State of the Industry: Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit

Corey Rice

Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street was nominated for five Academy Awards, but ultimately the controversial film was shut out and failed to take home a single Oscar statue. However, it did make history by setting a new record for the most expletives ever used in a feature film - 687 to be exact - translating to an impressive 3.81 expletives per minute. 

How is this fun fact relevant to the recent Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit? Odds are that the event obliterated the record for the number of times ‘Cookieless Future’ was mentioned during any previous digital media summit. Throughout the course of three days in Palm Springs, this phrase permeated every panel discussion, fireside chat, industry presentation, and networking conversation.


KORTX Team - (L-R) Bryan Presti, Corey Rice, Brandon Pollard


KORTX was a VIP sponsor of the summit, which was expertly hosted by Digiday’s Tim Peterson and Ronan Shields. Representatives from our Ad Operations and Strategy teams arrived with a mission to take in as much programmatic-focused content as possible, and meet with brands and agencies to understand what challenges they’re facing in this new era of digital marketing.


Digiday’s Tim Peterson & Ronan Shields


Hot Topics & Buzzwords
Aside from the ever-present ‘cookieless future’ there were a handful of high-level themes that consistently wove through the content and discussions:

First-Party Data:

  • The opening slide of day one was crystal clear - the ability for brands to leverage their data assets is table stakes for gaining short-term wins and building long-term success.
  • This can look like breaking down corporate silos and building partnerships that can unlock the value of First-Party data while keeping privacy compliance top of mind.   

Measurement & Attribution: 

  • During multiple panel discussions, brand and agency leaders expressed an urgency to address the lack of a cohesive solution for assessing performance across digital media channels. As one agency executive said: “Even running an attribution report for a campaign that has Facebook and Google is basically impossible to execute accurately”. 
  • Holding companies and large-scale brands that have ample resources are certainly testing advanced measurement options, but the overall sentiment still leans towards frustration regarding the disparate solutions that are currently available. 

The Role of Contextual:

  • Ever since Google’s first announcement (of many) about its solution for browser cookie deprecation, Contextual solutions have been positioned as an alternate strategy for reaching a specific target audience. 
  • Brand and agency representatives seemed to agree that there’s minimal differentiation between most contextual vendors - and while they might appear to offer a unique technology or proprietary process, there’s typically minimal variance in performance across contextual vendors.   
  • The general consensus at the summit was that contextual solutions are definitely being tested, but have not yet gained the confidence of media buyers as a 1:1 replacement for cookie-based audience targeting - and they perform best when combined with First-Party data.

As the industry continues to evolve, it's never been more important to stay ahead of the changes in this new era of digital marketing. Do you need help tackling a changing digital landscape? Contact our team of experts today!

Corey Rice

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