The future's bright, the future's addressable

March 2021

We are facing unprecedented change in our industry.

Firstly, Covid-19 has created the largest ever mass change in human behaviour, at a time when the exponential growth of technology was already changing the way brands do business. It has increased the gap between digital laggards and leaders with those who are high performers extracting real value from technology investments, moving to accelerated levels of digital transformation.

Secondly, we face the impending shift to a ‘cookie-less world’ following the news this year that Google Chrome will be phasing out third party cookies by 2022. This move is widely understood to have a significant impact on digital marketing, since nearly all Adtech and Martech platforms use cookies for targeting, retargeting, display advertising and behavioural marketing in general. Cookies form the foundation of measurement and attribution and have been instrumental in the matching data sets and technology systems.

These two situations pose us with a challenge. How do brands reach and speak to existing customers and prospects in a targeted manner whilst maintaining knowledge about a person’s interactions with a brand?

At m/SIX we have always held being audience centric and data first as a deep philosophy. This is embedded in our thinking and is at the core of how we approach strategy and activation.

We have welcomed the environmental changes as a means to focus on pure addressability and hyper-personalisation. This means truly minimising waste, controlling frequency, being more relevant and more meaningful in our reach and engagements. We believe in the new world that still starts with data.

The difference will be in the quality and requirement for brands to adopt a ‘first party first’ data mindset.

Customer databases and authenticated relationships will become increasingly important, ensuring that future-proofed consent mechanisms are in place. Brands will also need a comprehensive customer data strategy and platform whereby connected technology infrastructure will allow for the collection of universal customer IDs. Finding ways to build this data bank over time, especially in industries where personally identifiable information isn’t readily available will be crucial. Being able to then utilise this data, whether that be through direct customer communications or in media itself as targetable segments and as seeds for lookalike modelling will provide a much more addressable approach, of high quality and relevance. ‘Clean Rooms’ and ‘Bunkers’ will become common language as we move closer to a world where brands and publishers will have a private data share, using privacy enabled ‘rooms’ as building blocks to reach the intended audiences.

When it comes to attribution and measurement, we need to think about this on the level of identity and therefore, a connected Adtech infrastructure is crucial to understanding customer journeys as well as putting in place tracking across all touchpoints and being able to see the impact in real-time. Analytics and attribution will become quicker, more robust and machine driven.

It’s an exciting time and a step change for us all. We look forward to embracing the future together.

The future is addressable…