Allison Schiff, managing editor, AdExchanger, doesn’t hold back her feelings about all the acronyms, jargon, and mushy words that permeate online advertising. She asks the tough questions like, “How does that actually work? How are you doing what you do?” She then warns against having a “shiny object syndrome,” and isn’t afraid to call out the “BS peddling that’s going on all this hype” around the Metaverse.
On the latest episode of Customer Data Perspectives, Allison does a great job jargon-busting terms like fingerprinting and cookieless, sharing the essentials around key platforms including OTT and CTV, and then demystifying technical terms like SKAdNetwork, and Gnatcatcher. All kidding aside, and looking beyond the buzzwords, Allison and I covered many important areas for marketers and digital advertising in the episode. Here are three key insights.
1. Don’t Get Whacked by a Recession; Reevaluate Your Strategy and Tech Stack
“People see marketing as a cost center rather than a revenue generator, which is short-term thinking,” says Allison. “Any uncertainty around a recession often comes with the fear of marketing budgets getting whacked.”
Allison suggests the following advice for marketers if a recession fully materializes. “I think about a recession or a time of uncertainty is that marketers will start to reevaluate their partners to try trim fat and be as efficient as possible. They might look at their technology stack and decide it’s time to shake things up a little bit, in the name of efficiency.”
Getting efficient with technology is one tactic, and another is using a recession to go on the offensive. “It’s an opportunity to grab market share while everyone is getting more conservative with their spending,” says Allison. “The inclination is to pull back. But if you spend strategically, you could attract people to your brand with messaging that speaks to the current climate.”
During a recession, marketers should seek force multipliers – jargon for investments with multiple reinforcing business impacts. Good examples are customer data use cases that drive efficiencies, cultivate strategic customer segments, and improve data quality.
2. Online Identity is Hard; Align Implementations with Business Objectives
When there’s too much jargon, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds chasing technological solutions. One primary example Allison and I discussed is the reality marketers face when trying to track online identity.
“Fingerprinting is not a transparent process, and Apple is not the only company making moves to curb it,” Allison says. She continues, “Today, a lot of your users are already not third-party cookieable,” because they are on Safari, Firefox, or blocking third-party cookies on Chrome. Marketers should be preparing for a cookieless world when Chrome blocks third-party cookies by default.
Regulations are also growing as more U.S. states, including Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia, are enacting data privacy laws. And while these laws have similarities to GDPR and CCPA regulations, there are some differences, and Allison highlights one important example during the podcast.
The bottom line is that customer identity resolution across SaaS, marketing, and customer engagement platforms is never easy, and it’s one reason to use a customer data platform (CDP) to centralize data.
Allison expresses the marketer’s perception of CDPs. “They are trying to be good stewards of data, and also want to do all of the cool things you can do with a CDP,” she says. “But they realize you need to understand what you have in your data stores and get a really good sense of identity before you can do those things.”
Those “cool things” for marketers using CDPs include customizing segments, automating activations, and centralizing attribution data. In other words, lowering the friction to developing the analytics and insights that drive personalization and ongoing experimentation.
3. The Metaverse is coming. FOMO, or experiment?
The first generation of experimentation around a new media tends to be a reapplication of the older media’s business models, content, and experiences. Web mimicked print until technology advances enabled more immersive experiences. Mobile experiences followed a similar trend, and we’re starting to see more interactive CTV experiences.
The Metaverse is likely the next medium that will go through technology, content, and business model evolutions. Allison’s perspective, “You might want to be present in the Metaverse, but definitely premature to monetize it in a way like other media environments are monetized.”
New technologies bring business opportunities, but the constants are creating delightful customer experiences, reviewing the analytics, and fueling the next marketing experiments. Stay true to basic principles, and you might not need the “BS detector and truth serum” that Allison uses to bust the jargon to figure out what’s real. Tune in to the podcast episode for all the details.