IAB Interact – Putting Things Into Perspective

IAB Europe Interact took place this week in Madrid. The flagship event packed a full agenda covering the state of online advertising in Europe. The lively discussions signalled some interesting global trends given the sheer size of the market evaluated at 92 billion Euros. While the Connected TV growth opportunity stole the show, we heard some interesting perspectives about the rapidly growing retail media category and looked at some other emerging channels that have gained similar attention here in Canada. 

Transactional activity was the recurring theme for the first day of the event. Ranging from the acknowledgement of the tremendous growth spurt we’ve experienced thanks to the boost from eCommerce all the way to shoppable ads. Also covered were new formats that are being developed to drive engagement as well as new measurement standards to ensure the sustainability of investment. The reports were optimistic across the board with some caveats around market uncertainty. While the digital economy in Europe is predicting significant growth in 2022, Deutsche Bank for one, is anticipating a delayed recession that could impact 2023 forecasts. In Canada, as we finalize our revenue reporting, we are seeing a similar trend where some publishers are submitting some revisions based on issues that are impacting the market in Q2 including sustained supply chain issues and the impact of the war in Ukraine. 

Forrester presented a new study done in partnership with Microsoft that explores a new consumer segment that has emerged from the remote workplace shift we’ve experienced over the past two years. The report describes a new (affluent) consumer who mixes work with personal tasks throughout the day and depends heavily on their PC to research high consideration purchases during work hours. Interestingly, the report also describes a major gap between an advertisers’ ability to understand the emotions that drive buyers’ decision making and how they are missing out on truly connecting on a human level. The report cites a major challenge with insight-led decisioning and navigating data privacy requirements. This theme has also come up in our Council discussions and continues to be the secret sauce employers are looking to hire against. 

Day one wrapped up with an inspiring presentation from Anastasiya Baydachenko, CEO of IAB Ukraine. Anastasiya described the critical role that IAB Ukraine along with other associations have played throughout an unimaginable and persistent crisis. Our sister association has been working on the frontlines with the government to navigate everything from using digital media effectively to communicate to citizens as well as helping to manage an onslaught of misinformation while managing a dislocated team – all from emergency shelters. The audience was left in awe of the courage, tenacity, and absolute leadership that IAB Ukraine continues to show during this incredibly difficult time. IAB Canada along with IABs around the world are proud to stand with IAB Ukraine.