Gone are the days of third-party audiences being the heart of a media strategy. Every DSP and media platform will tell you not to fear the disappearance of the cookie. That’s because they know the truth—that we have only gone from a cookie jar to an individually packaged cookie sleeve.
Every platform has rolled out their own solution to the disappearance of the cookie, with a focus on ‘people-based’ advertising and identity resolution within their own tech stacks. But the problem is those tech stacks don’t talk to each other, and cross-platform tracking of mobile IDs or cookies is no longer a solution. Unless you’re running all your media with one platform, the erosion of the cookie is still a disadvantage in tracking a holistic marketing plan.
It’s time to scale back reliance on audience data that is not your brand’s first-party data. At Arm Candy, we recommend leveraging your own first-party data segmentation in collaboration with additional strategies to meet your audience where they are browning, and how they are engaging.
Contextual Placements Are Back In Style
I mean, they never went away, but the actual placement of ads will become increasingly more important. Basic demographic information can be challenging to find across major platforms (Google allows for limited demographic data), and third-party audiences accessible in DSPs often come with a caveat of unknown collection and refresh rate.
Channels like Connected TV should be considered more effective with contextual placement strategies in premium content than the open exchange — especially now that more premium publishers like Prime Video and Netflix are rolling out ad-supported subscriptions.
With over 115M projected viewers and what are suspected to be affordable CPMs, Prime Video should be at the top of your test opportunity list.
PMPs Are More Important Than Ever Before
The best way to ensure your campaign is getting the attention it needs is to run it yourself. Or you can run with a trusted partner who is in platform implementing optimizations every single day — like Arm Candy.
PMPs (private marketplace buys) can provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to execute your media with a team you trust in the DSP of your choice, while also gaining a sizable impression share on the publishers where your customer is spending time.
Many different publishers offer PMPs, from premium streaming video providers to subscription news publishers. PMP rates are often higher than the open exchange, but can be much more effective and offer contextual placements at scale. At Arm Candy, we work directly with vendors to refine audiences and placements, custom-tailoring PMPs to align more closely with our brands’ needs, rather than deploying off-the-shelf solutions.
Creative has Always Been King, But Now It Must Reign.
Creative has always been the yin to the media strategy’s yang. One can’t succeed if the other isn’t performing. While this isn’t new, it’s becoming more relevant as trends in consumers’ interaction with ads change.
While not technically a creative message and maybe more of a placement, any e-commerce brand should be taking advantage of in-app shopping. Direct in-app purchase behaviors are rising, with an increase of almost 10M actual social buyers on TikTok alone between 2022 and 2023. Testing catalog and in-app shopping experience across all social platform is a must as your brand’s test budgets expand.
Trends in retail patterns are predicting a shift in strategy, with less focus on e-commerce and more of a focus on getting consumers in-store. With the difficulties in competition against retail giants like Amazon and Walmart, brands are finding ways to trigger the in-store experience with great awareness messaging that will ultimately drive brick-and-mortar sales. Of course, the in-store sales won’t be directly attributed to the media, so access to company business data will be crucial to gauge success. This shift in impactful awareness messaging to drive creative can also be a blend of contextual environments. Native ads are available in many DSPs on the open exchange, but there is less control over the premium nature of that content. By working directly with publishers, you can execute incredible contextual placements through a PMP that elevates the creative in a way consumers are more attuned to notice.