After an engaging couple of days at last week’s Programmatic Pioneers Connect, I’ve come back with a wealth of fresh insights to share. Leaving no stone unturned when it came to the programmatic marketing space and its dynamic landscape, we covered it all, from the cookieless environment to the integration of AI and ML, attribution, measurement, sustainability and beyond.

At the core of the conversations was a shared commitment to fostering collaboration across the industry. Whether it’s among retailers, brands, agencies, or tech providers, the focus was on working together to elevate the customer experience.

At the event, I had the pleasure of participating in two panels, led by experts in the field, that provided invaluable perspectives on leveraging customer behaviour, innovative technology, and deeper audience insights to enhance the delivery of personalised ads at scale. If you didn’t get a chance to be there to witness it all in person, I’ve pulled out some key insights from the panels I featured on that were worth sharing: 

Personalisation at scale is already happening

The shift towards personalisation at scale is already underway, but its execution varies in terms of detail and success. We’re transitioning from reactive, rule-based segmentation to a more advanced stage of predictive hyper-personalisation. Today’s customers anticipate being treated as unique individuals. Embracing hyper-personalised marketing strategies, driven by data, analytics, and AI, equips you with the insights and capabilities to dynamically respond to customers’ evolving needs in real-time. That level of responsiveness is now expected by customers.

Predictive analytics are taking the customer journey to the next level

Harnessing the power of predictive analytics, specifically through AI and machine learning, is enabling us not only to meet but to anticipate and surpass customer expectations. This approach allows for the cultivation of personalised one-to-one relationships, ensuring that content and experiences are finely tuned to each individual and, in turn, really levelling up that customer experience. 

In today’s landscape, customers are increasingly conscious of the value of their data and, in return, expect a meaningful value exchange. This includes dynamic landing pages, personalised messaging and targeted product recommendations, as well as incentives such as rewards, discounts, and loyalty points tied to the specific customer’s behaviour. The cornerstone of this interaction lies in transparency – a key element that builds trust and fosters authentic customer relationships.

First-party data is the key

With the demise of the cookie now right around the corner, it was no surprise that first-party data was a key talking point, and with good reason. Through the emerging first-party data ecosystem, an opportunity emerges for the establishment of a single, consistent identity for activation across platforms. This not only simplifies complex data processes but also enhances the overall effectiveness of data use. As I mentioned before, a pivotal aspect lies in building trust with customers through a commitment to transparency. Clearly articulating how you intend to handle customer data fosters a sense of openness and reliability. To put it in a nutshell, if your customer isn’t trusting you with their data, your relationship with that customer hasn’t begun.

By aligning these transparent practices with messaging and content creation, businesses can create a genuine connection with their audience. This integrated approach not only builds trust but ensures that the messages you’re putting out there resonate authentically, creating a bridge between your brand and its customers.

A look to the future…

One overall notion that really stuck out during my time at the Programmatic Pioneers Connect was that the retail landscape is increasingly pivoting on the ability of retail media owners and brands to be proactive and predictive. We want to make ads that feel personal and that gratify our customers. We’re not waiting for things to go wrong; we’re trying to predict issues and stop them before they happen. Technological advances are taking place at speed and that is hugely exciting. In my opinion, the brands, agencies and businesses that can be agile, adapt to change and, most importantly, remain customer centric will be the ones that come out on top.

Camilla Ray

Planning Director

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