CES is always a bit of a spectacle with the advertising industry descending on Las Vegas for a week to kick off the year. This year there was a sense of urgency underlying all of the meetings, parties, and content sessions. The ad industry is preparing for cookie deprecation in a major way and that was seen, heard, and felt throughout the week.
Following a week of conversations with folks across the industry, here are the biggest trends we observed.
Product road maps are ambitious
It’s clear that the ad technology industry wants to meet cookie deprecation head on. We heard about detailed road maps from agencies, publishers, and platforms, as all parties look for ways to maintain addressability and performance. While the ambition is encouraging, the industry faces an uphill climb in making it all happen. Development teams are running leaner than ever. We expect that many companies will either seek outside help, or be forced to make hard decisions when it comes to product prioritization.
Data organization is a top priority
For years, the industry has been talking about how cookie deprecation will require new data strategies as brands prioritize first-party data. At CES, we heard that the industry needs to take another crucial step before it can even move on to data strategy.
The priority in the first half of 2024 will be data organization. The issue is that for many brands and platforms, data is not organized in an accessible fashion. Before anyone can move on to strategy or implementation, they must have their data organized and in place so that it is accessible via all the technology platforms needed to create a new infrastructure built around first-party data.
Expect more M&A activity
Snowflake’s late-December acquisition of Samooha was a welcome sign, as the ad tech M&A market moved very slowly in 2023. Analysts and insiders in Vegas all said they expect more consolidation on the platform side this year – especially in light of the need for new data infrastructure.
As we get more clarity into how brands deal with cookie deprecation, we’ll likely see a lot more activity. With ambitious product timelines and the need for greater data accessibility, it only makes sense that some companies will look at the capabilities they’re missing, and look to make a purchase to fill that market need.
If you’re looking for answers about product development or data organization, reach out to us at MadTech today.