Issue No. 3, September 2020
We’ve all spent the last several months navigating seemingly insurmountable challenges, experiencing constant change, and adapting over and over again. Now, as we enter the final quarter of 2020, businesses are gearing up for one more push to end the year as strong as possible.
There’s a lot ahead in the next few months. The 2020 US presidential election is a little over a month away. Digital ad campaigns have been more important than ever to help reach target voter audiences while in-person events are on pause.
Retailers are days away from launching their holiday shopping campaigns, giving the season an earlier start than usual. These campaigns will be paramount for advertisers as they look to drive revenue during an uncertain holiday season.
Media owners and publishers have the data available that will give advertisers a very important competitive edge in understanding their audiences and efficiently allocating budgets.
In this issue, we’re discussing how to activate data efforts for political, holiday, and other end-of-year campaigns. Of course, data regulations keep evolving, so these efforts must be executed in a privacy-centric way.
These strategies will help you attract new buyers, grow repeat budgets, and capture the full value of each impression all while adhering to privacy standards so that you can make the most of your Q4.
VP, Strategic Partnerships
This holiday season will look quite different than recent years thanks to the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Retailers including Target, Best Buy, and Kohl’s plan to start holiday campaigns as early as October. When you consider that the 2020 back-to-school shopping season is expected to be bigger and last longer than previous years, the fall of 2020 is shaping up to be filled with non-stop shopping campaigns. Retailers are hoping that an extended season will help boost sales while preventing large in-store shopping crowds and easing the already-high pressure on the USPS and other delivery firms.
We’ve seen OTT and CTV viewership skyrocket as consumers spend more time at home, and advertisers will be looking to shift budgets here in addition to online video. We can expect an increase in categories like comfortable clothing, kids’ toys, electronics for both remote learning and entertainment, and other household essentials as they relate to consumers’ socially distant lifestyles.
Media owners and publishers can implement a variety of strategies to capture a larger share of 2020 campaign budgets, such as creating unique inventory packages, providing rich reporting and targeting, and leveraging audience data. Here’s how to get started.
Create unique inventory packages:
Consider creating unique inventory packages that help advertisers optimize their reach across various genres or specific categories. For example, as live sporting events remain in flux, buyers are looking to supplement their ad plans with other programming that offers the same lean-in experience as sports, and other content with similar demographics (i.e. male-skewing content).
Provide rich targeting and reporting:
We’ve heard from media owners and buyers alike that providing more insights about the content ads will play within highlights the value and relevance of inventory and generates increased demand. Media owners are utilizing key value pairs to allow targeting and post-campaign reporting on specific programs, episodes, genres, and live vs. on-demand environments.
Leverage audience data:
Consumers around the globe have altered their behavior during the pandemic, which has been reflected in the redistribution of ad category spend. These trends will continue through the holiday season. With the SpotX Audience Management Engine (AME) and SpotX’s many data management platform (DMP) integrations, you can target campaigns using first- or third-party audience data segments directly from the SpotX platform. Applying these audience segments enables you to boost performance of advertisers’ KPIs, increasing CPMs for programmatic campaigns.
Build stronger 1:1 relationships:
The decline of cookies will push advertisers to form closer relationships with publishers. Establishing trust between both parties to understand how data is collected, stored, and used is key to building a lasting relationship. Requiring authentication or logged-in users provides data that can create a valuable, differentiated asset that helps to gain advertising dollars. You can also partner with advertisers to help them understand and implement broader targeting or contextual targeting.
Apple announced it has killed its identifier for advertisers (IDFA), leading to major changes for ad-supported mobile publishing. To learn what this means for publishers, we asked Eric Shiffman, Director of Product Marketing at SpotX, to share more.
What is Apple’s latest IDFA announcement and what is changing?
Soon after the release of iOS 14, the IDFA will be disabled by default. Users must actively opt-in to share it with each app through the AppTrackingTransparency framework. Here’s an example of the opt-in message a user might receive in iOS 14:
Director of Product Marketing at SpotX
Apple’s language isn’t likely to inspire many to allow tracking, though publishers will be able to customize the second explanatory sentence, represented in the screenshot as “your data will be used to deliver personalized ads to you.” The opt-in is app-specific, not device-wide, so each publisher will have a chance to communicate with their user.
If publishers can achieve even a small increase in opt-ins, that could help increase revenue. Initial expectations of opt-in rates are quite low, in the 10-20% range.
When will this take effect?
iOS 14 is expected to be released this fall. However, Apple announced at the start of September that it will delay implementation of this opt-in requirement until early 2021 to give developers more time to make necessary changes.
What does a lack of IDFA mean for publishers?
The IDFA is used for ad measurement, attribution, and fraud prevention, and without it, the mobile ad ecosystem will be disrupted — the impact of which extends beyond just publishers. DMPs use IDFA to build their identity graphs for audience targeting, and DSPs use it to determine the value of an ad opportunity. It is also used for operational tracking and user experience improvements like frequency capping.
Removing the IDFA makes all parties in the ad transaction blind to the device on a given ad request and makes all of these activities impossible in their current form.
Apple has considered the attribution needs of mobile publishers and app developers, and made it possible for ad networks to get anonymous, privacy-friendly attribution information for activities like app installs through its SKAdNetwork.
What should publishers do now?
These are the three actions we recommend you take now:
The 2020 election cycle is already unlike any this country has seen, especially given the effects of COVID-19 and broad shifts in media consumption habits. Media owners can unlock more value from their inventory by helping buyers target specific voter segments across all screens and streams.
SpotX has a complete taxonomy of data segments spanning all parties and issues available through our partnerships with best-in-class data providers. Examples include:
AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS
Holiday campaigns will start earlier this year and weigh heavier in importance than ever before. Following are audience segments from a selection of our leading DMPs that we recommend utilizing to help improve ad revenue during the upcoming holiday season.
Bringing 2020 into Focus
To gain 20/20 vision in this year marked by change, there is an urgent need to review our sightlines and adjust our focus.
Join SpotX for a four-day virtual experience from October 5-8.
We’ll be sharing concise daily talks to help you gain clarity on the future of advertising and the steps you can take right now to attain your objectives.