The Advertising industry's brightest minds congregated in New York City for Advertising Week 2023. This year's event gave attendees a glimpse into what the future may hold as the industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace. From blockchain to Barbie, the conversations were as diverse as they were enlightening. Here are some of the major themes and insights that emerged from the various panels and talks.
Preparing for a Cookie-less Future
The end of third-party cookies signals a paradigm shift and a direct impact to programmatic advertising and retargeting campaigns. Marketers need to innovate and experiment with new tools to deliver personalized experiences at scale and that comply with evolving privacy regulations.
"The approaches we adopt today will define our long-term strengths. It's time for empowering teams to experiment, innovate, and invest," adds Barbara Piermont, Director of Ads Privacy, GTM Strategy at Google.
The cookieless future requires a shift to thinking about emerging tech platforms like Snickerdoodle as well as how to bring value on-platform versus leading people away. This change will impact strategies across the board, emphasizing the importance of measuring campaign success through both quantitative sales, cohort behavior and consumer sentiment.
"Really take stock of what your customer journey flows look like and where you can have more meaningful engagement with the consumer. And then once you've done that, figure out how third party cookie deprecation will impact that journey flow, and then experiment," says Tanneasha Gordon, Leader of Data & Digital Trust at Deloitte
"We all need to actively build foundational data solutions now, then leverage AI to gain insights, reach audiences, and drive performance—all while respecting privacy," emphasizes Barbara Piermont.
As we move further into uncharted territory, the brands that embrace these changes will be the ones that redefine success in the digital space.
The Rise of Web3 and Blockchain
Advertising Week highlighted the accelerating integration of blockchain technology and Web3 experiences into marketing strategies to build loyalty and fandom. These technologies are not just buzzwords but are actively being integrated into marketing strategies to forge stronger brand loyalty and fandom. Brands like ASICS, LiveNation, and LaLiga are already ahead of the curve, harnessing blockchain for digital collectibles and frictionless global payments.
Josh Fried, Head of Commerce BD & Partnerships at the Solana Foundation succinctly captured this momentum: "To jump-start ASICS' loyalty program, we introduced a physical shoe, its digital twin, and a loyalty NFT—all woven into a single customer experience."
He continued to highlight the benefits of decentralization in payment systems. "Shopify's Solana Pay cuts out the middlemen, offering benefits for both merchants and crypto-savvy consumers. It provides a direct, handshake connection between buyer and seller, sans fees and without compromising anonymity."
Adding a layer of security and confidence to this technological shift, Mike Schaiman, Founder & CEO of Gen City Labs noted, "Web3 gives brands the independence they crave, free from platform limitations. It's a game-changer in building brand autonomy."
As these technologies continue to evolve and integrate into mainstream marketing, they aren't just changing the game; they're redefining the playing field. The brands that can pivot and adapt to these changes stand to gain the most, both in consumer trust and bottom-line growth.
Data Privacy in the Spotlight
As we venture further into the age of digital transformation, the spotlight on data privacy intensifies. It's no longer a sidebar but a main stage event. Brands that continue to operate under old data-handling paradigms risk not just regulatory action but also a severe erosion of consumer trust.
Barbara Piermont, Director of Ads Privacy, GTM Strategy at Google weighed in on this existential challenge: "Earning trust isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have. This means full transparency, consumer control over their data, and a fair value exchange for personal information. Brands must make this a cornerstone of their strategy."
At Snickerdoodle, we believe that control isn't just about allowing consumers to opt-in or opt-out. It's about providing layers of choice that empower consumers to specify how their data is used. We expect to see a surge in interest as marketers increasingly seek out privacy-enhancing solutions that give consumers more control while still offering them the ability to personalize experiences.
Snickerdoodle Labs: Leading the Way
At Snickerdoodle Labs, we're not just adapting to these trends—we're pioneering solutions. Our decentralized data-management and marketing platform offers the utility of Google Analytics and Google Ads while preserving user privacy and bridging web2 and web3 data. We believe the future is one where data analytics meets human understanding, where businesses can foster genuine relationships with their users without infringing on their autonomy.
As Advertising Week 2023 has shown, the ad industry is at a crossroads. Those willing to innovate, experiment, and most importantly, listen to their consumers, will not just survive but thrive in our evolving digital future.