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RampUp 2020: Debating the Future

By Chris Hemick on March 9, 2020

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Chris Hemick

Director, Product Marketing & Content

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LiveRamp’s RampUp 2020 pushed forward amidst challenges facing the global community. Like prior years, it was two days filled with quality content and energetic conversations. Perhaps the most entertaining thing to observe were handshake alternatives - elbow bumps, foot taps, air hugs - and the brief awkwardness while assessing what the preferred greeting would be. While we all had fun with the new trend, it served as a subtle reminder that this was a year shrouded in uncertainty, and not just for our collective health. The marketing industry is in a state of flux and people are seeking answers to how they can not only continue to innovate, but maintain. Yet, through all of this, there was a palpable sense of excitement to innovate in the face of challenges like evolving regulations, tech and consumer expectations.

Here are some key themes and takeaways from our 3 days in San Francisco.

Maintaining addressability and measurement without cookies

Even though the deprecation of the 3rd party cookie is set to take place by 2022, some industry leaders believe we are looking at a 5+ year timeline on the re-architecture of the digital marketing industry. Sessions focused on addressability and measurement were standing room only, indicating many are unsure about the path forward for their people-based marketing strategies. Without definitive answers, most speculated about what might emerge as the new currency, touching on mobile ad IDs, hashed email, phone numbers, or IP. However, each of those inherently have their own potential issues and the industry will need to develop a solution that treats them as dependent components. Solutions with any single one as the backbone will likely land in the same position as the cookie.

ATV/OTT is Top of Mind for Many

More marketers are exploring addressable TV as key challenges are being resolved – what has been a slow, manual process of calls, emails, and meetings, is becoming more scalable and automated. One of the most exciting developments is improved ability to bring together 1st and 3rd party data assets in the planning stages. As an early data provider in the ATV space, Alliant knows the frustration our clients have faced with understanding audience counts across data sets and distributions. This improved capability will allow for more advanced segmentation and targeting. 

Upholding Compliance in a Changing Regulatory Landscape

With CCPA enforcement a few short months away and other potential state or federal regulations coming into view, planning data strategies is particularly complicated. Brands and agencies are re-evaluating their partnerships and how they leverage outside data. Acronyms like FLA, FHA, ECOA and SOCII are bubbling up in more and more conversations. While challenging, this scrutiny is pushing the industry forward. Consumers will have more privacy, brands will be confident in the data they are leveraging and ethical data companies will be able to separate from the crowd.

To reiterate some of Alliant’s post-cookie prep recommendations, now is the time for marketers to take ownership of how they use consumer data. Communication focused on customer education and the value exchange of data will be critical.

Preparing for Change

To adapt to the industries’ new reality, businesses will have to extensively evolve their people, processes and technology. Without full team support, any newly developed tech or solutions will not be successful. Leaders of change should be sure to over-communicate to every single person about what is changing and why. By pushing through change, you will be disrupting other groups in ways that may not be evident at first. Have tough conversations and educate early. Share incremental wins along the way and reinforce the standards until they become the “new normal.”

The Alliant team has returned home feeling invigorated with the possibilities laid out in front of us. Even though the exact design of the future is unclear, we know that marketing will be there along with data. We look forward to working together with our partners, such as LiveRamp, to use data, technology and creative to deliver impactful marketing that connects with consumers. Share any of your own post-RampUp thoughts below or contact us for more information.

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