You Don’t Know What Will Happen With Your Targeting but You Can Act on Your Creative Now

With the old ways of targeting online about to disappear, marketers need to look at what they can do to control performance in other places. We say, the first place to start is creative.

There’s only one thing to talk (or hear) about now and it is targeting. iOS 14 is doing what the Great Hack couldn’t and has stripped Facebook of somewhere between eight and nine out of 10 of its audience viewability on its products, and Chrome is about to kill the cookie. This time next year we will be doing something different, and nobody knows what yet.

Targeting cold turkey

It has shown again that digital marketing has long leaned on targeting as a single crutch for something that has many other moving parts, and that over-reliance means that these developments come as a shocking cold turkey for everybody.

But despite all the ink being spilled, there’s not much actually known about what comes next - how well it will work, what competing solution to go for, and the consequences of the internet fragmenting into competing mega ecosystems. What is certain is that all the neglected components of your campaigns can still be addressed right now.

Media quality is an opportunity

There’s still an opportunity for most advertisers to improve their media quality. Either through pushing up viewability standards, or properly investigating anti-fraud auditing beyond the off-the-shelf solutions, especially for mobile advertisers who really need to own their own data and keep the platforms, now rolling out their post-cookie answers, honest about the metrics they send today. And how much value is that incentivised in-app game ad, even if it is targeted to the right audience?

For digital the huge untapped opportunity has long been and remains creative; before we even talk about how much thought goes into the creative itself, it is time to retire the typical display ad we see and ignore every day - as an experiment right now take your phone and load up your nation’s top publication - and count the seconds for even that static banner to load. And when it does finally load what do you see? Is it blurry? Are the logos or even perhaps the text illegible? Even a small shift of prioritisation towards the ads we deliver will improve results a lot quicker than trying to replace what’s lost with cookies.

Streaming creative

Since the first banner ad was delivered 20 years ago there’s been scant innovation in how we deliver our ads, which are still downloaded when most media has moved on to streaming, or efforts to improve how we actually use the space available. That general poor user experience hasn’t helped the negative public opinion around the fundamentals of what funds the free and open internet.

The good news is that these are all issues that are readily addressable today - there are solutions to ensure every single impression delivered results in an ad view, to maximise the quality of your creative, and to produce enough meaningful variations that you can get back to testing what audiences respond to.

We shouldn’t go as far as to say that creative testing can replace good audience targeting... these changes will usher in a much more important era for having good media planners and traders, but these are essential foundation blocks of marketing that can’t be ignored in digital any longer.

You don’t watch your movies on a rented video anymore because we have a technological advancement that delivers a better-quality video instantly, streaming. It’s time to ensure that every ad delivered is delivered at the same quality, at the same immediacy as what we as customers expect from all the media tools, we use in our day-to-day lives.

Tom Jones-Barlow General Manager, APAC

Jun 16, 2021