, it’s a matter of proposing and delivering value to the user. IDFA is the balancing hinge for a fair AdTech marketplace. To earn a user’s opt-in, not only would products have to become better, but also advertising must provide stellar messaging – hyper-personalized, eye-catching, and meaningful.

For app publishers, user opt-in is crucial for a different reason; to enable deterministic inventory. This, in turn, drives them to be more responsible and take control over ad quality. But publishers, advertisers, marketers, and AdTech would have to lean on deterministic identification differently than before and only as one element of overall campaign measurement. Media mix models are nothing new for traditional brands and might also become a more integral part of the app publisher advertising ecosystem.

Quality is the New Relevancy: Ad Creative Innovation

For a long time, marketers solely relied on pushing out impressions, sometimes of doubtful quality, to reach users wherever they were. Inevitably, this led to ad fatigue, banner blindness, and the rise of ad blockers, and users started to detest advertising. The iOS 14.5 update was, in a way, a breath of fresh air. It forced a revival of campaign quality. Creative innovation and brand building gained momentum as targeted advertising became increasingly tumultuous.

It called for a shift from relevancy to appeal, from baiting to convincing, from boring to exciting, with user consent at the very cornerstone. While designing ad creatives, the focus must be on creating ads that are memorable for the user rather than solely relying on the identifiers to make ads relevant. Especially in the LAT world, marketers must let go of the ‘user behavioral data’ crutch and instead step up their ad creative game.

In a deterministic Android world, algorithms can still optimize and drive relevant creative messaging based on user behavior. For LAT users, this ‘relevance’ needs to come from contextual data in the future, which means better supply analytics.

Scaling Success with Supply Analytics

In the world of advertising, irrelevancy is a formidable foe. It’s like throwing words and visuals into a void and hoping they stick to anything. One way to keep reaching relevant users despite the privacy changes is through supply analytics. It’s a probabilistic way to enhance the relevancy of ad delivery. Supply analytics analyzes billions of data points every day to interpret contextual signals and predict which inventory is likely to perform well for certain audiences. By doing this, advertisers can make informed decisions about where and how to place their ads to reach their target audience effectively.

More importantly, supply analytics is an integral part of fraud prevention. While programmatic media buying via RTB provides high transparency, it is important to deploy real-time checks and safeguard advertiser budgets in the first place.

The world of supply analytics is constantly evolving, and algorithms have always tried to assess the quality of inventory and predict the CTR and CVR. However, the reduction of timely available data points via SKAN to measure conversions on iOS devices has made the work of marketers more challenging.

However, by analyzing opt-in users and extrapolating insights from their performance, you can gain valuable guidance on where to invest your efforts. In addition, leveraging tools like creative A/B testing and impact measurement can dramatically increase campaign guidance and success.

In-house Data Capabilities to Win in an ID-less World

In a world that’s going ID-less, relying solely on traditional identifiers will leave you behind. As IDFAs fade into obscurity, businesses need to invest in robust, in-house data capabilities. It’s no longer just a smart move but an absolute necessity to unlock the full potential of data-driven innovation. With the right tools and expertise, businesses can tap into powerful insights that will help them create more personalized and meaningful user experiences.

The key to building a rich pool of first-party data? Designing multiple touchpoints that encourage users to share data while establishing a mutual value exchange. Think rewards, loyalty programs, and solution-oriented content that adds value to the user experience. This is the way forward to build trust and foster a positive relationship with your customers.

But before you dive in, evaluate your current dependencies on IDFAs and their impact on business outcomes. This will help you decide how much to invest in your first-party data strategy. Ultimately, investing in in-house data is a strategic imperative. This will help businesses become more self-sufficient and less reliant on third-party data.

Closing Remarks

Privacy-first will be the eventual new world order. It’s inevitable. But advertising will continue to thrive. While disruptive, this is a natural progression of technology and an opportunity to reinvent the wheel.

Leaders are already innovating to stay ahead of the curve. What we must remember is that consent is the key to successful advertising. Without it, there can be no targeted ads. Advertisers must embrace user privacy and make it a core practice in their business strategies. Meanwhile, both advertisers and AdTech platforms will have to work closely together to innovate and keep programmatic advertising effective.

The blog was originally published on Agency Reporter. 

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Nikita Shrivastava

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