Brand Relevancy and Reach in a Cookieless World

In 2022, marketers will continue to be faced with the challenge of finding new ways to leverage the power of cross channel digital advertising to reach Canadians effectively and meaningfully while utilizing new means of addressability. Sifting through the massive amounts of data and using what they can (in a privacy first way) to attain critical mass while maintaining focus on the “people” they are trying to reach is increasingly important to brands as they strive to retain relevancy in the face of diminishing cookies.  

As a warmup to our upcoming Business of Digital: Digital Reach – Playbook for Addressable Audiences taking place on February 24, 2022, we sat down with IAB Canada member, Bethanie Butcher, Vice President, Brand Operations and Analytics & Insights, P&G Canada to get her take on what brands should be focusing on in 2022 and how they can serve their customers best as we head into this uncertain and yet exciting year. 

IAB Canada: How has the definition and expectation of “Reach” in digital media changed over the year(s)? 

Bethanie: The most successful brands are the ones that are able to reach their consumers when and where they are most receptive and with content that will resonate. This has not changed. What has changed is technology and our ability to leverage precision 1:1 targeting to reach individuals with the right message at the right time with the right frequency. At P&G, we’re moving from mass marketing to brand building with greater precision through data and analytics. In recent years, the amount of data and computing power available to analyze data has exploded. This has given us infinitely more consumer observation points and new techniques to make sense of it all. As an industry, we need to build a better consumer centric measurement ecosystem by constantly evolving our methodologies, tools, and thinking in order to better serve our consumers.   

IABC: A new strategist enters on to the scene – what is the first topic you brief them on? 

Bethanie: As an industry, we need to remember that data does not just spontaneously generate out of nothing. Data is the product of a human being…and, in our case, a consumer…doing something.  All data, big or small…is human. This challenges us to think differently about data.

First, to be effective and useful, data must be representative. Ensuring our data sets represent all the people we serve will not only help us achieve better business outcomes but is also the right thing to do. We need to work together to ensure that all voices are heard and that our data sets are truly representative of the diverse consumers we serve.     

Second, since all data is human, we must also understand where, how, and how often we communicate with our consumers through better media measurement. When communication is done right, it’s an opportunity for brands to connect more meaningfully with their target audience. Compared to advancements we have seen in other areas of analytics and insights; media measurement continues to be a challenge.

Lastly, consumer privacy is another area where expectations continue to rise. At P&G, we have a responsibility and role in the stewardship and governance of consumer data, and we take this responsibility seriously. Simply put, we collect consumer data to provide superior experiences to consumers. We do it with their consent, in a transparent and proportional manner and we hold ourselves accountable for the data we collect.  

IABC: Which area of Reach do you find the most interesting at the moment? Is it the opportunities themselves? The technology that is available to deliver? Measurement? 

Bethanie: As an industry, we need to come together to better serve our consumers. Marketers, researchers, and other industry vendors must ask themselves what they can do better, especially in the areas of representation, media measurement, and privacy. We are actively working with our vendors to improve representation of our data sets, the Association of Canadian Advertisers is working across the industry to build a cross media measurement system, and consumer privacy must underpin everything we do. No one company can do it alone but if we all do our part, we can transform the industry and better serve our consumers.  

Our agenda for next week’s event is jam packed and we hope that you can join us for what is sure to be a great day of discussions covering topics from measurement, brand safety, addressability, and the state of connected tv and audio.  

This event is free for IAB Canada members, and you can find the full agenda and register here.