Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Personified Advertising to power mobile branding strategies in 2022

By Raphael Rodier, Global Chief Revenue Officer, Ogury

The future of digital advertising swings in the balance for many advertisers who are looking for answers in a cookie-less future. Research from Gartner reveals that 63% of digital marketers struggle with personalisation and 80% plan to abandon their personalisation efforts by 2025. But is giving up the right route to take by those unsure how to deliver relevant ads to the right audience?

A host of new solutions have sprung up to solve the issues faced by removing third-party cookies and identifiers. With over a year until these changes come into practice, advertisers are posed with more questions. Do they make the switch from an ID-based to an ID-less approach? If so, when should they do this?

No matter if the solution is ID-less or ID-based, advertisers should care about one thing and one thing only; do I understand the interests of my key audience so I can deliver relevant ads for products and services they like?

And this leads to wider questions around viewability – are my ads even viewable to my audience? A common pitfall sees advertisers who regard viewability as simply a tick box exercise burn through advertising budgets on poorly performing ads that “seem ok”. It’s time to focus on metrics that accurately measure ad performance and to ensure ads are seen and understood by those who can be converted to sales. With a heavily saturated adtech market, advertisers looking to cut through the noise must focus on a solution that delivers sustainable performance. And this solution must respect consumer privacy whilst ensuring it delivers relevant ads on their most-used device.

Do you understand your audience?

Until now, adtech companies relied on cookies or identifiers. But, with the introduction of regulations like GDPR and the exit of the third-party cookie, the pool of accessible data is only getting smaller. Paired with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature, which most users have opted out of app tracking, the future of personalisation is looking bleak.

Instead of giving up, many adtech firms have taken the steps to offer new solutions based on contextual and semantic data. However, these lack audience intelligence. Other vendors are hanging onto old-fashioned targeting, using personal data to personalise ads. These solutions can only tell advertisers about activity within their ad network. This leaves advertisers with fragmented data and insufficient knowledge of their audience’s interests, meaning they can’t reach the right consumers effectively. The industry’s problems live on.

Is your message being seen and understood?

It’s not only reaching the right audience which causes issues. The industry’s standards of what they consider as seen is only partially visible.

VCR is the main metric brands and advertisers must look at when it comes to video performance. But what is the point of measuring VCR for videos that are partially in-view or even playing off-screen? On mobile, brands can have the illusion of achieving high VCR, but without full visibility this is false. Their message has no chance of being seen, let alone remembered.

The digital ad market has trapped advertisers with unacceptable standards that they would never consider in other forms of advertising, such as TV or OOH. Think of it as half of your TV screen being covered. If you can only see half of what’s going on, you’re likely to be less engaged. For a mobile screen, which is only a fraction of the size, the problem is exacerbated. Brands need to stop believing in metrics that give a fake view of performance and waste their ad budget.

The real KPI that should count for your campaigns is the Fully On-Screen Rate for 50% duration. That’s the percentage of impressions where 100% of pixels are in-view for at least half the duration. This gives the most meaningful video performance measurement and assures brands their completed views were actually fully on-screen.

How to build a future-proof strategy?

Using personas for a wider audience rather than the individual is not a new idea. Gartner coined the term ‘Personification’ in 2015 and defined it as delivering digital experiences to consumers based on their inclusion in a person segment, rather than using their personal identity.

It isn’t a new concept, but it is the foundation for an entirely new class of technology called Personified Advertising. This tech uses audience interest data to qualify impressions, rather than personal data to qualify the user. The use of such technologies has grown significantly since the changes to cookies and identifiers were announced.

This data has been collected over several years looking at an audience’s mobile journey across apps and websites and is consistently updated and validated through survey data. This ensures that advertisers have the most up to date view of their audience to enhance targeting performance to maintain a competitive advantage.

This combination of data reveals key behavioural insights, such as Rolling Stones magazine readers being much more interested in video-on-demand services than the rest of the population, or gym enthusiasts being most interested in building their career. Being able to identify the right interests that will truly engage audiences gives brands the competitive advantage over competitors. Knowing these types of audiences is critical for those wanting to enhance their targeting performance.

While targeting based on audience interests is a top priority, Personified Advertising’s ability to also offer new insights on key audiences without collecting personal data makes it the leading cookie-less ad solution. The technology delivers unparalleled ad performance, while still respecting consumer privacy – meaning everyone – from brands to publishers, and most importantly consumers – benefits.