After two years of COVID, 2022 promised to be a bit more predictable and sane. Turns out we were wrong! As we round the corner into 2023, we are dealing with an unpredictable economy, widespread layoffs across the technology sector, inflation, rising interest rates, and an almost-certain downturn in advertising spend.
This year has had many unpredictable moments - at the start of the year, I expected the most significant event of October 2022 to be the release of Hocus Pocus 2; who could have predicted that by Halloween, Elon Musk would be the owner and CEO of Twitter.
After a couple of years of stop-start efforts for the media and advertising industry, the now infamous third-party cookie had its final expiration date set until Google gave the industry a short respite to 2024.
For InfoSum, it has been an incredibly productive and successful year. We launched Platform Sigma. We announced new partnerships with Boots, TheTradeDesk, Adform, IRI, Neustar, FACE ESL Group, Acxiom and Experian (with more to come in early 2023). And…we launched our business in Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.
We benefited from significant tailwinds in 2022, which will propel us to a fast start in 2023.
Data clean rooms prove their value
As we entered 2022, the data clean room was one of the most hyped solutions within adtech and martech communities. They promised to solve many connectivity challenges created by deprecating third-party identifiers. Throughout 2022, data clean rooms moved beyond the hype to be fundamental components of the modern marketing technology stack. In 2022 our clients have experienced great success using the InfoSum data clean room to power their data-driven strategies.
Through InfoSum’s platform, brands have more effectively used first-party data to achieve a:
- 33% lift in conversions;
- 19% reduction in cost-per-click; and
- 15% reduction in cost-per-acquisition.
Thanks to our partners at Axel Springer, Annalect, and OMD Germany for providing the final two stats that are hot off the press.
Through secure data collaboration, media owners were able to maximize the value of their audience data and inventory, resulting in a:
- 2x boost in CPMs; and
- 4x boost in cookieless scale.
I was particularly excited to see how data clean rooms solve many measurement challenges, as demonstrated by our work with Deliveroo and Channel 4, which incidentally won the I-COM Data Creativity Award for Incrementality Measurement.
In 2023, I expect to see even greater adoption of data clean rooms as they demonstrate their ability to solve the full spectrum of media use cases, from basic data matching to power audience planning, activation and measurement to more complex media network use cases.
As we saw with CDPs before them, data clean rooms have become a loosely used term, with various technologies repositioned as clean rooms. Fortunately, as we head into 2023, we expect to see better standards set for data clean rooms, led in the US by the IAB Tech Lab.
Continuing retail media innovation
eMarketer predicts that retail media in the US will be a $51.36 billion opportunity in 2023, accounting for 18.1% of all digital ad spend - growing to $61.15 billion or 19.1% in 2024. While the growth in the US is impressive, we see the most-impressive innovation happening in the UK.
In November, I attended the ITV Palooza event, during which ITV announced ITVX and MatchMaker. The latter is its new retail media solution underpinned by InfoSum and in partnership with Tesco and Boots. The following day, Channel 4 was hot off the press with their own retail media solution, underpinned by InfoSum and in collaboration with Nectar 360 and Sainsbury's. These back-to-back announcements demonstrate the growing opportunity around retail media. Powered by data clean rooms, retail media is moving beyond simple shopper marketing use cases - displaying ads within the retailers-owned properties - to more complex off-site activations powered by first and second-party data.
Data collaboration will continue to fuel these new retail media opportunities as retailers collaborate directly with multiple parties, including advanced TV providers, traditional publishers, and other data providers. This will shift the question for retailers from "how do I become a media owner" to "how can I deliver an end-to-end audience-driven media solution." The answer is fast, easy, secure and effective data collaboration, made possible through data clean rooms.
Direct collaborations will become even more important
While it appears much of Europe is already in a recession, it remains to be seen if the US will follow suit. Regardless of that, organizations faced with economic uncertainty will inevitably put their advertising budgets under greater scrutiny. This scrutiny will lead to marketers focusing on optimizing their advertising strategy, and maximizing return on ad spend (ROAS).
We expect advertisers to shift their strategies away from awareness to performance marketing. This more strategic approach requires hands-on control over media planning tactics to minimize waste and maximize campaign performance. This greater control can only be achieved by advertisers choosing to partner directly with media companies that can offer direct access to their audience profile and data partners that can provide valuable data enrichment opportunities.
This brings our trends full circle. Through data clean rooms, advertisers are empowered to match their first-party data against media company audiences and data partners' enrichment data sets to build highly customized audiences that can deliver a greater ROAS.
As we have wrapped up the year here at InfoSum, I've had the chance to speak to many of our clients and partners. Each is dedicated to further innovation in 2023 that delivers on their business goals and does right by the consumer - delivering rich data-driven experiences that put consumer trust and privacy first.
As for the team at InfoSum, I'm continuously blown away by the talent and dedication across every part of the business. I hope every InfoSummer takes the holidays to relax, be with those they love and come back in 2023 ready to continue our mission.
To all our customers, partners and friends, we wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to seeing all of you in 2023!