Programmatic Efficiency Through Collaboration: 3 Trends that Will Transform the UK Digital Landscape in 2023

The UK is facing a very challenging 2023 economically, as consumer spending power and marketing budgets shrink. With that, prioritising programmatic efficiency is more important than ever. 

The programmatic industry was able to pivot quickly during the pandemic, as consumers spent more time at home watching video than ever before. Connected TV (CTV) advertising skyrocketed and fueled growth across the industry, generating new innovation and standards like OpenRTB 2.6 to bolster trust in the supply chain. 

This trend has only continued, and doubling down on those innovations to make CTV advertising work for media buyers and owners will be key this year. Not only will it provide new sources of funding for broadcasters, it will also open up new ad-funded options so that cash-strapped consumers can continue accessing the programmes they love. 

From more efficiency through closer partnerships, to developing new CTV standards, collaboration across the industry will be key in accelerating this transformation. To help discover ways to further such collaboration, I sat down with Faisal Karmali, senior director, international business operations at Warner Bros. Discovery, and James Trott, head of product and strategy, UK&IE at Matterkind, in our recent webinar. 

The top three trends in UK digital advertising in 2023

1. Media owners and buyers will utilise programmatic efficiency and reach this year to help weather the recession

The unique ability of programmatic to build and activate marketing campaigns at short notice will be highly beneficial to media buyers during the continued economic and political uncertainty of the year to come. Additionally, we will see continued emphasis on building campaigns that can promise efficiency, while effectively reaching preferred consumers. 

The more programmatic efficiency we can provide, the more confidence media buyers will have in achieving maximum reach on their marketing budgets through programmatic. This efficiency will also mean that more spend will reach media owners. 

“Programmatic has always been massively well-placed to deliver on reach and efficiency and to deliver across any given audience–be that display, the plethora of TV and video we have now, and other channels. So we’re really doubling down on that ability to flexibly deliver efficient reach across any given audience.”

James Trott, head of product and strategy, UK&IE

2. As the CTV landscape changes dramatically, it presents a chance to build programmatic from scratch

CTV continues to be an exciting channel for media owners and buyers alike. As a growing majority of UK consumers move over to watching CTV, agencies will play a key role in helping their brands move their budgets traditionally reserved for linear TV to premium CTV. 

This huge shift promises to transform not only television, but digital advertising overall as the industry builds a CTV experience that combines TV’s reach with the best of programmatic, like addressability and precise measurement.

“Across all the key KPIs we look at when measuring new platforms, CTV is performing very well, so it’s super important for the strategic direction we’re taking. From my perspective, it’s also an opportunity to start from scratch in terms of an advertising product. This will lead to a better [consumer] experience overall.”

Faisal Karmali, senior director, international business operations
Warner Bros. Discovery

3. Collaboration will fuel growth across the industry 

Across the different challenges and opportunities that we discussed, a common theme emerged: by working together, we can grow together. 

From areas like guaranteed outcomes for customers to defining the right integrations that will work with partners, the true scope and value of programmatic is only possible through close partnerships across the industry. 

It was that eagerness for collaboration that gave the discussion such a positive spin, despite the looming challenges in the UK. It’s only by working together that we can find the truly workable solutions for partners across the industry–and it’s this collaboration that will make the industry stronger in the long term. 

“Collaboration is more important than ever within the programmatic space. As programmatic marketers now we play in so many different places…The breadth of our clients is so vast [that] it’s the different combination of tech, data, and media for each that is going to deliver the best results. How do you understand when to go down traditional channels, digital channels, new channels like CTV…and so it’s massively important for our clients that we’re having these conversations.”

James Trott, head of product and strategy, UK&IE

“The platforms we’ve had the most conversations with are the ones we’ve done the best business with…In having those conversations and picking those technologies, they have to be able to work together, becoming interoperable. We can innovate and create amazing visualisations and show how the audience performs, but connecting those points [with the data and tech of your partner] in order to become a real tradeable factor is really the aim.” 

Faisal Karmali, senior director, international business operations
Warner Bros. Discovery

Learn more about how collaboration and innovation will improve programmatic efficiency across channels in 2023.

Sara Vincent

Sara Vincent

Managing director, UK & IE

As the managing director for UK&IE, Sara works with media owners, agencies, and other key partners to accelerate growth in the UK and Ireland through the Index suite of omnichannel programmatic solutions. An industry veteran with close to twenty years' experience, she was named the Wires' 2022 Ad Tech Personality of the Year.

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