A Fresh Start – Insights from Adweek Europe

Tim Rudder

June 2, 2021 | 5 min read

Missed this year’s AdWeek Europe? Our resident Media Planner by day, writer by night Tim Rudder, reflects on some key themes such as identity, the omnichannel challenge, the continued rise of CTV, and distils the content into some critical recommendations for media buyers for the year ahead.

The new norm

With vaccinations on the rise and restrictions slowly being lifted across countries throughout Europe, several panels focused on redefining the baselines of consumer purchase behaviour and media consumption in the aftermath of Covid and how the industry can be capitalising on these new norms moving forward.

One thing is clear – in 2020, pre-existing trends in the growth of streaming consumption globally accelerated, and consumers see a direct value exchange in ad-supported streaming.

Currently, many CTV buys in Europe are about incrementality, and there is still good ROI and reach in linear. Still, this cord-cutting trend is expected to continue, and agencies are preparing for the convergence of linear and digital TV buying.

Overwhelmingly, panellists stated the main blocker for this convergence is a fragmented ecosystem leading to a lack of standardisation and measurement between traditional linear and digital. Whilst there are reasonable solutions for specific environments, linear and digital teams are still speaking different languages, and it is difficult to get a holistic view of things.

Cookies are a crumblin’

There was certainly no shortage of talk on identity and the deprecation of the third-party cookie at this year’s Adweek, particularly as Europe is presented with its own challenges due to GDPR.

There were a plethora of identity solutions vying to become the new currencies for identity on the open web. One of the promising signs was that there was a focus on first party data, and panels discussed the importance of user experience, ensuring a transparent value exchange that lives up to consumer expectations.

Context and content will be crucial moving forward, and publishers emerged as the critical piece of this new first party data regime. After all, it is their content that provides that value exchange with consumers. Through leveraging an engaged user base, publishers, buyers, and consumers can reap the rewards of relevant digital advertising.

Know your audience

Many conversations focused on the evolution of consumer behaviour throughout the pandemic and how brands are adapting. One session, in particular, focused on the results from a recent Kantar study that looked at consumer’s core motivations; seeking simpler moments, proceeding with caution and in pursuit of pleasure. To reach, engage and excite your consumers in the year ahead, you need to map out and understand your consumer’s media consumption and new journey to purchase. This will be key to ensuring continued traction and engagement with your brand as society transitions into the new norm.

Magnite’s new research report, CTV: The Future Forward – EU5,  identifies CTV as an imperative for advertisers as they formulate their media buying strategies for 2021 and beyond. If you’re looking to better understand the shift in viewing habits, consumer attitudes towards AVOD as well as the role that CTV plays in consumer journey to purchase, you can download the reports for free here.

Think omnichannel

Working with scaled, omnichannel partners will be fundamental to acting on this new understanding of the customer journey to purchase. A true omnichannel partner will be able to help you reach your desired audience throughout their entire journey across any device and format, wherever they are consuming media.

In Europe, the streaming ecosystem is still in it’s tumultuous infancy – we’re only just beginning to see AVOD entrants penetrating into traditional broadcast areas like live sports and the broadcast inventory that is available is just the tip of the iceberg.

Having a consolidated view in a well-lit marketplace will help to derive actionable insights that can inform strategy and ensure that you are able to reduce the fragmentation of media buying whilst still maximizing touch points with your consumers.

Partner on identity and measurement

Addressability and measurement are cornerstones of digital advertising, promising benefits to all stakeholders; advertisers are able to make informed decisions and reach consumers with relevant ads, publishers are rewarded for their engaged user base and premium content with increased yield and consumers are served relevant ads with an improved user experience.

Unfortunately, this value exchange was often not the case and when it was, it was poorly articulated to consumers. The deprecation of third-party cookies is an opportunity for the industry to evolve and re-centre identity on privacy and user experience.

The opportunity

It can be difficult to sift through the noise of what can often be a fragmented digital ecosystem, however, closer collaboration and working relationships with trusted, scaled, omnichannel partners will be crucial to overcoming challenges the industry faces around identity and measurement, and also ensure that brands are able to leverage their partner’s technological and media expertise to maintain touch points with consumers throughout their journey to purchase.

If you would like to find out more about what we’re doing to address identity and measurement in Europe, or would like to talk about any of the points discussed in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact Us