This Month In Marketing: The Promise of Programmatic & The Impact of Email (January 2024)

New year, new beginnings, new opportunities. As you kick off your best year yet, start it with the Marketing Manager’s monthly compilation of all the marketing news you need to stay on top.

Data Downside

The State of Modern Marketing Data Standards report, conducted by Claravine and Advertiser Perceptions, revealed that advertisers estimate about 25% of ad impressions result in wasted ad spending or risk to their company due to incorrect targeting. This issue is attributed to a lack of confidence in tracking creative assets and tying creative performance to ROI. Only 15% of US advertisers are very confident in tracking all creative across channels, and just 13% are confident in connecting creative performance to campaign ROI. Identifying these issues also poses challenges, with over half of advertisers taking up to a day to detect ads placed near unsuitable content and 58% needing 2-3 days to fix errors. To remain competitive, advertisers need to gain control over data standards and implement strategies to mitigate these risks.

B2B Buyer Challenges

B2B buyers face various challenges, with 92% feeling pressured to make cost-effective purchases due to economic uncertainty. The study by Hero Digital highlights that B2B buyers have high digital expectations and strict budgets, emphasizing the need for businesses to understand their unique needs. Challenges include understanding product specifications, inconsistent product information, and finding up-to-date data, which can lead to prolonged buying processes and inefficiencies. Deal-breakers include a lack of transparency in fulfillment processes, supply-chain issues, and inconsistent communication across channels, pushing buyers to pursue internal improvements for better digital experiences.

From Top To Bottom

Affiliate marketing is evolving beyond the “last click” model, with 56% of marketers using it for awareness, 58% for consideration, 50% for acquisition, and 32% for retention. Gen3 Marketing’s study reveals that affiliate marketing has expanded to encompass various sub-channels, including sponsored content, partner marketing, premium content, performance PR, and commerce content. The study recommends integrating affiliate teams to manage these sub-channels effectively and highlights the importance of social media, influencer marketing, and retail in publisher models.

Inbox Impact

Email marketing remains a cornerstone of successful marketing, showing positive ROI regardless of business size or economic challenges. Zoominfo’s report, “The B2B Perspective on Multi-Channel Marketing,” reveals that 73% of B2B marketers consider email the most effective mode of communication for connecting with prospects. This is followed by phone use (39%) and live and digital events (31%). Despite the challenges posed by Big Tech measures that have impacted email marketing effectiveness, marketers are adapting by focusing on relevant metrics. Data challenges in multi-channel marketing persist, with 42% facing a lack of resources or expertise in data analysis, 36% struggling to track data from different sources, 34% dealing with incomplete or inaccurate data, and 33% lacking an overall data strategy. Implementing and executing a successful multi-channel marketing strategy requires the ability to utilize data effectively across channels to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Surprisingly, only 19% of B2B marketers feel strongly that their organizations can achieve this, while 24% indicate difficulties in using multi-channel data in this manner.

Cookie Confidence Contrasts?

A study by Fyllo highlights the varying levels of preparedness for the impending cookieless world within organizations. Senior leaders such as C-suite executives and CEOs express greater confidence in their targeting solutions’ preparedness, with 88% of the C-suite and 78% of CEOs believing their solutions can operate without cookies. In contrast, only 62% of VP/Director level executives share this confidence. The study, “Navigating The Privacy-First Landscape,” interviewed decision-makers responsible for digital advertising budgets and underscores the importance of aligning communication and strategies within organizations.

Retail Ad Spending To Continue Rising

Insider Intelligence’s media ad spend forecast predicts that U.S. retail media ad spend will reach nearly $110 billion by 2027, doubling 2023 figures and growing annually by over 20%. This growth is attributed to the strong performance of major retail media networks like Amazon Ads and Walmart Connect. Retail media is projected to account for over a quarter of total U.S. digital ad spend by 2027.

Holiday Havoc

A report by CreativeX reveals that brands are wasting over $600 million worldwide during the holiday season, with nearly half of this waste occurring in the United States. These advertising dollars are not meeting best practices that boost brand success on digital platforms. The issues include unbranded ads, wrongly-sized ads, video ads of inappropriate length, and video ads lacking subtitles. These challenges are not limited to the holiday season, highlighting the importance of adhering to creative best practices year-round.

Programmatic Potential

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) focuses on transparency in its follow-up study on programmatic advertising. The research finds that programmatic campaigns run on an average of 44,000 websites, which the ANA considers concerning and risky for advertisers. Impressions predominantly come from just 3,000 sites, with 63% from the top 500 sites by impression volume. To mitigate these risks, the ANA recommends concentrating programmatic media activity on a smaller number of trusted websites, potentially selecting 75 to 100 trusted sellers for more efficient and safe transactions.

The Larger Costs of Ad-Blocking

Ad-blocking is expected to cost publishers $54 billion in lost advertising revenue next year, according to data from eyeo. This figure represents 8% of the projected global digital ad spend. The report notes that users are increasingly annoyed with intrusive online ads and are seeking greater control over their online experiences. Acceptable Ads, which meet nonintrusive, user-friendly standards, have seen significant growth, with over 300 million opt-in users worldwide. Users value data control, including restrictions on sharing location data, browsing history, and consent for data collection or sharing.

Done Deal?

A new report reveals that 84% of B2B deals are decided by buyers before marketers initiate contact. Buyers are already 70% through their buying process, typically taking around eight months, when they engage with sellers. To gain a competitive advantage, revenue teams must create awareness and build relationships with members of the buying committee early in the buying process. This can be achieved through thought leadership content, expert consultations, and educational events that provide value and shorten the buying process. Early-stage positioning can reduce the number of vendors considered and influence which vendors are top-of-mind when buyers engage with sellers.


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