The industry’s high dependency on tech giants such as Google and Facebook has emerged as a key concern, according to a new report which assessed the impact of COVID-19 on marketing.
The research, conducted by Criteo, asked 1,000 senior marketing executives around the world – including 125 in Australia – how they adapted to the pandemic.
A key theme through the report is the continued rise of social media and search marketing through the pandemic.
Compared with the same period in 2019, 62 per cent of respondents said they were spending more on social media marketing, while 59 per cent reported an increase in search marketing.
However, this has also resulted in a sense of nervousness for some. 30 per cent of marketers revealed they now have concerns around brand safety, ROI and targeting with their digital campaigns. A high dependency on Facebook, Google and Amazon was also a contributing factor.
And with Google set to deprecate third-party cookies next year, these fears will only be exacerbated.
According to Criteo’s managing director ANZ Colin Barnard, the results show that transparency has never been so important for marketers.
“It comes down to fairness and transparency, the biggest industry-wide challenge that consumers and businesses alike want to see tackled,” Barnard told B&T.
“Put simply, users should have the control over their data, understand how it is used and measurement for marketers should be accessible and verifiable.
“There’s no doubt Big Tech are reaping the benefits of their near-monopoly power, with many deploying arguably anti-competitive practices that need examining. That’s why at Criteo we champion the open Internet, helping advertisers maximise their return on investment without relying on walled gardens.”
Life after cookies
When asked about the third-party cookie situation, Barnard said he expects end users to ultimately benefit from the shift away from previous targeting strategies.
“The transparency debate will continue to evolve as the industry makes the necessary steps to improve advertising experiences. What’s important is the way marketers approach this – we want to empower people with more choice and transparency and individual control over their data,” he said.
As the industry continues to weigh up possible solutions for life after cookies, The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 has emerged as a potential suitor.
Late last year, Criteo joined the Unified ID 2.0 initiative, something which Barnard said is a sign of the future.
“Our commitment to the Unified ID 2.0 initiative is our first public nod to this, where we shared our plans to integrate our single sign-on solution so people can have unprecedented control over their personal data and ad experience, and ultimately the ability to give their consent to advertising,” he said.
“The main concern lies in whether it will create a more fragmented market with each browser and operating system making their own decisions. At Criteo, we believe that the ad industry needs a unified, long-term solution to provide relevancy with increased privacy controls.”
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