Coral Cripps
Aug 20, 2023

Majority of advertisers set to invest in programmatic as cookie dies

Warc report sees higher programmatic spending, while 63% of advertisers are also now relying on second party data, according to IAB.

Warc: nearly three quarters of digital ad spend will be transacted programmatically in 2023 (Getty Images)
Warc: nearly three quarters of digital ad spend will be transacted programmatically in 2023 (Getty Images)

As third-party tracking cookies continue to be phased out, a majority of advertisers and agencies plan to invest more in programmatic over the next year, according to a Warc report.

The study, which explores current major trends shaping programmatic advertising and adtech, has claimed that 74% of advertisers and 80% of agencies expect their investment in programmatic “to increase over the next 12 months” (according to data sourced from IAB Europe).

It has also cited research from Dentsu, which found that nearly three quarters (71%) of digital spending will be transacted programmatically across various platforms in 2023.

The growth of emerging channels – including connected TV, gaming, programmatic audio, retail and digital out-of-home – is additionally credited for scaling the programmatic ecosystem.

As a complete phasing out of third-party tracking cookies is fixed to take place next year, advertisers are searching for alternative means of targeting and measurement and are exploring more contextual and interest-based targeting methods – such as images, audio, location, content sentiment, time and weather.

Advertisers are also pushing harder to collect first- and second-party data to gain insights about their customers, collaborating with publishers, platforms and technology partners to leverage shared data and insights.

A survey conducted this year by ad verification platform DoubleVerify (which surveyed 406 marketers in total) found that 94% of advertisers indicated plans to rely on contextual advertising for some or most of their buys in 2023.

It also found that 49% of advertisers are using first-party data, while the IAB found that 63% of advertisers are now using second party data – a 23% increase from 2021.

However, advertisers have also noted various caveats related to the growth of programmatic channels.

As investment in media continues to fragment, 57% are worried about finding ways to standardise data across channels. As new walled-garden environments are introduced with new media types, 44% have also expressed concerns about tackling related issues, such as transparency and integration.

Leah Askew, senior vice-president and head of Precision Media at Digitas North America, said: “In a post third-party cookie world, the biggest challenge for advertisers is that there isn’t a ubiquitous one-size-fits-all answer. I think many advertisers have a plan. They have components of how they’ll move forward, but no one is completely clear on how it’ll all come together, just yet.”

Campaign UK

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