Why 2022 is the year to explore open Internet marketing

The past few years have not been easy for digital marketers. To navigate both changes in threatened third-party cookies and new data privacy regulations, affected marketers have increased their spending on social media platforms and other “walled gardens.” This change is due to their perception that these environments will continue to offer them optimized real-time audience targeting at scale.

The problem is, many marketers have the exact same idea, resulting in increased auction density and costs. For the first time, U.S. social media ad spend is expected to surpass the $ 50 billion revenue mark in 2021. This is despite Apple’s lucrative decision to launch its latest application tracking transparency feature in April, which would have cost competing platforms $ 10 billion. returned.

Besides the price increase, marketers also have to rely on the different methodologies of targeting and measuring data from each of the walled gardens, making it difficult to apply and analyze information across all channels. . With this reduced opportunity to optimize and learn from their campaigns, many marketers are desperately looking to the future.

The balance is off

Although advertising through walled gardens has been a popular option for many years, it’s an open secret that many marketers have mixed feelings about them.

The big problem is that the balance is upset. There is a disparity between where people spend their time online and where advertisers focus their money. Today, the open internet – outside of walled gardens – accounts for 66% of the time spent online, but it only attracts 40% of ad spend.

Additionally, the lack of the ability to easily control delivery through each walled garden often leads to overexposure, which not only wastes expense, but more importantly annoys the very prospects that marketers are trying to engage. It’s the result when marketers don’t get anything in terms of usable data from their media investments, they struggle to achieve the effectiveness that programmatic advertising can offer.

Media owners are also increasingly frustrated with the way Internet gatekeepers are using their B2C consumer software to self-prefer their B2B advertising solutions, in order to unfairly secure even greater market share. The same grunts that publishers have about bundling Google’s search rankings with their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will likely follow the launch of Apple’s News + app and Google’s News Showcase.

Clearly, a better balance is needed – an approach that gives everyone more choice, rather than simply centralizing more control in the hands of even fewer players.

From scarcity to freedom of choice

While marketers should always use walled gardens as part of their media mix, engaging leads on the open internet is also essential, especially considering that 73% of online purchases have place on the open Internet..

This is where first party data partnerships come in. Marketers and media owners should come together to enrich their view of their own customers (with the proper permission) and create campaigns based on incremental results. Campaigns based on these foundations can run seamlessly over the open internet and walled gardens, finding the right audience without compromise.

The open Internet also provides a level playing field between traders and media owners. Real-time automated feedback that drives positive results inside walled gardens can more freely move budgets to where the best results are generated on the open Internet. Beating the tide of walled garden competition, those who wish to fund independent publishers will have a relative cornucopia of opportunities to engage and captivate audiences.

Marketers looking for these data partnerships aren’t alone. The industry is running at full speed to find new developments within the open source community. One such example is the Prebid Addressable Media ID project. This project aims not only to help reduce the annoying pop-ups that people increasingly see, but also to provide improved transparency, auditability and accountability associated with access to ad-supported digital experiences.

Large media owners also ask people to provide their email or phone number when signing up. With proper de-identification, this safely replaces the interoperable data that Internet controllers reserve for their own solutions. By relying on consent to use this information, marketers can deliver richer experiences to consumers, which results in not only improved engagement, but also higher holistic audience strategies. with even more measurable business results.

Advertising on the open Internet is not only beneficial for marketers and media owners, but also for end consumers. The greater the funding available to niche publishers, the more choices people have to benefit from the wealth of information and innovation that the open Internet offers. While reallocation of budgets to this channel may be driven by cost savings on the part of marketers – especially in the time frame we are experiencing now – in the long run, it benefits everyone involved.

The next year is likely to be a defining year for the future of the open Internet. For my part, I am optimistic that regulators, media owners, marketers and consumers will have even more choices in the future than today.

Joshua Quran is EVP, data and politics at Criteo.

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