How technology is changing the advertising industry

·2 min read
WPP London.JPG
Toby Melville/Reuters
  • Technology has upended the advertising business.

  • Changes in ad tracking and consumer habits are impacting how advertisers reach people and spurring new competition for ad dollars.

  • Here's a breakdown of Insider's coverage of how ad buyers and sellers are impacted.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The advertising industry is going through big changes as technology changes upend consumer habits and where and how marketers reach them.

Apple and Google's phasing out third-party cookies threatens to upend longstanding ad targeting practices. The acceleration of streaming TV has fueled the chase for TV ad dollars.

The shift to online shopping has attracted new players for digital advertising.

Insider has been tracking these trends at some of the biggest advertising buyers and sellers, including WPP, Omnicom, Google, and Amazon, and rounded up our coverage.

The crackdown on ad tracking is changing advertising

Targeting changes are forcing advertisers to come up with new ways to reach consumers. Google and Apple have sent shockwaves through the ad industry when they announced changes that would put an end to longstanding ad targeting practices in the face of pro-privacy regulation.

Those moves have led marketers, their agencies, and adtech companies like LiveRamp and The Trade Desk scrambling to find workarounds.

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Marketing meets tech

Mars Inc M&Ms
Employees work at the chocolate maker Mars Chocolate France plant in Haguenau. Vincent Kessler/Reuters

CMOs are finding new ways to zap ads at people by building homegrown tools, using targeted ads, or ​​snapping up ad tech and martech companies.

Brands like Anheuser-Busch, Mars, P&G and L'Oréal have ramped up efforts to gather data on consumers as platforms clamp down on ad targeting and e-commerce accelerates.

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Adtech is hot again

Even as advertisers slashed their spending in the economic downturn, the rise of streaming TV and online shopping has benefitted adtech companies that help connect ad buyers and sellers and solve advertising and marketing problems.

Investors are pouring money into firms like like TVision DoubleVerify that are solving problems in digital advertising. Other firms are going public as Wall Street fell back in love with adtech due to broad macroeconomic changes.

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Ad agencies are getting disrupted

While the established holding companies scramble to adapt to the digital shift, new ad companies focused on digital specialities and armed with new private-equity funding threaten to take their place.

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Retailers are seeking a piece of the ad pie

Instacart Shopper Car
Instacart is adding 30-minute delivery. Instacart

A new set of companies sees an opportunity in selling advertising include food delivery companies, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar grocers. They're hoping to replicate the success of Amazon, which claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020 and is competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets.

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