The Battle for ATTENTION: Will AI Save The Advertising Industry in a Privacy-Driven Economy?

Where We've Been: SCUBA’s Learnings from Major Events in Early 2024

By SCUBA Insights

It has been a whirlwind few months for the team here at SCUBA. We hit the road running, crisscrossing the country to attend some of the year's biggest events in data, AI, mobile apps, and digital publishing. Our aim? To absorb as many insights as possible to enhance our products and services. 


This quarter, we were fortunate to have boots on the ground at MS Fabric, MAU, and Digiday. These marquee conferences spotlighted critical industry trends and surfaced transformative best practices. We returned energized and brimming with inspiration to push our offerings to new heights. 


Here are some of the key takeaways that those on advertising's buy and sell side, as well as data providers, can use to fuel growth.

MS Fabric: Bringing AI to the Core of Business Strategy

At the forward-looking MS Fabric conference, discussions centered on the pivotal role of democratizing data and integrating AI into organizational strategies.

Democratization of Data

At the heart of MS Fabric lies a crucial theme: the democratization of data.


Having the right data is no longer enough. It must be readily available and accessible across every level and of an organization. What truly counts is ensuring that data is readily available and usable across every level of an organization. Democratizing data means tearing down the barriers between departments and empowering every individual within the company to harness data in their decision-making, regardless of their technical prowess.


At MS Fabric, this concept took center stage, as experts and enthusiasts alike delved into the importance of breaking down silos and making data accessible and actionable for all. Because in the end, it's not just about having the right data—it's about how effectively you can use it to fuel innovation, efficiency, and success across the board.

Building an AI-First Business Strategy

MS Fabric also highlighted the critical need for an AI strategy.


However, the success of any AI strategy hinges on one critical factor: the accessibility of data. Even the most advanced ML and AI models will fall short of their potential if the data they rely on is inaccessible or unintelligible to those who need it most and in-the-moment insights are lost.

MAU: Uncovering Trends in User Behavior and Acquisition

MAU provided a deep dive into optimizing user acquisition costs, mapping customer journeys, and leveraging audience segmentation within mobile apps. Our very own Ross Schwaber, Senior Vice President of Solutions, provided an engaging talk on Micro Audience Targeting for Growth

Illuminating the User Journey

Attendees weren't just casually interested—they were all in on unraveling the mysteries of customer journey flows. It was clear that these insights hold the keys to identifying those pesky friction points and fine-tuning the user experience for maximum engagement and retention.


This focus on deciphering non-linear user journeys hammered home the importance of putting the customer front and center. By getting a handle on first party data specific to how users navigate apps, without relying on cookies, businesses can make savvy tweaks that not only smooth out the user experience but also foster deeper connections and loyalty in the long run.

Cost-Effective User Acquisition

In the world of apps, one major mission is laser-focused: optimizing user acquisition costs.


As competition for users' attention heats up and marketing budgets skyrocket, getting a grip on these costs becomes a make-or-break endeavor. It's all about understanding and carefully managing these expenses to ensure profitability and keep that growth trajectory on the up and up.


By delving deep into the data and fine-tuning their strategies, companies can find the sweet spot where acquisition costs meet profitability, paving the way for long-term success.

Digiday: Empowering Digital Publishers

Digiday spotlighted key challenges and opportunities facing digital publishers, with sessions exploring issues like identity resolution, yield optimization strategies, and amplifying content reach.

Resolving Identity Across Channels

One obstacle looms large for publishers: ID resolution.


The audience couldn't ignore the elephant in the room—the struggle to effectively track and comprehend audiences across various platforms and devices. This hurdle has become even more daunting in the face of mounting privacy regulations and the impending sunset of third-party cookies.


Navigating these choppy waters isn't just a matter of convenience—it's a critical necessity for publishers looking to stay afloat in a sea of uncertainty. Without a reliable means of ID resolution, understanding audience behavior and delivering targeted content becomes akin to navigating a maze blindfolded.


The consensus was clear: In a landscape where privacy concerns reign supreme and cookies are on their way out, finding innovative solutions to ID resolution isn't just a challenge—it's a lifeline for publishers striving to stay ahead of the curve.

Maximizing Yield with Lean Teams

Yield optimization is like gold dust for publishers, especially those running tight ships with limited resources.


The name of the game? Get the most bang for your buck from what you already have in your arsenal without burning through your budget or manpower.


Now, here's where the magic happens: interoperable tools. These handy helpers are like having an extra set of hands (or two) to take care of ad placement and pricing, so even the smallest teams can play big.


But wait, there's more: Data-driven decisions are the cherry on top. By diving into the data pool and making savvy choices about content and ad placements, publishers can turn small wins into big victories, no rocket science required.

Amplifying Content for Maximum Impact

Content amplification emerged as a top priority for publishers, with attendees eager to explore innovative approaches to extending their content's reach and impact.


One key takeaway was the power of a multi-channel strategy. Publishers delved into the potential of leveraging various platforms—from social media and email newsletters to paid advertising—to broaden their content's visibility and engagement across diverse audiences.


However, what really stole the spotlight was the emphasis on engagement analytics. By closely analyzing metrics such as likes, shares, and click-through rates, publishers gained valuable insights to refine their amplification strategies and ensure maximum impact with every piece of content.

Final Thoughts

As we reflect on the whirlwind of insights from these events, one thing is abundantly clear—the companies poised to lead their industries into the future are those willing to embrace change through data democratization, AI integration, and an acute focus on the user experience.


The pace of change will never be slower than it is today. But by learning and innovating alongside our partners and remaining curious students of their businesses, we're confident we can build solutions that turn upheaval into an unmistakable advantage. Q1 marked the start of an exhilarating new era, and we can't wait to see how the rest of 2024 unfolds.


Interested to see the SCUBA platform in action? Our proprietary technology enables secure collaboration across all ecosystems. Admin-controlled anonymization and sharing, multi-party sharing, and ID-agnostic solutions mean your data collaboration platform that fits into your world, not the other way around, without compromising security. Book your demo.

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