Data world

What will 2020 look like for the digital ad industry?

As we move into the new decade, Ian James, CEO at data services business Silverbullet, takes a look at what we can expect will be the focus of the digital ad industry in 2020.

It’s no secret that throughout 2019 we’ve seen a definitive crumbling of the third-party cookie as GDPR enforcements continue to rise, and large internet browsers are cracking down on data collection. And, as we’ve seen with the ICO’s latest discoveries in the direct processing of special category data, the regulator isn’t shy of taking a hard-line approach to those flouting the rules.

Whilst it’s true that the digital ad industry will struggle to adapt to this shift, not all is lost; in fact, there’s much to be gained. Businesses must start to think smarter and better in order to establish a sustainable, long-lasting marketing future - especially when it comes to the use of customer data.

So, as we head into 2020, there are a few things that businesses will have to consider. With a limited yet enriched data pool available, there will be a renewed focus on making this data work much, much harder. Many businesses will be heading back to the future of contextual targeting, searching for ways to inform with first-party data, and enhance with artificial intelligence. We will also likely see a more pressing need for measurement, as businesses seek to better understand their digital assets and the value they provide. This surge in new technology and enhanced machine learning means both skill and trusted experience will be paramount. It’s time to re-focus on what marketing should be about: driving inspiring connections between people and experiences in a safe, respected way.

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