88% of agencies urge new digital channel adoption to drive ROI and growth in 2023

A plant growing in a glass full of coins.
88% of agencies urge new digital channel adoption to drive ROI and growth in 2023
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Most UK media agency professionals (57%) are confident brands can drive growth with the right strategy. This boils down to one key recommendation: investment in emerging media. 88% agree their clients should be exploring new digital channels in 2023.

This was one of the conclusions from a study titled The Advertiser’s Guide to New and Emerging Channels in 2023 conducted by commerce media company Criteo.

The study of more than 800 senior media agency professionals across Europe and the US found that a majority are confident growth is possible over the next year if key changes are made to the digital channel mix.

Rethinking the media mix

While budget increases for more established channels are still advised, agency professionals have a renewed focus on the benefits of emerging media, such as retail media, connected TV (CTV), audio and metaverse.

In fact, three-in-five (60%) believe newer digital channels like retail media will deliver greater ROI than search or social. The subject of many headlines in the industry, retail media offers brands presence directly at the point of sale, meaning Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is easy to prove.

Similarly audio channels such as Spotify are now well regarded for Return on Advertising Spend by most agency professionals (83%), surpassing the numbers for both search (75%) and social media (71%).

CTV – an advertising channel that’s proliferating thanks to new tiers introduced by the likes of Netflix and Disney+ – topped the list for consumer experience (82%). Many streaming services, such as ITVX, are even looking at how they can strengthen their audiences with data from other channels.

Proving returns

Driving the need to explore new media and find the most effective channels, UK agencies estimate the cost of running campaigns across digital media channels will rise by over a quarter (26%) in 2023. Costs are expected to rise highest on CTV, prompting 51% of respondents to express concerns that smaller brands will continue to be priced out.

Rising costs leave clear priorities when it comes to campaign measurement. Cost-per-order is now the top metric among agency professionals (26%), alongside overall ROAS (25%).

With growth tied to the exploration of new media channels, incrementality will be a North Star for agencies and their clients. For many agency professionals, such metrics are pushing them towards retail media (57%), which brings commerce data into the equation to close the measurement loop across other channels such as CTV, where transaction data is less abundant.

Brian Gleason, chief revenue officer at Criteo, said: “What’s clear is that new and emerging media channels are leaning into first-party data and are beginning to work together to deliver relevant advertising across the buying journey. Taking the kind of purchase and shopper behaviour insights supermarkets and other retailers can provide and harnessing it across the open internet sits at the core of commerce media. This approach combines the power of retail media and search to allow advertisers to create well-rounded plans that truly deliver against desired commerce outcomes.”

Rob Smolarski, global commerce lead at Omnicom Media Group, added: “Client growth is possible with the right strategy, and we have to start thinking about where we make strategic pivots to achieve that. We’re entering a time of the most rational media investing in fifteen years. Agencies and clients will have to make some tough choices on the precise audiences, media channels, regional markets, and retail partners to invest in to support commerce.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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