Yes, Even Marketers Are Facing Supply-Chain Issues

On TV & Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. 

Today’s column is by Mark Fleisch, SVP of national sales at GroundTruth

Supply-chain issues have affected everything from weekly grocery trips to brand loyalty. But for marketers, inventory challenges extend beyond manufacturing floors and empty store shelves. 

The digital marketing industry is going through its own critical supply and demand transformations. How marketers balance changes in 2022 will be critical to creating an uninterrupted, fluid customer experience. Whether it be attribution, inventory or workforce shortages, the good news is marketers have options that can help drive business growth in today’s fluctuating environment. 

Here are three supply-related trends that will shape the framework of marketing and advertising in 2022 – and how to navigate them.

Supply and demand for attribution and actionable data 

The supply of online attribution data and the ability to measure online KPIs declined significantly in 2021 with the rollout of AppTrackingTransparency on iOS. As a result, online attribution is getting more challenging. It will only continue to get more complex with the eventual loss of third-party cookies. 

In 2022, marketers will continue to struggle to find effective and accurate ways to measure the efficacy of their digital ad campaigns as online data becomes increasingly scarce. This could force brands to make difficult decisions about their benchmarks and what they consider successful online attribution and ROI.

Offline behavioral data will become increasingly valuable to marketers looking for ways to supplement the loss of online data. The supply of offline data such as location and sales data has been significantly less affected by changes in our ecosystem. It remains very strong and effective for targeting and measurement. This creates an opportunity for marketers to explore new and different ways of understanding consumer intent and measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns beyond just the impact to online activity and events. 

Supply and demand for video inventory

As viewing habits have moved away from linear television to streaming services, there has been a substantial increase in supply (viewership increasing) and demand (dollars shifting) for connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) advertising. While this may not come as a shock, the steady demand for linear TV over the same period may be more surprising.

According to eMarketer, demand for linear TV is projected to go up slightly in 2022 and remain flat over the next few years. As the supply of inventory in linear TV continues to decline and the demand stays flat, the cost-to-value equation will continue to decline. Conversely, there is strong potential for a better cost-value scenario for marketers in CTV/OTT advertising as supply increases ahead of demand. There are other advantages, too, including better targeting capabilities, higher video completion rates and other CTV/OTT ad benefits.  

CTV/OTT advertising also provides marketers with an opportunity to better understand the effectiveness of their video dollars compared to linear TV. Measurement in the TV and video space is highly fragmented and will continue to evolve. With CTV/OTT, marketers can leverage device and identity graphs to do more advanced attribution and ROI measurement, such as matching an impression to a store or website visit, and better control for things like reach and frequency across all screens. 

The supply and demand for premium service

ROI is not the only value proposition that marketers expect. Top-notch service and creative solutions are more important than ever. In 2020, many marketing and advertising companies had to reduce their organizations’ size due to the pandemic’s economic impacts. This past year, we saw the “Great Resignation” coupled with companies looking to rebuild to help better position themselves for a strong rebound. 

All of this has generated massive demand for talent across the industry in the midst of evolving working environments, higher demand for flexibility and better benefits. The higher premium on talent stems from an industry-wide premium on service and flexibility, which will continue to be a key priority for most of the industry in 2022.

Before the pandemic, our industry was experiencing a massive shift toward self-service and in-housing. With a renewed emphasis on talent, service and flexibility, brands and agencies will lean into more strategic partners that can provide customized service models and value throughout the entire campaign life cycle. 

This includes everything from planning and activation to measurement and attribution, and we will likely see the pendulum shift back toward managed service or “guided service.” It will be an essential factor in how brands and agencies select partners. Ultimately, those who can provide flexible service and activation options in addition to good performance will experience strong growth this year.

Plan and execute with confidence 

Being successful will depend on having a data infrastructure that can support change and help understand consumer intent. Now is the time to reevaluate what is working and what’s not. Now is the time to test new solutions or channels. Now is the time to get ahead of these supply and demand curves and maximize the value of your partnerships and marketing efforts. 

Follow GroundTruth (@GroundTruthCo) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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