Ad World and eBusiness Institute. Learn, share, connect.

Ad World is the largest online advertising event in the world, delivering key topics, speeches, workshops and a live Q&A session. It covers all aspects of online advertising, with topics ranging from the use of artificial intelligence and how to build a killer landing page, to the use of data for competitive advantage. The event attracts over 50,000 delegates and 100 keynote speakers, and spans 150 countries[1]. As you might imagine, the eBusiness Institute team was right there, and this is their take on the content.

In a cookie-less world, message matters more

Targeting and advertising cookies are designed to provide search analytics linked to advertising suggestions based around a consumer’s specific interests. They track time spent on a website, which links were clicked on, selected options, preferences and settings, accounts logged into, the history of pages visited, and all shopping basket items. The website stores a User ID and the shopper’s computer stores a Website ID. This way, the website knows who you are so it can welcome you back like an old friend, or entice you back through targeted advertising.

What will happen when the cookies are no longer there? — Image source: Shutterstock

In short, cookies are great sources for data capture to target and measure the effectiveness of your Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS).

Now let’s consider Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). This is a unique mobile device identifier that measures the effectiveness of advertising at user level, but a change has already taken place in the way this data is captured.

Previously, 70% of iOS users shared their IDFA with app publishers, but that won’t be the case now. It’s estimated that this number will drop to around 10–15%[2] because Apple has given users the choice to stop sharing their IDFA.

Apple announced that they are putting app privacy front and centre of iOS 14, the new mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads. Previously, opt out options for users had to be looked for within ‘settings’, but now every Apple user will have to opt in. This is what Apple has to say on the subject of privacy:

Apple announces an Opt in not an Opt out change — Image source: Quartz

“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.” — Apple, Inc.

In a nutshell, it will have huge repercussions for digital advertisers on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, TikTok and DSPs. When the Apple pop-up prompt asks if you want to opt in to have your browsing information captured, it’s a safe bet that the majority now decline.

Ad targeting won’t work. There’s bound to be a drop in audiences as users opt out of sharing their IDFA.

Ad measurement won’t work. Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) base their capabilities around the IDFA and, if that is denied to them, they can’t do their job.

So what can brands do about it?

All is not lost. Apple has its own replacement application programming interface called SKAdNetwork, which allows conversion data to still be passed at campaign level. There may be a slight reduction in the ability to accurately assess the performance of the ad campaign, but the basic understanding will be there to allow brands to see what is or isn’t working to make the most effective use of their ad budget. All done without infringing privacy considerations. Current take up is low and slow. Be an early adopter, not a laggard.

Brands must not wait for this inevitable loss of powerful targeting and measurement, the impacts of which will go way beyond mobile campaigns. They must act now and develop new methods towards delivering marketing messages that drive conversion. We suggest brands:

  • Become compatible with Apple’s SKAdNetwork and ensure compliance with privacy requirements
  • Ask the right questions via surveys to better understand buying behaviours
  • Think about a shift in mindset — from which audience to target to what content really resonates
  • Invest in creating new content vs amplifying it
  • Spread your wares across multiple channels for an omnichannel approach to avoid the risk of channel dependency
  • Never optimise on a one-day click, let campaigns run their course for accurate and more cost-effective PPC (pay-per-click)

If a brand is successful with content creation and attribution models, there may be no need for tracking after all.

Contact eBusiness Institute to find out more about how our media consulting services are helping many clients structure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to ensure they have a proper attribution model in place. We specialise in helping clients communicate their value propositions and create content that converts at scale.

Robots taking creative jobs? Do we need Arnie?

Not quite yet. Even though artificial intelligence (AI) can be defined as machines that have the capability to learn, they are not yet supercomputers ready to take over the world!

AI will develop in the creative and advertising world — Image source: Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence is evolving across many industries and it follows that, at some point, AI input in the creative and advertising industry will develop further. Brands should be aware of the potential that AI offers as it will help shape creativity in the future.

One area where AI has developed is with language, where it has a number of current applications. For example, new text in a recognised style or format, learnt by AI, can be auto created and might be used to alter human generated text to meet specific character counts.

Similarly, it is evolving to the point where it can actually create original imagery through a specific process. Basically, one computer registers an image and the other computer says if it looks real or not. They go back and forth until the computer is tricked into thinking it’s a real image.

Artificial intelligence isn’t just there to create copy or imagery. It can be a useful tool in audience targeting as well, with positive implications for brands to gain a competitive advantage using clever digital advertising strategies.

We will not see the role of the traditional copywriter or art director replaced by AI for some time, if ever. But AI can certainly play a supporting role to assist in creating content for inspiration that creatives can draw on. The role of the creative could shift one day from creation to selection. While computers can develop original content, they don’t possess the ability to decipher what is necessarily good content and, for that, we still need a human eye.

eBusiness Institute keeps track of all emerging technology, and are willing to embrace anything that will deliver more value to our clients and consumers. We are currently leveraging AI technology to evaluate how consumers perceive content. Sign up for a free assessment of your creative to see it in action.

The power of Amazon advertising

With over 300 million worldwide active customer accounts[3], Amazon has amassed a wealth of knowledge about how shoppers engage with products and brands. It is this deep understanding of the customer psyche that Amazon uses to effectively link advertisers with customers seeking specific products.

Amazon advertising now accounts for 30% of total sales[4].

Brands need to be aware of changes to Amazon Advertising — Image source: Shutterstock

The digital environment never sleeps, it is always on and your adverts must be working for you 24/7 because customers are browsing and shopping all the time across the globe.

As we know, advertising can take many forms, including images, text and the extremely effective use of video. Where adverts appear is also diverse, from websites to social media platforms. Deciding which advertising medium to use, at what time and where can be confusing. That’s why using the services of Amazon Advertising will help brands to navigate their way towards driving measurable outcomes, irrespective of whether these might be increased awareness or loyalty, better conversion rates or recurring sales.

Amazon Advertising offers a range of services, such as sponsored products, brands and displays, audio and video ads, plus custom advertising. It also offers their demand side platform (DSP) aimed at Amazon and non-Amazon advertisers who wish to programmatically buy display, video and audio ads. Customers of Amazon Advertising will benefit from Amazon Attribution, which is an advertising and analytics tool that helps to measure how effective an advert really is.

So, where next?

To be successful in this space, it’s important to understand how the platform will change in the upcoming years.

  • More control
    Amazon Advertising will be improving the control advertisers have, especially on Amazon DSP, for targeting and a/b testing
  • More creativity
    There will be the opportunity for more visual content and copy to inject into advertising
  • More interaction
    The power of live video and real-time chat
  • More traffic
    Amazon Advertising is growing rapidly, the growth curve is exponential

Amazon is evolving its advertising offering into more of a community culture based on entertaining rather than just a utilitarian platform.

Not all services are available in all countries where Amazon has a presence, but with the rapid growth of Amazon Advertising, more countries are being added meaning fresh brands will be able to join the party.

As these advertising opportunities become more immersive, creative and effective content will become even more important. eBusiness Institute specialises in creating product content that converts — from advanced content and product descriptions to more immersive formats such as live commerce. We can also help you to manage your Amazon Accounts, and take advantage of emerging advertising opportunities.

The human touch offers consumers multi-dimensional retail experiences

One challenge that has always faced digital advertisers is how to engage with consumers in a way that delivers an experience akin to shopping in the physical world. Evolving technology allows us to innovate and delight customers in the way that information is presented to them, and brands should embrace these increasingly immersive shopping experiences for their customers.

Charles Darwin once said:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”

The same could be said about brands in these strange times that the world and, indeed, the world of eCommerce are living through. The need for change is upon us.

Great content, detailed photography from different angles with both product and application shots, and in-depth descriptive text are all good, but consumers are demanding more. These demands are being met by a number of emerging trends being piloted that enable brands to mimic an in-store shopping experience.

Preparing for a live shopping event — Image source: Shutterstock

Some of the new ways that brands are engaging with consumers are listed here, and they all have one thing in common — the human touch.

Live Commerce

Classic infomercials and TV shopping are experiencing an exciting rebirth with the surge of live commerce. It’s a scripted live event, usually hosted by an influencer, and showcasing products through visual demos and live audience questions. What started as an emerging medium in China has gone global.

Virtual Shopping

A one-to-one spin off from live commerce, virtual shopping allows consumers to interact with a sales representative through real-time chat and video conference, enabling shoppers to interact directly with products in-store through their smartphone.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Whether you want to see how that sofa fits in your living room or how that mascara transforms your lashes, AR enables consumers to experience products like never before. Many beauty brands, including L’Oreal, have already entered the space, but integrating this technology across commerce channels will be key.

Brands must consider how they take their content to the next level to really create a connected experience for their customers.

eBusiness Institute lives at the intersection of digital and retail. We are currently piloting a number of emerging retail technologies including all three listed above. Learn more about our live commerce offering.

Where did that customer come from?

Brands should beware of limiting their analytics focus to the activity closest to conversion — in other words, getting hung up on chasing last click attribution.

It is far better to understand the impact of every touchpoint that the consumer visited on their journey from awareness to purchase. It’s much safer for brands to really understand the sales funnel than to cancel something that works in the mistaken belief that it had no influence on the sale.

Understand the big picture and don’t just rely on the last click — Image source: Shutterstock

Building omnichannel campaigns helps direct-to-consumer (DtC) brands deliver a coherent message and also maximise their return on advertising spend (ROAS). There’s a need to invest in other channels, not just those seeing a large ROAS. A healthy channel mix will strengthen the success factor, as the saying goes…all your eggs, one basket.

Furthermore, a mix of KPIs across channels and at every step of the funnel is key to a more realistic understanding of where the consumer came from and why the sale took place.

Keeping an eye on the bigger picture and monitoring total spend vs total revenue in each of the above two points will help to avoid bad decisions.

And a final note, watch your frequency capping. Flooding website visitors with advertisements can cause much irritation, something that all of us have probably experienced. Every channel should be working together on the retargeting objective to suit the consumer and to reduce cost.

Just because the perception is that it’s linked to a big ROAS, there’s danger in relying solely on last click attribution. Brands should concentrate on connecting consumer experiences along the shopper journey.

eBusiness Institute specialises in helping clients create a connected content ecosystem. We will help you understand your consumer journey, develop a winning content and channel strategy, and help you identify the right metrics to track.

In conclusion

Ad World as an event certainly delivered a range of interesting and thought provoking topics. There was something for every professional currently working in the creative and advertising industry. And, of course, eBusiness Institute, your trusted partner in eCommerce was there, keeping abreast of all the latest trends and news and ensuring that our products and service offerings remain at the forefront of today’s digital thinking.

We specialise in delivering content that converts, we provide connected content ecosystems for our clients, including advising on the right metrics to track, along with piloting emerging and exciting AI and live commerce technologies and events.

We operate in an ever-changing digital world, and brands must keep abreast of the changes or get left behind.

eBusiness Institute, helping brands to excel at eCommerce

We create integrated solutions to connect consumer experiences, helping brands to thrive in today’s world and stay future-ready. To find out more about how we can help you create content that converts, contact us to speak with one of our experts.

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Originally published at on June 28, 2021.



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eBusiness Institute

eBusiness Institute

We create end-to-end connected commerce solutions to help brands accelerate their digital growth, to thrive in today’s world and to stay future-ready.