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How to GET Future-Fit 💪 for Ad Effectiveness and Stay That Way

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By Patrick Roman Gut | SVP, Head of Advertiser / Agency Sales, NCSolutions

Tips to Protect Your Advertising in a Cookieless World

The industry, including brands and publishers, is actively workshopping strategies that can be implemented today to help future-proof advertising when Google deprecates third-party cookies in its Chrome browser in 2023. At NCS we call this getting Future-Fit.

Already this year Apple changed its IDFA tracking policy with its iOS 14.5 update, which requires users to opt into tracking at the app level. It is estimated that only one-third of iOS users have opted into tracking, leaving the remaining two-thirds untargetable—and unmeasurable—by advertisers. Marketers have responded by investing more dollars in Android inventory at the expense of Apple’s iOS inventory.

It is predicted that in 2023, targeting buyers and measuring sales from advertising on Chrome inventory will be negatively impacted for advertisers who are not prepared.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of marketers agree that return on advertising spend (ROAS) is the most important media key performance indicator, according to a new study by the ANA. But with pending and enacted privacy changes by Google and Apple, maximizing return on ad spend could be tricky for CPG brands in the future. So as the advertising industry is fully embracing addressability, it presents a great opportunity for prepared players who are Future-Fit.

How can you prepare today for the future of advertising effectiveness? Here are some best practices I’d like to share with you on how to have a future-fit mindset, which we have been sharing at our client Future-Fit workshops. Think of them as tools to pump up your advertising resilience—to train for the not-so-distant day when Google deprecates third-party cookies and Apple makes its next iOS update—so you can hit the ground running, ahead of the pack. 

A FUTURE-FIT MINDSET TAKES THREE BROAD STEPS

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1. THE RIGHT DATA FOR YOU


An emerging industry KPI is data source quality, according to eMarketer. This makes sense when you consider that marketers cite poor data quality as a primary barrier to revenue attribution. The right data should be high quality, and have utility and accuracy. Invest in third-party datasets that are addressable, not reliant on cookies or mobile advertising IDs (MAIDs). 

The most precise third-party data is highly deterministic, meaning impressions are tied to an individual or household, anonymously; this means it is privacy-safe. 

Also, purchase-based data sets are predictors of future buying and representative of the most current shopping patterns and media habits. Ensure that your data has utility by helping you to solve multiple marketing challenges such as new customer acquisition or increasing brand loyalty.

NCS data is not reliant on cookies or MAIDS. Recently, NCS boosted its data set to reflect behavior or changes brought on by the pandemic, and to mitigate an anticipated drop in data from cookie and IDFA loss.

2. THE RIGHT PARTNERS


U.S. CPG companies are expected to increase their digital ad spend by 16% in 2021 to $22.58B, according to eMarketer. In order to make a good return on those investments they will need partners who can help them reach their audiences across multiple channels and measure those outcomes in an addressable world. 

Publishers who can demonstrate their platforms can create sales, or firms who can measure sales outcomes, should be in high demand. Emarketer reports that 44% of marketers believe that measuring sales lift will be more important in a cookieless world over other options like ad effectiveness research and media mix modeling.

NCS Types of Ad Measurements and/or Research that will become important in a Cookieless World Chart

As you think about which activation partners to work within the marketplace, consider those who can help you to scale addressability across multiple inventory sources like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iOS, Android, and connected TV.

Lastly, be wary of investments in companies who solely rely on MAIDs or cookies, as they may have challenges helping you to target audiences and measure outcomes.

NCS is already integrated with several future-fit onboarders and matching agents.

3. A TEST-AND-LEARN APPROACH

We recommend testing different addressable tactics and technologies, measuring the results, and ultimately discovering what works best for your brand. 

In addition to Google and Facebook, there are also several emerging authenticated ID vendors in the marketplace who can help scale addressability across channels, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all. There will be differences between the vendors and it is important to see what works best for your brand.

We advocate a three-step approach for testing addressability partners:

  1. Determine the reach of households for ID vendors and compare against the reach of cookies, devices, and your current methods.
  2. Determine CPM bidding and reach implications of each solution.
  3. Run sales lift studies to see which methods created the most incremental sales.  

NCS can help you take a test-and-learn-approach to understand the performance of your media with the various players. 

 

HELPING MARKETERS TO STAY 💪 FUTURE-FIT 💪

As the industry moves to addressable standards over the next couple of years, there will be some bumps in the road. But for CPG brands who are prepared, targeting and measurement will be more precise and even more effective. Make sure you use the right data, find collaborative partners and test different approaches that yield the best results for your brand. Please feel free to use our Future-Fit checklist to help you decide on who the best partners are going to be for you.

CHECK IF YOUR PARTNERS ARE FUTURE-FIT

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