What tracks will see you through 2022?

BBC’s Desert Island Discs is one of my all-time favorite radio shows. Eight tracks, a book, a luxury item, and an imaginary desert island full of sun and sand. To travel anywhere right now feels like a dream, having spent the best part of two years in some kind of isolation, lockdown, or ordering a substantial meal with wine in a pub as the only kind of respite from the madness of the world around us.

As we step into 2022 full of hope, positivity, and veganuary meals, I wonder what it would be like to be stranded on an AdTech Desert Island, and what three (don’t worry I won’t bore you with eight) industry-related tracks I would need to survive?

I know, I know, I’m clutching at straws to make a (m)adech article less dull. But, all I ask is that you entertain me for the next five mins or so. Trust me, there are some absolute tunes throughout (albeit slightly biased towards the UK audiences), so worst case, click on the link and thank me later for today’s soundtrack.

My Three AdTech Desert Island Tracks:

  • “Things Can only Get Better” (sang by the legendary D:Ream)
  • “Nothing compares to first-party data” (sang to the classic by Sinead O’Connor 90’s number one)
  • “[The right person in the] Perfect Moment” (sang along to the UK one-hit wonder by Martine McCutcheon)

Track One: “Things Can only Get Better”

This time last year, another lockdown loomed ahead of us. Another long stretch of zoom drinks and going out for one walk a day within your 5km remit. However, the wonderfully complex world of (m)adtech kept our minds occupied with yet another 12 months of jam-packed news and industry curveballs.

Perhaps the biggest story to fill our industry headlines over the course of 2021 was the continued browser brigade whose common mission to focus on ‘privacy’ saw the introduction of Apple’s restricted use of IDFA, turning iOS mobile targeting and measurement on its head. Yet, in contrast – and perhaps an unexpected move from Google – saw the announcement of the delayed third-party cookie phase-out, in the bid to provide the industry with “more time to prepare” for the post-cookie era.

All in all, 2021 continued to serve the industry notice that old ways of working are simply no longer applicable, and acted as a year of change; change for a more privacy-conscious future centered around the consumer. However, if the latest European Parliament Data Rule-Breaking is anything to go by, it appears some of us are still very much playing ignorance.

But I do believe things will get better. We’re an industry underpinned by pioneers and innovations, which when managed in the right hands, will open up an abundance of opportunities for everyone.

Track Two: “Nothing compares to first-party data”

Privacy has been commonly scouted as the number one focus for marketing in 2022, according to the likes of Forbes and The Drum. And setting off on the road to privacy requires one key course of action: designing data strategies around first-party data. Nothing really compares to it, does it?

But it isn’t as easy as saying to a marketer “from now on, use first-party data only.” Not every brand is the same, and not all marketers have access to first-party data in the masses, nor will they have the infrastructure in place to manage and activate said data.

Marketers are seeking purpose-built technology to stitch together various data points throughout their organization, with the aim to unlock data’s potential and drive a well-oiled marketing machine. The challenge is, there are several technology platforms available to invest in, and it’s no easy feat in understanding which platform works best for you. And, to add further insult to injury, these platforms aren’t the easiest things to implement, nor are they simple enough for us mere regular humans to navigate.

Marketers and publishers need to rethink new products and partnerships to help capture and nurture consented data to target audiences with 100% compliance. Personally, I think some of the creative partnerships in the news are really exciting. Just look at the New York Times acquisition of The Athletic, which injected over one million subscribers into the legacy news publication, but also instilled fresh new ways of thinking, new talent, and a new approach.

Track Three: “[The right person in the] Perfect Moment”

As stated by Martine McCutcheon herself “You take me to places I never dreamed I’d see”, Contextual Targeting 2.0 is opening doors for advertisers outside the realms of personal identifiers. As we head towards a more privacy-focused landscape, contextual targeting is a core viable way to reach the right audience at scale, all thanks to advancements in technology and AI.

Contextual 1.0, which has been kicking around the block since the dawn of programmatic, was designed to complement a cookie narrative. Traditional keyword targeting used primarily for direct response campaigns, combined with a somewhat simplistic approach to placing ads in a contextually relevant environment worked well up until a certain point. But the (m)adtech landscape is a very different playing field to what it was 15, 10 or even 5 years ago.

Contextual 2.0 takes a new, holistic and nuanced approach to reaching consumers in the right place, moment, and time. Next-generation solutions that build contextual targeting initiatives around ‘real people’ modeled from external data sources are so much more powerful than any legacy solution provider. These insights include critical information that enables planners to select audience segments or personas that fit the overall campaign and can be unlocked to serve different and nuanced messaging, tailored to the end consumer.

What’s more, advancements in technology that sit within or wrap around Contextual 2.0 solutions have improved immensely with regards to brand safety and suitability. Advertisers are becoming increasingly aware of the complex world we reside in, and during lockdown’s one, two, and three, we saw various examples where simple keyword blocking mechanisms used across pandemic-related press caused missed opportunities, negative brand association, and loss in revenue. In fact, Coronavirus’ keyword blocking was projected to see £50m ad revenue loss for UK news publishers, according to Newsworks.

We exist in a very complex world, and so advanced solutions have to mold into every shape, color, and space in order to safeguard advertisers for the new marketing age. Check out 4D to find out more ;).

The soundtrack of the future.

Products and services designed for a first-party data, post-cookie era is where I see some of the most exciting innovations for 2022. And it just so happens that Silverbullet sits right in that sweet spot. (Come on, I am allowed to do a sales plug, this is my blog series after all). So, why not explore our brand new website to find out more on everything we offer. 😉

However, I couldn’t leave you all with a three-track playlist consisting of D:Ream, Sinead O’Connor, and Martine McCutcheon. So, let me share some other tracks with you all, to showcase some of the other exciting innovations and trends that will unfold over the next 12 months:

Track Four: “Boom, CTV shakes the room” (sang to the tune of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince)

A track dedicated to the rise of CTV and how it is set to explode in 2022:

“The CTV landscape will continue to mature with more advertisers, more viewers and more robust programmatic offerings and data partnerships.” read more here.

Track Five: “A Thousand Miles” (absolute classic by Vanessa Carlton)

A track dedicated to the long stretch we have to go in order to streamline measurement across the fragmented TV landscape:

“Future of TV Briefing: How TV’s different measurement undertakings fit together.” read more here.

Track Six: “House of the Rising Brands” (sang to the 60s banger House of the Rising Sun, by The Animals)

A track dedicated to the House of Brands model, and how they are shaping the future of niche and nuanced solutions:

“You & Mr Jones changes name to The Brandtech Group” read more here.

Track Seven: “Across the Metaverse” (sang along to the dulcet tones of The Beatles classic)

A track dedicated to the Metaverse: the land of virtual and plenty:

“The year ahead for experiences: prepare to enter the metaverse.” read more here.

Track Eight: “Come Together, Right Now” (sang to the song by The Beatles)

A track dedicated to the 2022 mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, set to change (m)adtech as we know it:

“S4 Capital chalks up (yet another) deal as Media.Monks unveils 4 Mile ‘merger’.” – read here.

What soundtrack to (m)adtech 2022 would be on your desert island discs?

Get in touch to share what is inspiring you today.