Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Reasons to be Cheerful 2023: a more sustainable and transparent supply chain

By Mark Evans, Senior director, buyer development, Index Exchange

While there is some uncertainty as we head into 2023, challenging periods tend to be the times where we see true innovation in our industry. From building a more sustainable and transparent supply chain to preparing for the end of the cookie, we’re excited to help lead that transformation in a way that allows media owners to drive revenue and media buyers to continue to see results. Since these are such huge issues without easy answers, I’m also excited about the closer collaboration across the industry that the tackling of those problems demands. 

Why are you most positive for your business in 2023? 

Our recently rebuilt exchange gives us a greater ability to scale and innovate in new channels and formats. In 2023, we’ll employ this to continue expanding the omnichannel capabilities of our exchange, with a specific focus on all things video. We’ve seen huge innovation in formats like CTV and mobile app, but the possibilities of a versatile single-platform to run those campaigns from is still nascent.

An omnichannel exchange that guarantees safe and cost-efficient media buying will encourage advertisers to ramp up cross-channel campaigns, allowing media owners to scale efficiently, whatever their medium. It’s exciting to work at the forefront of such innovation. 

How will the digital industry, and your company, help make life better for consumers or partners in 2023?

Key innovations in CTV next year will play a crucial role in building consumer trust. While much has been done in defining and standardising CTV inventory, the full potential of programmatic CTV buying is still unfulfilled. As the industry starts to embrace automation,  media buyers will be able to transact more efficiently as media owners maximise yield for their programs.

This will open up increased possibilities of programs fully funded by digital advertising here in the UK, allowing consumers to access content in their preferred way–be that through subscriptions, personalised ads, or a balance of the two. In the process, I think this will highlight the value of our industry for consumers during these difficult times where disposable income may be limited. 

What technologies have you been most impressed with this year and which will have the most impact in 2023?

Despite Google’s ultimate decision to delay the end of the cookie, we saw huge innovation with the solutions that will take its place like seller-defined audiences. With browsers like Safari and Firefox having already deactivated cookies, media owners and their partners could experiment with new addressable solutions to explore how to stay profitable in a privacy-focused way.

The range of solutions means that media owners, depending on their size and audience, can customise effectively and with versatility. In 2023, we’ll see these solutions start to scale as media buyers look to run cookieless campaigns that move across different channels. The more that we talk about the limitations of the cookie and the benefits of these new formats, the more we’ll see that ad spend come through, changing the whole industry as it does. 

What, if any, positive impacts on the digital industry could an economic downturn have?

With potential budgets slashed, media buyers will be looking to run efficient campaigns, which will encourage closer partnerships with their preferred partners. These closer partnerships will guarantee digital ad spend for media owners regardless of some of the challenging marketing conditions that we’re currently seeing. In the process, it’s the chance to build more resilient value chains which prioritise transparency, efficiency, and sustainability.

There’s a real sense of community and collaboration that’s forming out of these challenging times, an awareness that we’re all in this together. I think this will only deepen in 2023.