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Golden Age of Contextual Ads and Compliance Crackdowns – Programmatic Predictions 2020

From Woolworths, IAG and Koala to Mindshare, Finecast, PwC, IAB, Amobee, IAS and Xandr, we asked senior adland professionals who are speaking at the Programmatic Summit, as well as members of the Programmatic Summit Advisory Board, to share what they think will make waves next year.

Looking ahead to 2020 there’s no doubt that cookie-based targeting and retargeting will be significantly challenged.

This raises questions about new targeting tactics and in particular, the rise of more contextual advertising – as well as questions around how a post-cookie world will impact the programmatic industry.

Other hot topics include the potentially restrictive Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) industry regulations, as part of the independent authority’s Digital Platform’s Inquiry, and how this will impact ad tech.

There’s also an overall increasing pressure on data; the rise of programmatic in digital out of home and the introduction of a new Total TV reporting standard, Virtual Australia (VOZ), which some argue could even deliver another walled garden.

To find out what the top programmatic predictions for 2020 are, we asked senior adland professionals who are speaking at next year’s Programmatic Summit, as well as members of the Programmatic Summit Advisory Board, to share what they think will make waves next year.

Chris Levings, Head of Digital Media at WooliesX says:
Creative execution and contextual relevance will become increasingly important as brands continue to invest in their customer-centric marketing approaches.

Janet Ranola, Paid Media Manager Search & Programmatic at Koala says:
For next year, I’m expecting that privacy regulations will continue to drive significant changes within ad tech (with the advent of GDPR, CCPA and the initiatives being done here by ACCC) and will lead to the rise of tools that will ensure brands/advertisers like us to comply with these regulations and ensure that we maintain compliance.

Liam Walsh, MD at Amobee says:
With the proposed broadcaster alliance from 2020, it’s possible there will be another digital walled garden in Australia. Alongside the global digital walled gardens, if BVOD becomes a walled garden, advertisers will struggle to control reach and frequency – and investment may suffer as a result. Agencies will make moves to solve for advertiser needs in 2020 by further building out their own capabilities.

Dan Robins, Director CMO Advisory at PwC Australia says:
As we continue to move towards the inevitable ‘programmatic everywhere’, 2020 will give digital out of home (DOOH) it’s time in the spotlight following audio and connected TV in recent years. It’s not to say the other channels are ‘done’ or that suddenly the only way buyers will trade DOOH will be real-time bidding, but the pipes are now in place across tech and media owners and verification. First-move buyers have already been testing and I expect broader trials, learning and the space to become the hot topic for 2020.

Dr Willem Paling, Director, Customer & Growth Analytics at IAG says:
While this has been brewing a long time, 2020 will be the year that we start to really feel the impact of moves by the major browsers to limit the use of tracking cookies. Chrome will be left alone as the only browser not limiting tracking by default and may be forced to act. Performance channels will start looking less like they perform and we’ll see a short term disruption and long-term shift in the way that brands value digital display and other performance channels.

Tanya Koppe, National Head of Digital at Mindshare says:
With the increased pressure in the industry around regulations that are blocking third party tech and the ever-changing landscape around consumer privacy (GDPR, ITP, ETP etc); the programmatic industry will need to rely on a post cookie world. This will bring more reliance on clients first party and publisher data. With these new challenges, it will open up opportunities, not only for targeting to become more contextual but for other channels that don’t rely on third party cookies such as email, TV, connected TV and in-app advertising.

James Diamond, Managing Director at Integral Ad Science says:
As the cookie continues to crumble in 2020 marketers will increasingly use contextual targeting as a proxy for audience.

Brett Poole, Managing Director at GroupM’s Finecast says:
Third party data usage will come under increasing pressure and collaboration will be needed to further improve user/household targeting in TV. Clients will need to carefully think about how identity resolution feeds into their media planning and customer experience journeys in an environment where potentially restrictive regulation will get closer to Australia next year.

Louise Bermingham, Head Of Digital at Mindshare Melbourne says:
The pressures of a cookie-less world and privacy concerns will continue, the importance of the DMP technology and integrations will evolve and technology will increasingly connect teams – not just channels.

Paolo Modolo, Marketing Lead JAPAC at Xandr says:
Contextual Advertising 2.0 is my prediction. As government regulation of consumer data becomes more prevalent (GDPR, CCPA and perhaps what is to come off the back of the ACCC recommendations), cookie-based targeting and retargeting will be significantly challenged. Against this backdrop, a golden age of contextual advertising will emerge as advertisers go back to the basics of reaching their audiences in premium, brand-safe environments. This is a real opportunity to present more relevant advertising to consumers, as advertisers marry messaging and positioning to environment, rather than relying on cookies to follow a user around the internet.
In parallel, publishers and broadcasters will double-down on building/growing their signed-in audiences. In doing so, they will develop a better understanding of their users’ preferences, serving more compelling experiences which will drive greater visitation and engagement, and greater value for advertisers. This content-driven virtuous cycle will help maintain an open internet.

Jonas Jaanimagi, Technology Lead at IAB says:
Next year will be a milestone year for programmatic advertising in terms of establishing greater trust through transparency tools and improved efficiencies.
In 2019 we saw a raft of standards developed by IAB Tech Lab, including a full v3.0 release of the OpenRTB protocols. We’re hoping that 2020 can bring with it a pan-industry collaborative commitment to adoption and utilisation of all these standards, which will enable increased controls on the sell side and radically improved transparency on the buy side.
We can also look forward to the forthcoming addition of ads.cert by the end of the year, which will be a significant step forwards in directly combating ad fraud. This works by using cryptographically signed bid requests to offer authenticated paths back to the inventory source, guaranteeing that any bid requests are certified and haven’t been modified – thereby dramatically reducing the risk of fraudulent ads appearing in programmatic buying. There is much to look forward to next year.

Many of these hot topics and more will be discussed at the Programmatic Summit on Tuesday March 3rd in Melbourne and Thursday March 5th in Sydney.

Check out the agenda here and buy your tickets here.

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