Innovator Insights: 5 Media Buying Trends To Watch in 2021 From Teads’ Jim Daily

The year 2020 has been full of uncertainty, but Jim Daily, CEO, North America and Global President of Teads, says marketers can be sure of one thing: that the media buying strategies that got them where they are today won’t get them where they want to be tomorrow. Brand Innovators caught up with Daily to discuss key media buying trends to look out for in 2021.

The year 2020 has been full of uncertainty, but Jim Daily says marketers can be sure of one thing: that the media buying strategies that got them where they are today won’t get them where they want to be tomorrow.  

As the CEO, North America and Global President of Teads, Daily has watched how the forces of COVID-19 have increased a sense of urgency among brands to deliver results. While video is increasingly the medium of choice to connect with and engage consumers, however, Daily told Brand Innovators that much of the industry is still figuring out how to make sure the content will catch their eye.  

“The primary placements for performance have been standard ad spots,” he said. “On mobile you might even see content in the footer position. That’s just not the best place for brands to feature their products and get people to buy them.”

Teads’ response to that challenge has been the recent launch of Teads Conversions, a programmatic solution that lets its clients access high-quality traffic and premium publisher inventory while also connecting to leading DSPs to optimize campaigns for lower-funnel outcomes. 

“As COVID disrupted everything, brands said, ‘We need to be extremely efficient about our spend. We have to drive product,’” Daily said. “We’re giving the client the option to only pay for incremental visitors to their site — people who have not been there in the last 30 days — which is providing enormous value.”

Beyond pointing to Teads’ own product and service offerings, Daily had some advice for any marketers who want to stay ahead of media buying trends that will likely unfold over the next year. 

1. Performance marketing ROI is going to face a lot more scrutiny: 

“The CPC world is still the default for the performance advertisements being bought, but it’s fraught with challenges,” Daily said. “You see it in the drop off between the volume of clicks and how long people are spending time on your site. Ultimately I might be buying what seems like a cheap CPC, but for what that click actually accomplishes in terms of conversion, the price is exorbitantly high.”


2. The in-house vs. agency debate will evolve into a dialogue about value

For some time, media agencies have been under threat of marketing departments taking on more of the work themselves. Daily suggested a more nuanced outlook, where in-house teams turn to trusted outside partners for some level of strategic assistance with their investment.  

“The vast majority of our marketing partners that we do business with are still doing their buying through media agencies,” he said. “While there will continue to be in-house media buying, it’s a fairly complex system for brands to build on their own.”


3. The post-cookie future could widen some marketing skills gaps

Just as Apple has been increasingly vocal about protecting customer privacy, Google’s decision to phase out the cookie means brands will have to look for viable alternatives for tracking and other purposes. According to Daily, the sooner they do so, the better.  

“When you think about what a marketer needs to have in their data practice, it’s that ability to judge the quality of cookieless offerings,” he said. ““It’s not just about how to apply a targeting strategy, but making sure their team knows how to vet the different solutions in the market.”


4. The best content and the highest quality publishers will rise to the top"

Teads is proud of its relationship with the likes of ESPN, the BBC and Conde Nast’s portfolio of sites, among others. Daily says those relationships are critical, because they represent sites where storytelling is at such a level that people willingly spend their time — and where they react more positively to advertising. 

“It’s very important that marketers align themselves with quality journalism. We have seen on our side for the last few years a bit of a move away from some brands supporting news publishers,” he said. "I think that now more than ever, these are the types of outlets we need to be supporting. They also perform extremely well.”


5. The curated web will ultimately win out 

Daily says Teads is increasingly hearing from its clients that they want a high quality alternative to the big platforms that are also described as “walled gardens” for the control they have over data and other aspects of campaign performance. 

“Players like Google and Facebook have extraordinary capabilities, and they are a core partner. However you can’t put all their eggs in that basket,” he said. “Marketers want to work with players that can give quality, scale but also transparency. I think we’re going to continue to see that as a trend as we move into next year.”

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