?>

A Digital Marketer’s New Year’s Resolutions

Raise your hand if it feels absurd that we’re deep in the throes of December. Wasn’t August, like, last week?

Now, raise your hand if 2022 has felt like it’s dragged on endlessly.

Regardless of which boat you’re in, there’s no avoiding the fact that the new year is rapidly approaching. And with it? New Year’s resolutions.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, in just a few days’ time your social feeds are sure to be filled with folks setting goals, resolving to change, and finally committing to practicing that new hobby.

And while it’s undoubtedly best to set goals, evaluate, and improve on a regular basis, it can be nice to use the new year as a chance for reflection and goal setting. To help digital marketers looking to do just that, we sat down and thought through some resolutions that are sure to bring success in the new year. Here are our top four:

1. For the marketer who puts the “pro” in procrastination…

Start exploring privacy-friendly solutions.

With Google having repeatedly delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies, it’s easy to feel like advertisers have all the time in the world before the cookieless future becomes the cookieless present. And with challenges like economic uncertainty, inflation, and burnout plaguing our industry, today’s advertisers already have a lot on their plates. Why throw exploring cookieless solutions into the mix now?

Well, to start, the 86% of Americans saying data privacy is a growing concern for them aren’t demanding change…tomorrow. And as advertisers know, transitioning away from third-party cookies isn’t done with a snap of a finger: It’s a process, not an event. It’s going to take time for marketers to identify and transition into the mix of privacy-friendly solutions that works best for them.

There are many effective tools and tactics out there to help prepare for a cookieless world, such as contextual targeting, geotargeting, and leaning more heavily on first-party data to personalize ad experiences. That said, none is a perfect, silver bullet solution. Each will require testing, tweaking, and evaluating to decide how and where it serves a marketing campaign best. And that testing will be far more difficult without the safety net of third-party cookies to fall back on, which is available to advertisers testing these solutions today.

Moral of the story? Marketers who start the process in 2023 will have a major advantage over their competitors who wait until third-party cookies are off the table. So, look out for “2024 you” by diving in and embracing progress over perfection.

2. For the marketer who feels distressed by data…

Make data consolidation, quality, and impact a priority.

Every advertiser knows that trustworthy data and solid data analyses are critical to campaign success. Data enables advertisers to understand current and prospective customer bases, create personalized advertising experiences for their audiences, and pull constructive insights from each campaign.

But as a result of the many point solutions marketers must use to navigate the complexity of today’s media landscape, our entire industry struggles with poor quality data and a lack of data consolidation. As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve and grow in complexity, marketers must prioritize data quality and consolidation to stay on top of the game. And, as we transition away from third-party cookies, marketing orgs must bolster their first-party data collection systems and find ways to leverage that data for all it’s worth.

Ready to make 2023 the year you become a data rockstar? To consolidate your data, consider a universal reporting system so you can spend less time pulling and standardizing reports and more time digging into the data itself. To boost the quality of your data, consider investing in resources like a data analyst (or team of analysts) or a customer data platform (CDPs). And if you’ve yet to start making the most of your first-party data? Explore and test the many ways it can be utilized to target and personalize ads in a privacy-friendly way.

3. For the marketer who’s still living in 2002…

Explore new(er), booming channels to connect with consumers.

Today’s digital world looks a lot different from that of twenty years ago. It’s sometimes difficult to remember a world before iPhones, Hulu binge sessions, and podcasts (though many of us lived through those days).

People today interact with digital media across many different platforms and channels, and their habits are ever-evolving. Marketers need to have their finger on the pulse of consumers’ digital behaviors, so that they can reach them when and where they’re spending the most time. This is especially important for advertisers looking to connect with younger generations, like Gen Z and millennials.  

And two channels that are commanding an increasing share of consumer time and interest? Connected TV and digital audio. For marketers who have yet to embrace these new(ish) and increasingly popular channels, here are a few quick stats to know about each:

Connected TV:

Digital Audio:

For advertisers who have yet to embrace or explore these channels, 2023 presents a great opportunity to do so. This could look like incorporating live sports advertising into your omnichannel campaign, tapping into specific and highly engaged audiences via podcast advertising, or playing with cross-device targeting with CTV ads to reach viewers where they’re watching their favorite shows. By incorporating these increasingly popular channels, advertisers can better connect with consumers where they’re spending time.

4. For the marketer who is feeling overwhelmed as HECK by the turbulence of the last few years…

Take a breath, revisit the basics, and lean into change.

Turbulent, rough, unpredictable, raging dumpster fire—these are just a few of the terms we’ve heard used to describe the past few years (and aptly so). The world has gone through (and continues to go through) a lot, and, on top of more universal challenges, the advertising industry is facing its own shifts. Amidst ever-evolving consumer sentiments, the deprecation of third-party cookies, increased government regulation, economy-driven shifts, and many other unpredictable factors, advertisers might be left wanting to scream into the void to MAKE IT ALL SLOW DOWN.

But here’s the thing: change is inevitable. And though there are many things that marketers can’t control, they can control their perspective when change occurs. Rather than wallowing in the land of “woe is me,” advertisers can use cognitive reframing to adjust their perspectives. For those unfamiliar with the practice, reframing includes identifying your current viewpoint, naming its challenges or shortcomings, and choosing to shift into a more beneficial way of thinking. For example, disappointment over a tighter budget (ahem, inflation…) could be reframed as an opportunity to identify which of your marketing investments really pull their weight, and which can be reallocated. This practice can help advertisers approach times of uncertainty and instability in a proactive and positive way.

“Alright, we get it. Challenges = opportunities. Now what?” you might wonder. Our recommendation? Revisit the basics. During times of uncertainty, it can be helpful to lean into proven solutions and tools, rather than searching for a magic (and elusive) fix-all hack. For those eager to start the new year on a solid foundation, this could include making a renewed effort to track shifts in consumer behavior, setting up systems to regularly pull insights from that data, and then using those insights to make data-driven strategic decisions. Though there are many factors that are uncontrollable and unpredictable, using proven strategies can empower advertisers during uncertain times.

Wrapping up

We hope at least one of these resolutions resonated with you, and that you’re excited about using it to kick 2023 off with a bang. But please: Don’t strive for all four of our recommendations—you’ll become far too powerful!

The year ahead is sure to bring changes, challenges, and opportunities for those in the digital advertising industry. Want to learn more about how marketers can prepare for and capitalize on these shifts? In our latest report, we take a deep dive into the trends that will shape digital advertising in the year to come and how advertisers can make the most of it.   

Get the Report