What will be the legacy of 2020 in digital media?
Even if we all wish to never see her again, 2020 remains a difficult year to forget. In addition to a global pandemic (just that), which has dominated the news all year, several important digital events and announcements have taken place this year. Whether on the side of Google which announces major technological changes, or on the side of Facebook and its great influence on our society and the humans who compose it, the digital world remains a constantly evolving universe and this is not ready to to change. Let's take a last look at 2020 and the highlights that marked it to better prepare us for what's to come.
Let's remember that at the beginning of 2020, Google lukewarmly announced the death of cookies scheduled for 2022 . We are not yet in a position to clearly define all the impacts of this announcement, but one thing is certain, this subject should gradually arise on everyone's lips during the course of the next year, because this change will have significant repercussions on a multitude of digital-related industries.
From a digital advertising perspective, it's a safe bet that Google will have an even stronger grip on controlling the data that advertisers can activate. In addition, several players will suffer from this change, in particular those whose activities were closely linked to the activation of third-party data, which could even be forced to go out of business. Several industry players have already played their cards by announcing alternative solutions to advertisers wishing to use their products. In short, the cookie apocalypse has not finished making waves.
The years go by and look alike for Mark Zuckerberg's indomitable beast. After the scandals of the last few years, Facebook was preparing for a US election year with the aim of demonstrating that the company had corrected the shortcomings exposed during the 2016 election campaign. However, several incidents that occurred in the United States in the spring 2020 revealed – once too often – the social media giant's inability to effectively control hateful content disseminated on its platform. The situation escalated to such an extent that a few months later, a multitude of advertisers boycotted Facebook in order to openly protest against its inaction regarding this recurring problem.
Whether we like or condemn this company, we have to admit that Facebook is and will remain a must for the vast majority of advertisers. However, the tide is undeniably turning for the platform which has recently been accused of not respecting American antitrust laws by acquiring any potential competitor. . Mainly targeting the WhatsApp and Instagram platforms, this is one of the multiple attacks by the US government on GAFAM, whose power it tries to limit over the economy and society in general. It will be interesting to follow this file over the next year, because although it is difficult to hope that these accusations will ultimately have a real impact, the situation nevertheless fuels an essential reflection on the relationship that maintain Internet users with the web giants.
The past year has also allowed a certain collective awakening to the importance of buying local. Whether this is expressed through individual purchases or through the Quebec government's desire to develop the province's food autonomy, we generally pay greater attention to the importance of stimulating our local economy . . This also goes without saying in our approach when we buy media. Indeed, the concept is substantially the same when talking about a product or even a media. Yes, it is often necessary to pay a slightly higher amount, a slightly higher amount to invest locally, but in return you get a better quality product while stimulating the provincial economy. In addition, Quebec media have developed greatly in recent years and their offer is becoming more and more competitive.
With the predicted impact of the cookie apocalypse on programmatic media buying by audience, contextual programmatic buying (targeting environments or sites) will regain its acclaim. More and more advertisers place value on quality banner positioning and the potential disappearance of conversions attributed to the view of a banner will lead to more value being placed on these types of advertising placements, which meet different but equally important goals. This is why it is our responsibility, as an agency and as an advertiser, to work closely with the Quebec and Canadian media in order to develop a strong media ecosystem, linked to a relevant and competitive advertising offer.
In short, 2020 has been a year full of twists and turns, under the sign of awareness. Whether from the point of view of our relationship with GAFAM (as a user or as a buyer) or our awareness of the importance of relying on a strong local media ecosystem, our habits are changing and we are adapting to a reality marked by profound changes. The ball is now in our court: as industry players, it is up to us to consolidate the beneficial habits that have emerged from the adversity encountered over the past year. New habits which, in the end, will have had a positive impact both on our approach to digital media and on our individual relationship to digital.