The industry is facing the phase-out of third-party data with solutions that are increasingly robust, precise and effective
There is a memorable sound bite in the 2017 documentary You’re Soaking in It, spoken by a programmatic ad exec: “You won’t really need to be exposed to marketing anymore because you will start trusting computer recommendations. We probably will not have traditional advertising in the future.”
Another ad tech exec in the film assures us, in a nod to a famous century-old statement by retailer John Wanamaker, “We’re gonna show the ads to the people who are ready to hear the message, the people who can be affected by that message, who are then gonna walk into your store and buy something that they would not have bought had they not heard that message. So half the ads won’t be wasted.
So are we there yet? Well, listening to the companies that spoke to us – a cross section of ad techs, exchanges and publishers at the forefront of the rise of the advertising algorithm – it seems we’re getting closer to the latter of those predictions. The first is almost too Orwellian to contemplate, given its implication of seamless surveillance.
Whereas last year the big story was about how the industry is adapting to a future without third-party cookies, this year is about making the tools and processes of adaptation more robust, more precise and therefore more effective. It’s about who is collaborating with whom to go to market with the best solutions, because everyone agrees there will be no silver bullet that replaces third-party data. And it’s about how the supply side is consolidating to enhance scale and performance in response to the demand side’s push for supply path optimization.
Here’s how some of Canada top programmatic players are moving the industry forward.