“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
– Sundar Pichai
This Week’s Update:
First, we hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving break and is finding new ways to celebrate this holiday season in safe and festive ways. Be it holiday Zoom parties, fun, celebratory email chains, or socially safe gatherings, we should all be thankful for our health and the positive moves forward to a better, safer tomorrow.
In this week’s update, we wanted to share a bit of insight into the trends we are seeing around digital advertising. Based on the wide array of media platforms we work with directly with, we have seen a 35% increase in digital spending in Q3 and early signs that it is accelerating further in Q4. This is a great indication that marketers are starting to understand and getting comfortable with reengaging customers and prospects with messaging and approaches that fit the new pandemic-affected world.
This surge was initially driven by political advertising demand leading into the elections, but also includes solid growth in both the healthcare and financial services verticals. Online retailers have also increased online advertising in their efforts to pull forward the holiday shopping season to relieve pressure on their shipping departments as they contend with pandemic-related delays. Adobe analytics is projecting a 30% YOY increase in online holiday shopping this year with spending exceeding $180B for the first time. Black Friday and cyber Monday results were up 21.6% and 15.1% respectively, according to Adobe, less than the total expected lift; rather than showing softened demand, this likely reflects the overall spreading out of spending activity in the adjusted seasonality of the pandemic holidays.
This resurgence in demand, and the ensuing rise in media costs, puts pressure on advertisers to need to get a solid handle on their customers and prospects and the data infrastructure that supports those relationships. As digital channels emerge as the primary means for engagement and conversion, marketers cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that even those brands that pulled back aggressively in the early days of the pandemic were well-served by maintaining a presence on digital channels; those that divested entirely likely caused more self-inflicted damage than what the pandemic would have caused unto itself. Now is a time to listen, learn, adapt, and move forward – but more than anything, it is critical to stay in the arena.
As we continue to look forward, the sense is that the panic about the disruptions of a cookieless future is beginning to transform into more constructive thinking around longer-term strategy. The government’s move against Google has likely slowed Google’s push on cookie deprecation and the expectation is that much will stay status quo in 2021, which may give more breathing room for marketers to implement such strategies in time. Yes – change is coming, but at a pace that does not inevitably lead to mass chaos in the ecosystem. Regardless of any impending change, the message is clear that marketers need to engage in digital advertising more so than ever before. Build plans that allow you to test and learn on all fronts so that you are prepared for the world of tomorrow. There will not be a single silver bullet solution that is a panacea for all stakeholders, but likely several solutions that in combination meet the needs of advertiser for scale and accuracy while respecting consumer privacy and adhering to current and future legislation. Critical to each marketer will be to find solutions that maintain flexibility in both identifying your customers and access in reaching them. Adstra has bet on this with our evolution this year as a Data Bureau, built on a foundation of valid and persistent individuals, portable in design to meet the impending changes.
Should you look for more help on this topic, please reach out and we would be happy to help. Email us at email@example.com
Adstra in Action:
Seven down and one to go. That is where we stand on our current AdstrAct webinar discussion series. We hope everyone has enjoyed what we have had to share so far, and if you have time, we welcome you to join us for our last discussion. This discussion should be lively as we have our CEO Rick Erwin on a Year in Review of the Data & Identity industry. You can register here: www.adstradata.com/events-adstract/.
We also continue to make our data available for free in the support of non-commercial COVID-19 initiatives and we are here to help as many more as we can. While we were initially focused on advancing the fight against COVID-19, if you are interested in other non-commercial cause related initiatives, please let us know and perhaps we can help.
If interested in Adstra’s offer, email COVID19Response@adstradata.com for more details.
Articles of Interest:
Our insights are again only a small fraction of what is being shared out there. Here are some other interesting articles and opinions we thought to share to both inform and inspire discussion.
- We talked in our last ideal insights about our views on the Google antitrust suit. Seems we caught the attention of folks as AdExchanger picked up the discussion and asked our Jason Bier to share his thoughts. Check them out here.
- Dom Nicastro had some interesting insights we thought worth sharing on the future challenges around data. It is less the management of the data, but rather being in control of what you do with it.
- Our own CDO Andy Johnson has an interesting perspective on 1st Party data. Pivoting there may have been done, but now can we still make it work?
- Criteo’s Larson Banilower also shares recently some interesting perspectives on the pivots folks took this past year. It is about getting a handle on your identity strategy to best manage your customer experience.
- We continued to be excited by the advances our world is making as women continue to break through barriers. Of course, a huge shout out goes to Kamala Harris as she steps into the role of Vice President. In the sports world we had another great break through that’s worth reading about too.
- Did you know that only 46 “States” in the United States refer to themselves as States? 4 are actually “Commonwealths”, and then we have 2 more Commonwealths that are not States. What States call themselves officially is typically something that is based on a legacy of thinking and rarely changes. This election, however, was a bit different, and all for good reasons.
- Have to head indoors to avoid the rapid increases we are seeing in COVID cases? Looking for new ideas on things to do to occupy your time? Might we recommend listening to what the Nerds have to say on the topic.
As we have said before, we continue to strive to provide useful, fun and actionable info that can help us all in some way. Feel free to share feedback and ideas and we can share them with this community. Stay happy and healthy.
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