It’s only August, but it seems already to have been a long summer in advertising. To judge from Kogenta’s travels around the industry, in customer meetings and at conferences, three topics are dominating the 2023 headlines – with another coming up fast on the rails. What are we hearing? In no particular order:
The death of third party cookies
The former keystone of digital advertising, third party cookies face their long-anticipated final curtain in 2024, as, driven by consumer sensitivities and a tightening regulatory landscape, Google will finally deliver the coup de grace to ad-tracking and other non-consensual use of personal information. The need for new and effective ways to target prospects and markets is now compelling.
Advertisers, marketers, and tech companies are scrambling to adapt to this new reality, seeking innovative ways to effectively target prospects and markets. Businesses and agencies are investing in approaches that incorporate user consent and respect data privacy, shifting the point of focus from the individual to ‘the cohort’ and recognising the vital importance of geographic context in identifying markets.
Changes in the economic headwinds
And what they are blowing, for good or ill, towards the advertising business. Fear of inflation and recession is everywhere, and interest rates have risen to meet it. We face uncertain and contradictory economic times, and this is already having a significant impact on advertising spend and decision-making, as businesses hold back on any spend or change that feels discretionary. Add ongoing geo-political uncertainty to this, and the struggles of worldwide economies adapting to post-Covid consumer attitudes and behaviours, and there can rarely have been more uncertain times for business investment. We foresee expenditure in the short to medium term being targeted on ‘must-haves’ for which there is a compelling or unavoidable business case – such as cookie replacement strategies.
Sustainability and ‘responsible growth’
What part can advertising play in getting more from less and minimising our impact on the planet? As the world grapples with undeniable climate change, the advertising industry is reflecting on its own impact and the role it can play in promoting responsible growth and minimising the environmental footprint that it leaves.
Digital communication, though not zero-consumption, is already reducing the physical impact of marketing. Further change is possible, however, through the use of innovative datasets (such as Kogenta KCI’s) which provide a more granular and nuanced understanding of target audience locations. Smarter use of data will increase efficiency by ensuring that the most relevant content reaches the right audience, minimising advertising waste and unnecessary resource consumption. And of course, marketing and advertising can be used to promote reuse too – helping businesses to focus not just on ‘selling more’ but on ‘selling better’ too.
Three macro changes in the business and economic landscape within which advertising and marketing must operate. And swirling around all of this is the sudden and dramatic rise of AI, the impact of which we can barely yet assess, but which could quickly dwarf every other issue on this list. Are we about to see not just auto-targeting of markets and customers, but routine auto-generation of messaging and content too? AI is already proving to be an invaluable tool for analysts and creatives alike. How far we can take it remains to be seen, but the journey promises to be interesting!