Now in its 13th year, Exchange Wire’s widely anticipated annual event, ATS London, took place in Westminster this month. Delivering key industry insights and strategies to supercharge brands’ digital advertising, this year’s event focused on reframing the future of media, marketing and commerce, with two-days of keynotes and panels for its 600+ attendees, representing over 17 global markets.

Assembling the great and good across the AdTech landscape – including media owners, agencies and brands – KINESSO’s  UK&I CEO, Chloe Hawking, Managing Partner for eCommerce, Jessica Chapplow and Chief Digital Officer, Lauren Ogúndèkó, were tapped up to provide insight and thought leadership in their individual areas of expertise.

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Lauren Ogúndèkó speaking at ATS London

First on stage was Chief Digital Officer, Lauren Ogúndèkó, joining the panel for Innovative Data Management Strategies in a privacy-centric world. With the panellists acknowledging that the balance between privacy and data continues to be an ongoing challenge, Lauren noted: “Personalisation and privacy have a juxtaposition. You’ve got to have privacy by design, but how do you have privacy by design and still be personalised? People don’t want things that are too personal. We focus on contextual targeting driven by the content consumed and the signals provided to carefully balance personalisation and privacy”

And bearing in mind the end user – the all-important consumer – Lauren warned that the industry needed to give more consideration to the technical savvines of today’s consumers and adapt accordingly, saying: “We’re at an inflection point of millennials who have grown up with an advanced knowledge of the internet. There’s a lot more knowledge now around cookies and privacy, so you need to humanise your audiences. You have to have a people-first strategy.”

Finally, the discussion moved on to the importance clients’ own first party data plays in enhancing their advertising campaigns, and crucially, understanding what data will drive the best outcomes: “There are still brands that are not collecting as much first party data as they should. You really need to focus on the value you are trying to drive and the outcomes of that data to determine what you should be collecting,” Lauren said.

“There is so much data that flows through the ecosystem of a business. Trying to get your head around what you should be collecting is one of the biggest challenges for brands. Many organisations collect all the data in the world, for fear of missing out. There is a myriad of challenges with this, but if you prioritise understanding the value of the data you collect, it will help you navigate this challenge,” she added.

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Jessica Chapplow discusses the boom in commerce and retail media at ATS London

Next on the ATS schedule was Jessica Chapplow, Managing Partner for eCommerce, who was invited to join a panel discussing how the industry can capitalise on the retail media promise.

A key element of the conversation revolved around the driving factors of the adoption of commerce and retail media. And while data and brands’ first party data might be the driver, it’s the experience that the data delivers for the customer that matters most, according to Jessica: “From an agency perspective data plays a massive role, but consumers don’t see channels – they feel the experiences.”

With Insider Intelligence predicting 20.8% of all retail purchases will take place online this year, it’s no wonder businesses are keen to diversify their retail offerings with eCommerce. In fact the wider global market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023 alone, indicating the market is ripe for brands looking to connect with paying customers, no matter their geographical location.

Jessica advised: “Don’t wait for standardisation to happen. Put the elbow grease in now. We are working with certain clients to RFI and scorecard each retail partner’s capabilities across regions to understand any discrepancies in product offerings and servicing levels. You can get ahead of it if you have the right framework in place to help circumvent the fragmentation within the retail media ecosystem.”

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KINESSO UK&I CEO, Chloe Hawking, speaking at ATS London

On day two of ATS London, KINESSO UK&I CEO, Chloe Hawking, joined the last panel of the two-day event, How can agencies optimise their services in the current economic climate.

Sharing how KINESSO is supporting clients through the challenging economic period, Chloe said: “One way we’ve evolved is showing how we can be true partners to our clients through performance-based commercial models. It forces even deeper collaboration and desire for the client to perform.”

MadTech and AdTech are resilient, innovative and continuously evolving industries, with new and emerging channels and media platforms driving even deeper brand connections and experiences with audiences.

However, the industry cannot grow complacent, and instead need to do more to ensure advertisers’ confidence in trialing the next big thing when it comes to media and marketing, knowing their investment is in safe hands. A test and learn approach is therefore crucial to drive consistent performance. Chloe said: “As an industry we need to be much more rigorous in our experimentation practices in order to gain trust from the client to invest the money on testing.”

And despite the continued economic uncertainty, the panelists shared their general optimism around key industry developments and innovations helping to foster new and exciting media and advertising opportunities, with Chloe sharing her highlight has been the brand partnerships built and relationships fostered: “We’ve had the type of conversation you need to when the going gets tough. We’ve deepened client partnerships, getting clearer on what each side needs to be successful, making big bets and investing in our clients success.”

Including KINESSO’s presence at the event, IPG and Mediabrands’ other agencies and businesses took on speaker slots at ATS London: Matterkind UK’s Managing Director Seun Odeneye and Head of Product and Strategy, James Trott, joined their own panels to talk about the potential of CTV to reach audiences at scale, and whether advertisers have a duty to drive responsible practice through investment respectively.

Meanwhile KINESSO’s Chief Client Officer, Hanan Belarbi discussed how to put the human back into advertising, while MediaHub’s Chief Digital Officer, Erfan Djazmi, held a keynote on how to make every impression count: “You don’t need more spend, you just need to fish in richer pools of inventory,” he said.

KINESSO is a global leader in performance marketing, including search, social, SEO and eCommerce crafts. Find out more about how KINESSO can help drive performance for your business by contacting us here.