Programmatic Pioneers Summit – Insights from NinaData

The NinaData team headed off to London for the Programmatic Pioneers Summit at the end of May – Europe’s biggest event dedicated to all things programmatic.

The conference saw over 70 programmatic media experts from all the leading brands, agencies, and publishers come together to discuss key things to watch for right now and how to prepare programmatic strategies for cookieless browsers and further developments in e-privacy and regulatory changes.

Here are our takeaways from the conference!

Being top of mind hasn’t changed for brands

Dominating the top of the marketing funnel is still majorly important for brands. Driving awareness, recognition, and visibility is very much at the core of their marketing strategy, and with the removal of third-party cookies, brands will be looking at new ways of connecting with their audiences.

According to a study by the Programmatic Pioneers Summit, 54% of respondents said that the crumbling cookie is a concern and are rethinking their strategy in response. So it’s no surprise that 53% of respondents in the same study said they’re struggling to identify the right customers to target for specific campaigns.

Leverage contextual advertising to drive campaign performance

The comeback of contextual. We observed many speakers discuss the difficulty in running behavioural targeting campaigns. Contextual advertising allows you to deliver your message to a specific frame of mind as it seamlessly slots into a contextually relevant environment. 74% of consumers have a favourable perception of brands whose ad messages relate to the adjacent content, according to IAS’ Congruence Effect study.

Capturing the same frame of mind isn’t possible in behavioural targeting. In a keynote of contextual strategies for performance campaigns, a study of over 1,000 campaigns found that contextual targeting outperformed re-targeting by 22%.

Paying attention to attention

With over 50% of ad spending going to the three biggest platforms, only looking at outcomes at an individual level is too limited – we need to measure exposure as well.

In a chat with Craig Tuck, Hannah Barnett and Charlotte Still focused on the notion of “attention”, the panellists considered how the industry can transition from a cookie-based to privacy-centric approach that enables a true understanding of ad performance beyond viewability and click stats. 

However, there is no industry standard for “attention” metrics right now, and there was no clear answer for it going forward, according to the panellists. However, they did agree that the cost of advertising is going to be flipped on its head. According to Craig, 

even though costs per ad may rise, they will turn out to be more cost-efficient in the future. 

ROI is mission-critical

As first-party data becomes even more important, finding ways to use it to drive ROI impact is becoming mission-critical. This is no surprise given that campaigns which are truly using first-party data are still in the early stages of being rolled out.

Over 66% of respondents to Programmatic Pioneers Summit’s study reported that increasing personalisation and user control is a major consideration for their media buying priorities. Marketers are facing pressure to acquire customers as cost-efficiently as possible – a never-ending struggle for most.

It is to be hoped that once ROI is proven, the industry as a whole will see an uptick in activity. 


It was crystal clear that the industry fully backed contextual targeting as the answer to the demise of cookies, and brands need to transform their programmatic roadmap to thrive in a post-third-party cookie era.

With this in mind, ask yourself – are our current capabilities fit for the future? Are they agile enough to really make the most out of contextual targeting? If not, any delay in getting your strategy ready could cost you your competitive and top of mind presence to your competitors. 

If you’d like more information about how NinaData can help you to reach more targeted audiences than ever before without cookies and to improve your ROI, get in touch with us today.

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