Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Trinity Lunch: Meet the Sponsors – Ross McMillan of Lotame

With NDA’s Summer ‘Trinity Lunch’ fast approaching, we caught up with the leaders of businesses sponsoring the event. Here, we meet Ross McMillan, VP Commercial Solutions EMEA for Lotame

New Digital Age: What are the big priorities for Lotame this year?

Ross McMillan: Our vision is to “Create growth and value for all by future proofing data connectivity across the global open web and beyond.” We meet our clients needs through our core tools for the collection and use of data — 1PD, 2PD, 3PD — doesn’t matter. Key to the sustained relevance and agility of these tools are our tech investments in identity and connectivity. This tech grows increasingly more vital to the industry as it strives to navigate new privacy regulations and prepares for the deprecation of IDs available from the platform giants (IDFA, cookies). Guided by our legacy, we facilitate greater collaboration and partnership using our global reach and local service, industry-wide relationships and flexible data solutions powered by our identity platform. With Lotame, ecosystem players can increase performance and respect consumer choices. As the walls of the walled gardens get even higher, Lotame is focused on powering data connectivity for all.

What are the biggest issues your clients are facing at the moment?

The two biggest issues for not only our clients but all brands are privacy and the deprecation of IDs. Privacy challenges range from a legislation perspective, whether that is GDPR, CCPA etc., to effectively managing consent as a commitment to their customers. Add to the plate, the technical challenges involved in the removal of identifiers such as third-party cookies by the browsers and the changes Apple has made to the availability of IDFA, and you have a very confusing time for brands, publishers, and agencies. 

Are your clients/partners prepared for the ‘cookieless’ marketing era?

Google’s delay of the deprecation of third-party cookies gave brands and publishers some breathing space but now is the time to get ahead of the curve to avoid a major scramble in 2023. From a customer perspective, many are prepared for the cookieless future but there is still more work to be done. There are still many publishers who are leaving revenue on the table across their cookieless inventory. The demand side is also now beginning to test and implement cookieless solutions, including Lotame’s Panorama ID, the first global people-based, privacy-forward, and interoperable identity solution. It’s one of the most widely adopted cookieless solutions that has been deployed globally by more than 19,000 publishers. 

The number of live campaigns in markets around the world is growing rapidly and will continue to grow exponentially this year. Panorama ID has already proved that privacy-safe cookieless targeting works today, with or without third-party cookies. 

Are there any lingering after-effects of the pandemic still influencing your marketplace?

Our industry is based on human connections and interactions and I think most people have been keen to get back to normality, whatever that means now, as soon as possible. Face-to-face events are back in action and it’s been great to meet with colleagues and clients in the office again. I don’t think many businesses have settled on their new working pattern yet and that may still take time to figure out. 

Are there any other noteworthy trends in your marketplace right now?

I think the most noteworthy trend is uncertainty. When will Google finally deprecate third-party cookies? Will Google Topics work? How will the privacy legislation play out in the EU and globally? Is this the year of CTV? Will there be more first-party data and collaboration between the demand and supply side? How will measurement and attribution work without cookies? Does contextual advertising provide enough scale? 

There are many different solutions to each of these problems and it’s fascinating to see how they all play out. 

From a personal perspective, is advertising getting better or worse?

Better. Whilst there are many challenges being faced, the industry is now putting the consumer at the centre of everything. Respecting consumer privacy, producing better creative and more personalisation makes the experience for consumers better which can only be a good thing. 

Lotame delivers flexible data solutions to future proof connectivity and drive performance across all screens. Marketers, publishers, and platforms across the globe rely on our innovative and interoperable solutions, powered by our identity platform, to onboard, enrich, and address audiences.