Mindgruve attended Digiday’s recent Programmatic Marketing Summit in New Orleans, which served as a melting pot for industry leaders, igniting discussions on industry readiness, Google’s role, challenges beyond cookies, novel uses of AI, the complexities of retail media networks, and the surprising prominence of the creator economy. In this comprehensive recap, we explore key insights, delve into challenges faced by marketers, and uncover potential solutions, providing a holistic view of the ever-evolving programmatic marketing landscape.

Assessing Industry Readiness and Google’s Role:

The summit kicked off with a critical evaluation of the industry’s readiness for a post-cookie environment. Attendees, ranging from novices to seasoned professionals, rated their preparedness on a scale of 1 to 10. Tight budgets, a lack of strategic changes, and the call for standardization echoed across discussions, revealing a consensus that the industry is not fully prepared. The impending deadline and Google’s catalyzing role in industry preparedness took center stage, setting the tone for the summit’s discussions.

Google’s Impact on Traffic Validity:

A significant concern raised was Google’s alleged invalidation of traffic without clear explanations. Marketers shared struggles in distinguishing valid from invalid traffic, with theories pointing to Google’s involvement in the process. Despite extensive blocklists, the lack of transparency from Google and demand-side platforms (DSPs) left marketers searching for effective solutions. This issue has implications for the entire industry, and understanding it is crucial for marketers striving to maximize the impact of their campaigns.

Challenges Beyond Cookies: Navigating Attribution in a Cookieless Environment:

Moving beyond cookie-related concerns, marketers engaged in discussions on challenges such as Google deeming traffic from Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) as invalid. Uncertainty prevailed about the reasons behind these invalidations and potential biases introduced by Google. Other hurdles included attribution in a cookieless environment, client hesitancy for new formats, and creative costs. The imminent demise of third-party cookies has marketers exploring new avenues for attribution, emphasizing the need for a clearer value exchange with consumers in enterprise-scale, account-based marketing.

Novel Uses of AI in Marketing:

Participants shared valuable experiences leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing. AI’s role in content creation, streamlining invoicing, and reducing time spent on Request for Proposal (RFP) responses and deck building was emphasized. While acknowledging AI’s capabilities, concerns were raised about potential impacts on creative development. The consensus emphasized the need for human expertise to effectively optimize AI-driven processes. From content creation to responding to RFPs, AI was recognized as a valuable asset, provided it complements human marketing expertise.

Retail Media Networks: A Complicated Landscape:

The growing influence of retail media networks has introduced complexities for marketers, especially in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector. Negotiating shelf space is no longer just about traditional retail dynamics but involves managing relationships with retail media networks. Challenges include the lack of standardization, self-serve programmatic capabilities, and varying metrics used by different networks. Understanding and navigating this landscape is crucial for marketers aiming to maximize their impact in the digital advertising realm.

Creator Campaigns: Unleashing Programmatic Potential:

Surprisingly, the creator economy took center stage during the summit, revealing insights into influencer marketing and creator campaigns. Creators were reframed as community builders, challenging the perception of influencers as merely a PR play. Gaz Alushi, President of Measurement and Analytics at Whalar, highlighted the potential for amplifying and measuring influencer marketing similarly to programmatic campaigns. The focus on viewing creators as community builders, suggesting a shift from a PR-centric approach to a more integrated and measurable programmatic strategy.


As the programmatic marketing landscape continues to evolve, marketers face multifaceted challenges. From preparing for a post-cookie world to navigating relationships with retail media networks, the industry is at a critical juncture. The creator economy presents an intriguing avenue for programmatic potential, stressing the importance of testing alternative methods, embracing change, and investing in solutions. As the industry progresses towards an uncertain future, the most motivating factor for industry preparedness is Google sticking to its deadline for third-party cookie deprecation.

In a rapidly transforming digital landscape, Mindgruve recognizes the importance of staying informed, adaptable, and proactive to navigate the complexities of programmatic marketing, ensuring our clients benefit from the latest strategies and innovations in this ever-evolving field.