The biggest threats to the UK advertising and marketing sector

The biggest threats to the UK advertising and marketing sector

Covid-19 has disrupted almost every industry. As with so many areas of the UK economy, the advertising and marketing sector was already facing a host of challenges when the pandemic hit. From the uncertainty of a no-deal Brexit to the increasing dominance of walled gardens, the impact of covid-19 has accelerated pressure on an industry already undergoing a significant evolution.

At LiveRamp, we carried out research into what industry leaders believe to be the biggest threats to the UK advertising and marketing sector. The answers came back: pressure from big tech, Brexit and covid-19. So we set to work analysing the industry’s three biggest challenges in search of a solution.

Avoiding pandemonium from the pandemic

Among marketing leaders, 36% surveyed by LiveRamp identified covid-19 as the biggest threat of 2020. The pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink their advertising spending and industry analysts now expect the pandemic to have a bigger impact than the 2008 financial crisis. And covid-19 has certainly accelerated changing consumer behaviours: In-home media usage has risen, TV viewership has climbed, digital consumption has increased. The use of social platforms and streaming services have risen almost everywhere. And gaming has grown dramatically. Advertisers now need to find ways to adapt to the new landscape and work with the new consumer habits that are developing as a result of the pandemic.

Tech giants pose a big challenge

One in four marketing leaders believe the growing influence of US tech giants is a threat to the industry. Additionally, over a third of respondents believe greater transparency from tech giants in this area would improve the industry.

The deprecation of third-party cookies and changes to Apple’s IDFA have led many advertisers to make significant and unexpected transformations in their businesses. These identifiers have underpinned the way our industry and technology has worked for a long time. So greater transparency from tech giants on the changes they are planning to make and the reasons for these would benefit the entire industry. That is why 33% of our respondents called for the tech giants to agree to a list of principles to make the industry fairer.

Brexit means uncertainty

As the UK leaves the EU, marketing leaders are facing uncertainty about the future of privacy regulations and data protection policies on which many business models depend. One in four respondents cited Brexit as the biggest threat to their company and to the industry at large.

As with the tech giants, it is increasingly important that we see an increase in transparency and communication from the government to combat uncertainty. With an open, strategic dialogue, not only is the industry better prepared for change – but marketing leaders can also provide insights that inform more effective policymaking.

Working towards a better future

The advertising and marketing industry has overcome challenging times before. Now leaders need to come together and seek out opportunities to build a new foundation upon which the industry can build, with consumer privacy and satisfaction at its core.

We may not know exactly what shape it will take, but we can take the initiative and make it better by embracing new technology, finding new ways to collaborate and creating an open and transparent ecosystem where tech giants, policymakers and advertising leaders can work together in a trusted setting. Only through collaboration can we ensure the advertising and marketing industry will not only thrive during covid-19 but also emerge stronger than ever.