Cookies or not, programmatic ad spending is expected to grow in Asia in 2024

In this exclusive byline, Wei Hsueh, Country Manager, Equativ Singapore, outlines why programmatic has taken flight in APAC, why ad spend will increase in 2024, and what this means for marketers.

Programmatic advertising stands out as a vital digital asset within the realm of marketing strategies. It has transcended its origins in traditional online media to encompass dynamic areas such as connected TV, digital out-of-home, and audio, broadening its scope significantly. As we confront the imminent demise of third-party cookies, there is a palpable urgency in defining the shape of a post-cookie landscape. However, even amid these evolving circumstances, programmatic advertising is set to maintain its central role.

In fact, programmatic ad spend in Asia is expected to exceed USD$220bn (~£180.7bn) by 2024, as reported by Mordor Intelligence. With technology advancing each year, the synergy between improved software and algorithms makes the programmatic advertising landscape dynamic and captivating. However, what will these advancements look like in the post-cookie era?

So long, cookies

In 2024, marketers will face a significant shift as third-party cookies will become obsolete. While Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox had already blocked these cookies years ago, Google Chrome, with its 60% share of the global web browser market (Statista), has continued to utilise them.

So, although the demise of third-party cookies should enhance online privacy for internet users as they navigate the web, it also  creates a considerable challenge for marketers who heavily rely on third-party data and programmatic advertising to fuel their campaigns.

In response, marketers will need to adapt their strategies and explore innovative approaches to engage with their audience in anticipation of the impending disappearance of Google cookies. The end of cookies doesn't mean the apocalypse, nor does it mark the end of personalisation. In fact, it presents an opportunity to deliver precisely targeted advertisements and cultivate trust with your customer base.

Google is set to maintain its support for first-party data, making regulated first-party cookies a central aspect of programmatic advertising trends. First-party data encompasses information gathered from both online and offline sources, covering everything from browsing patterns to individual preferences. The beauty of first-party data lies in its direct origin from your audience, rendering it particularly valuable.

First-party data is ideal for contextual targeting, enabling brands to locate their ideal audience on the appropriate platform at the right moment. It offers a pathway to bypass the necessity for behavioural tracking techniques like pixels and cookies, all  while ensuring that advertisements remain pertinent and tailored to the audience.

Third-party data also plays a crucial role in the realm of programmatic advertising by providing valuable insights into diverse audience segments, thereby enhancing targeting capabilities. Leveraging third-party data allows marketers to supplement their existing first-party data, uncover fresh audience opportunities, and scale their advertising endeavours with greater efficiency.

The addition of third-party data brings value by extending reach and deepening the comprehension of customer behaviours. While it may not possess the same level of uniqueness or precision as other data types, its contribution to optimising advertising strategies remains substantial and should not be overlooked.

The joy of curation

Another option for marketers is the curation. Curation involves the development of supply portfolios that align data with available inventory. This empowers advertisers and media buyers to achieve more precise audience targeting within mobile apps using readily accessible pre-packaged ('curated') supply options that can be activated swiftly and effectively.

“Curation plays a pivotal role in programmatic transactions, ensuring transparency, efficiency, and accuracy for media buying. With the ever-changing industry, such as cookie deprecation and the rise of CTV, we see more use cases of curation emerging.”, Wei Hsueh, Country Manager, Equativ Singapore.

By evaluating premium data and media, bundling them together, and expediting their availability early in the media supply chain, curation eliminates the complexity introduced by an excess of intermediaries in the supply chain. Intermediate layers tend to obscure transparency, introduce delays, and erode efficiency. Curation bridges the gap between ad inventory and audience data on the supply side, eliminating many of the inefficient layers and establishing a streamlined digital supply route.

Through the implementation of a curation strategy, marketers gain the ability to pinpoint consumers with greater accuracy at critical stages of their buying journey, thereby maximising the value derived from their media investments on a large scale. Advertisers seeking increased control over their purchases have the option to construct specialised marketplaces focused on their specific areas of interest. 

With the customisation of their programmatic strategies in APAC, advertisers position themselves favourably to develop successful market share acquisition tactics in this region. As partners, we firmly believe in forging close collaborations with our advertisers and publishers to create tailored offerings that align precisely with your purchasing requirements.