Thought Leaders: AdExchanger’s Most Popular Opinions Of 2019

AdExchanger receives a ton of column pitches each week from authors eager to share their opinions on the industry’s most pressing issues.

Based on the topics we were pitched this year – and how readers reacted to the columns we published – the cookie’s fate was top of mind.

Many have long predicted the death of the cookie, but 2019 is the first year that the cookie’s eventual demise felt like a reality.

Four of our 10 most-read columns of the year grappled with the cookie's decline. How should brands prepare? What are the implications for performance marketers? How will a lack of cookies affect publishers? And why are vendors so cagey when they’re asked what will happen to their business in a cookie-less world?

It’s clear that the industry is hungry for information about what could happen to digital advertising if – and when – cookies are no more. Here’s a taste of the debate.

Brands Must Prepare For Advertising In A Cookie-Less World

by Scott Tieman

It’s a fact that cookie loss threatens the ways in which brands engage with their customers. But how can companies prepare for that eventuality? There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the answer, which made this piece from Accenture Interactive’s Scott Tieman AdExchanger’s most-read column of the year. Tieman implored brands to take a range of proactive steps, such as offering customers more value in exchange for their data, reclaiming ownership of their data and investing in the right tools to solve their unique challenges.

The Secret To Facebook’s $67 Billion Ad Machine

by Kunal Gupta

Facebook’s ability to target audiences at scale is one of its biggest strengths, but the ad creative Facebook offers is also a major reason for its success, according to Kunal Gupta, CEO at Polar. With such a significant share of ad spend going to social platforms that don’t serve traditional banner ads, he argues that Facebook has become the new creative standard.

Audience Planning Ate Media Planning

by Brian Monahan

Digital killed the media planner’s job, as marketers began to analyze consumers independent of their media consumption, according to Brian Monahan, Dentsu’s global client president and head of US ventures. With audience planning now the norm, the media planning and selling jobs from 25 years ago are going extinct.

The Leadership Challenge

by Rishad Tobaccowala

Leaders must continually invest in their own skills if they are to successfully navigate turbulent times, writes Publicis Groupe’s chief growth officer, Rishad Tobaccowala. Those that don’t may find themselves with irrelevant skills, outdated management styles and short-term thinking that will cause prized workers to head for the exits.

Performance Marketing And Measurement: A New Beginning Amid Ever-Evolving Privacy Restrictions

by Sachin Puri

As cookies decline, performance marketers must evolve their approach to measurement and their go-to-market strategy, writes Sachin Puri, the former senior director and global head of performance marketing at StubHub. That means leveraging their first-party data, evaluating CDPs, auditing their measurement technology stacks and investing in incrementality capabilities. The restrictions are only going to increase, he says. I don’t think anyone could argue with that.

Why Technology And Data Assets Should Not Be Owned By Your Agency

by Nico Neumann

Agency holding companies have made big bets on data, with several spending billions of dollars to acquire data brokers last year. But is this a good idea? Assistant professor and researcher Nico Neumann has his doubts. Chief among them: conflicts of interest, a need for agility and disruptions when brands change agencies.

OTT Advertising: Why The Industry Needs More Transparency

by Samantha Stockman

As OTT emerges as a promising channel to reach cord cutters and younger viewers, The Media Kitchen’s Samantha Stockman takes a deep dive into the obstacles that are holding back ad dollars. A major concern is the lack of a universal way to measure performance. And don’t even get her started on the fragmentation of the buying process.

How Will Google's Move To Restrict Third-Party Cookies Affect Publishers?

by Eric Berry

Back in April, when it was just a rumor that Google might block or limit third-party cookies in Chrome, TripleLift’s CEO predicted that while such a move would further entrench walled gardens, it could also fundamentally help publishers. Context would likely gain prominence, in addition to greater investment in other cookie-less channels, such as email, OTT and in-app. Sound familiar?

A Simple Question In Ad Tech That No One Will Answer

by Sarah Sluis

What will happen to programmatic advertising if cookies go extinct? It’s a critical question that AdExchanger senior editor Sarah Sluis has tried to answer while covering the sell side of the industry. But as she writes in this first staff-written op-ed, straight answers can be hard to come by. Will it be doomsday? Meh? We’re still not sure.

AI Is Eating Advertising – And 2019 Will Be Critical For Getting It Right

by Orchid Richardson

A year ago, it seemed like everyone was talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning as marketers grappled with the possibilities, realities and implications of technologies that promise to change the face of advertising. IAB’s Orchid Richardson argued that 2019 represented a crucial turning point for the industry to get a grip on the implications of AI.

So, did we?

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