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AdExchanger’s Industry Preview: What 2020 has In-Store for Marketing Technology

Kathik Rao speaks at AdExchanger's Industry Preview

January marked the start of a new year and a new decade that promise to bring transformative change to the media industry. Viewers are splitting their time across more devices and platforms than ever before, and marketers need to evolve their strategies and technologies to adapt to these new viewing behaviors, as well as to address consumers’ growing privacy concerns. 

Last week’s AdExchanger’s Industry Preview provided an opportunity for the world’s industry-leading brands to discuss the future of marketing technology over the next 12 months. And our own Chief Product, Technology, & Operations Officer of Nielsen Global Media, Karthik Rao, joined AdExchanger’s managing editor Ryan Joe on stage at the event in New York to share how Nielsen is innovating to better serve the evolving media industry.

Amidst the disruption, fragmentation and change occurring across the media industry, it’s never been more clear how important Nielsen’s One Media Truth is for the industry. And we’re constantly working to evolve our measurement to stay ahead of the next change. As Karthik noted, “keeping up with the state of innovation and disruption in the media industry is what we strive for.” 

Viewer fragmentation is a growing point of disruption in media. And it highlights the need for cross-platform measurement. With consumers having more and more outlets to viewing content, marketers need to understand where their audiences are spending their time in order to best direct their advertising dollars. One of Nielsen’s key areas of focus in 2020 is refining our cross-platform measurement. 

“It is important to have a scalable platform to normalize what got consumed, when and by whom, and many of these ingredients come from Nielsen. We’ve got to be really good about how we can speed up this process, and we’re making really good progress,“ Karthik noted.

Consumers aren’t just consuming media across more outlets, they’re also consuming more content. But with the rise in minutes consumed, viewers are more likely to bounce between experiences. Brands and platforms can no longer create the best experience for consumers in isolation—the consumer now expects a cross-platform experience. “All of these platforms are creating innovative experiences, and we provide the clarity marketers crave to deduplicate and get a full campaign view across platforms,” Karthik emphasized. 

Another source of disruption stems from the industry shift to move away from cookies within the next two years, and instead introduce the “Privacy Sandbox,” an initiative that aims to evolve the web with architecture that advances privacy, while continuing to support a free and open ecosystem. Again, this change highlights the value that third-party measurement provides for the media industry. By combining big data sets with Nielsen’s panel data, we’re able to provide a single source of truth to the market that puts consumer privacy first.  

“We’re always going to be supportive of anything [privacy-related] that happens in the industry because it’s a core tenet of how we’ve existed for decades. We’ve created really good data products that are good at adhering to privacy constructs in the industry,” Karthik explained.  “From a tech and data science perspective, the winners will be the ones that understand how to work with data and algorithms without tripping the lines of privacy.”