Predictions 2023: Media Strategy
From privacy-first measures to increasing audience demand for personalized buying experiences, 2023 is shaping up to be a challenging yet exciting year for digital marketers. At Rise, we are prioritizing learning how to leverage these trends to our client’s advantage.
That’s why we developed our Media Strategy team, which drives innovation for our agency through a focus on tomorrow’s digital media solutions and the work of our dedicated Partnerships team.
As part of our Predictions 2023 Series, Justin Garvin (SVP, Media Strategy) and Mina Salami (Head of Partnerships) sat down in the Rise Interactive Chicago office to recap the prediction highlights from our partners and discuss how they’re tackling our top 2023 predictions through their team’s cutting-edge work.
If you have been following the prediction series, Salami sat down with some of our key platform Partners at:
She noted three common themes that came up throughout her time spent with these Partners: Privacy & targeting, creative & ad formats, and automation.
Ready to learn more? Watch the full interview, or get the facts in the blog below!
Targeting in a Privacy-Centric World
To Garvin, it wasn’t surprising to hear that privacy-centric audience targeting was mentioned by all partners as a key priority going into 2023.
“Going back, many years ago, brands and marketers had very few tools and technology to really create hyper-focused, hyper-targeted media strategies that directly messaged specific creative to specific people,” stated Garvin. “They had to rely on broader tactics — contextual tactics, et cetera — to really make sure that they had a relevant message for the people they were trying to reach.”
Fast forward to recently, where marketers have such a wide variety of tools and technology to customize targeting strategies that we’ve wandered into grayer territory with consumers and their comfort level with 1:1 personalization. This pendulum swing back towards a reliance on broader targeting for individuals who do not want to share their behavioral data is forcing marketers to evolve their targeting strategies.
At Rise, we focus on intent, and prioritizing the audiences that have the highest level of intent to engage with your brand — typically individuals who have consented to sharing data with your brand — all the way to unknown audiences who have opted out of being tracked.
“[Unknown audiences] are still a crucial group of customers, and probably a very large growing percentage of overall prospective customers, given the future of cookies,” asserted Garvin. “So, brands need to be able to prioritize having a strategy that caters to both those known customers (which we recommend prioritizing first, given their level of intent), as well as having really targeted awareness building strategies for those unknown customers.”
Creative for Cross-Channel Environments
Knowing exactly where you need to target audiences within the funnel will also require knowing how you message to them, which is why adapting to new trends in creative will help you approach consumers in a way that reflects what they need and want.
Take, for instance, the rise of video: Video consumption behaviors and short form video on mobile and TV (especially within CTV) have grown tremendously within the last year.
“The Trade Desk called out that this past year, in 2022, was the first year that households with CTV actually surpassed cable subscribers,” stated Salami.
And CTV is just one aspect of a new future of creative: Shoppable YouTube Ads, augmented reality ads (AR) with Snapchat and TikTok live streams all will require advertisers to use new types of creative that will resonate the most with their audiences. Additionally, Garvin stated that adapting to cross-channel environments will be crucial.
“Brands that will have an edge in the marketplace are those that are going to be able to understand that different audiences have different media consumption behaviors,” said Garvin. This approach allows advertisers to tailor messaging to what their audiences prefer and consume naturally — and what ad formats work best to meet them where they are.
Garvin also recommends that brands put emphasis on a solid measurement plan, as well as a durable testing plan. A proper measurement framework will help effectively measure what is or isn’t working. Additionally, identifying different solutions to help enable creative testing at scale is a key component of strategic planning. Ad messaging is something that brands can still control in a world where automation is beginning to reign supreme.
Using personalized creative across your channels is quite a heavy lift without the right tools in place, and Salami was curious to know how to manage these complexities efficiently.
“Is there a way to help alleviate, and bring to the surface, some of these insights with creative testing?”
Garvin highlighted Rise’s proprietary platform, Connex®, as a solution. Connex lets marketers identify which channels are working well (or not), down to the specific creative or ad types across channels. And, we’ve layered on the ability to create Connex Alerts to glean real-time insights that drive goals and brand growth at an incremental level.
All in on Automation in 2023
Salami noted that Rise has leaned heavily into automation within recent years.
“We really do love automation, and we have been welcoming that with open arms,” said Salami. “Can you talk a little bit about automation in general — where it’s at, and where it’s going, in the advertising space?”
Garvin explained that platforms are continuing to remove manual levers for marketers via automation, steered by millions of signals, data, and unparalleled computing power. Products like Google’s Performance Max, Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping, and The Trade Desk’s AI tool, KOA, allows marketers to gain insights and recommendations in real-time. However, Garvin also noted that if we only rely on the data these platforms provide us, there’s little opportunity for differentiation and competitive advantage.
“That’s really where we see offline conversion data coming into play,” said Garvin. “It’s a data source that I have, that is unique and proprietary to me as a brand, and if I can find ways to feed that data into the different ad tech platforms, into the different automation solutions that they have, now my automation solution can be much more intelligent.”
We also know that wielding cross-channel strategies that involve weaving together online and offline data is a difficult lift, but with the right focus on upskilling talent, brands can remain-future proofed. On this topic, Garvin gave his final prediction for the marketing talent of tomorrow:
“The marketer of the future is going to look very different than the marketer of today, as there’s going to be a larger need for these types of data transformations, feeding and bidding solutions, automated solutions, better intelligence, better data, to create different advantages for marketers and advertisers in the future.”
Predicting Success in 2023, and Beyond
In 2022, and even the past several years, it became clear that a bold new frontier was emerging for digital marketers: Privacy-first laws and updates, reaching audiences across multiple channels, and making real-time strategic decisions were already hot topics on the minds of many. As 2023 begins to unfold, we can confidently say that the future is now here, and in order to remain future-proofed, brands will need strategies that allow them to ride the momentum of these trends as they finally play out.
Ready to take your media strategy to the next level this year and beyond? Contact us today!