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    A vibrant addressable media ecosystem is only possible through collaboration

    Greater collaboration, ‘test and learn’ and measurement innovation are key for advertisers and publishers to succeed in the rapidly evolving privacy-first, addressable media landscape, finds European Addressable Media Initiative Report.

    A new advertising ecosystem is emerging, triggered by the growth of addressable media and improved consumer data privacy legislation. To date, growth in addressable advertising has been driven primarily by online media. But other platforms, including TV, are becoming more addressable, creating new opportunities and challenges for ad buyers and sellers alike.

    The European Addressable Media Initiative led by marketing industry infrastructure giants Finecast, LiveRamp, Amobee, Comscore, Lotame, Magnite, Neustar, OneTrust, and PubMatic, and carried out in partnership with The Project X Institute (PXI), a media think tank and advisory collective, has published its report into addressable media in Europe, setting out its recommendations.

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    The report can be downloaded here.

    Addressable media is fundamentally different to one-way, one-to-many broadcast media, allowing advertisers to deliver different messages to different audiences viewing the same content and to track effectiveness in a more privacy compliant manner.

    Pointing out the rise of addressable media offers potential benefits for consumers, advertisers and media owners, the report sets out recommendations to help companies position their businesses for the future.  

    Demand for addressable media is growing rapidly across Europe but greater collaboration is key to ensuring that the rising tide lifts all boats, according to Emily Hanson, global head of marketing at Finecast.

    “The addressable media landscape continues to change at pace, and we are seeing huge demand in Europe,” said Hanson. “However, the development of a robust addressable media ecosystem is only possible through strong partnerships and investment in technology integrations. Brands are looking to embrace this connectivity, but the landscape is still complex and differs greatly by medium and market.”

    To understand the likely impact of the deprecation of digital identifiers, the report advises advertisers and media owners to operationalize procedures to audit and optimize their data supply chains. “All advertisers need to find replacements for cookie-based targeting,” explains Tomas Salfishberger, Relay42’s chief strategy officer and PXI advisor-in-residence. “A few can use existing first-party data, some will be able to develop first-party customer relationships and data, everyone else will have to reconfigure their approach and work more closely with channel partners.”

    Despite Google’s decision to delay blocking third-party cookies, the cookieless world is already here as a result of Apple privacy policies for Safari and iOS devices. As Marie Schell, director of programmatic buying at Havas Media in Germany, points out: “As buyers we are already dealing with cookieless environments, using alternative identifiers and targeting techniques such as log-in IDs, first-party data and contextual targeting, but the biggest challenge in future will be to connect the dots between different solutions.”

    The report also touches on the uncertainty around cookieless ID solutions, calling for help for advertisers to develop portfolio strategies for new solutions to get on top of this particular quandary. It also makes the case to provide detailed frameworks and a forum to support publisher alliances to help open up ad budgets which would otherwise go automatically to the walled gardens and share costs of developing new technologies.

    The Initiative also puts forward further proposals for the advertising industry to help support and sustain a vibrant and diverse addressable ecosystem for the open web in Europe.

    These include establishing best practice guidelines for data matching solutions, supporting moves in each European market towards cross-media measurement, and setting up certification programs to support further measurement innovation.

    The Initiative’s proposals underpin just how crucial collaboration and developing trusted partners will be for advertisers and marketers over the coming years, according to Hugh Stevens, head of customer success at LiveRamp.

    “As consumer media becomes more connected, brands are relishing the opportunity that addressable solutions can bring,” said Stevens. “From personalized creative to full media plan accountability, data enablement is at the forefront of this, so having a solid interoperable infrastructure which respects privacy whilst enabling people-based marketing is critical. “While the market continues to grow, whether through evolution or cookie deprecation, brands will look to the adtech ecosystem to establish the frameworks for opportunity realization.”

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    Jamie West, ex-deputy managing director of Sky Media and one of PXI’s advisors-in-residence, also emphasizes the need for collaboration, commenting: “If the industry grabs this opportunity addressable TV can be the springboard for a new era of growth in TV advertising. For this to happen, there needs to be collaboration, shared standards and consistency in proposition, capabilities, and in measurement of audiences and effectiveness.”

    In an era where advertisers are quite literally spending billions on high profile campaigns, Simon Thomas, GroupM’s global director for audiences research and media investment management, hopes PXI’s work with this report can trigger some action towards better measurement.

    He concluded: “Advertisers invest billions of euros, pounds and dollars in advertising campaigns and need to be sure they’re reaching the right audiences as efficiently as possible. As an industry we need to deliver cross media measurement tools for the addressable age that enable them to do exactly that.”

    This report’s recommendations for greater collaboration and best practice guidelines could be a valuable step towards a sustainable future for addressable media.

    This is the first in a series of articles examining the findings of the European Addressable Media Report from PXI and its partners. Click here to download the full report.

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