“ Tell him with perfume: – 25% perfumes and care until February 13 in store or on…”, “three days to crack, – 20% supplement“Psst… We miss you”, “Buy your jersey before stocks run out! » Brands are redoubling their inventiveness, resources and channels to tickle curiosity, create desire and transform a click into a visit, in a physical or electronic store, and trigger a purchase.
Harvest of cookies
Difficult to resist these messages, received on a computer or on a smartphone. They are increasingly personalized thanks to data. Those that we agree to leave to companies, called first party data, and the others, those that are left more or less voluntarily each time you visit a website or during a search and that companies buy from major partners, user data or third-party cookies (small computer files exchanged between computer or telephone and sites). Data that is everywhere and above all at the center of commerce and digital marketing. “Data-marketing, digital advertising, the common point is the need for data: I use knowledge of the customer to better target them, to sell products and services and then to advertise and contact them. Data is the fuel of the market. Today, data is used to both segment and measure the effects of campaigns,” recalls Emmanuel Amiot, partner at Oliver Wyman, in charge of the communications, media and technologies sector. And advertising is increasingly digital. “Digital advertising has doubled in five years and is an ultra-dynamic market. It goes hand in hand with digitalidownturn in the economy, accelerated by the health crisis”, underlines the partner. The good news is indeed that the market has rebounded: + 22% last year for global advertising and + 31% in digital, which today represents two thirds of the market.
Confronted with this, “techno-marketing has taken over. The data scientists and the data analysts are at the crossroads of commerce and technologylogy”, writes Qwamplify on its site. But being in the digital world is not necessarily easy. “Traditional agencies and sales houses that brought together content or audiences to sell them have seen their market absorbed by the major American players, because purchases byannouncers are now direct and automaticized, in programmatic. They try to compensate with advice, but there has been a transfer of value,” believes Bertrand Bathelot, associate professor in marketing, creator of the definitions-marketing.com site.
In its 2021 half-year report, Makheia (digital marketing and communication agency) writes as well as “The French communication market has suffered several years of tension with the advent of digital and the reorganization of the traditional competitive landscape of agencies. The health crisis of 2020 completed these changes, with a historic drop in the gross margin of agencies and the disappearance of several small players. It is estimated that nearly 25% of “small” agencies disappeared during the crisis. Today, the sector is in a rebound phase and, behind the mastoof which international, about ten independents of international sizemedium (between 10 and 100 million euros of gross margin), including Makheia, are called upon to rethink their strategy and to concentrate ».
Traditional players but also “natively digital” players have had to adapt with more or less success depending on the case. Outward sign of their strategy, for many of them, the change of name (10 out of the 15 presented), a few years ago already, like Bilendi in 2014 (ex-Maximiles) or, recently, Dekuple (ex-ADL Partner) and NFTY (formerly Adthink Media). Especially since digital requires technology and investment. “Some French players are doing quite well because the market is growing globally. But size is important to cushion the dicethink in technology. The tall platforms, Amazon or Google, are investing heavily in IT and the cloud. It requires skillscited to, for example, receive advertising inventories and tools to optimize advertisements in real time on different distribution channels”, insists Emmanuel Amiot. The king of digital advertising, Google-Alphabet, posted $76 billion in profits last year and $140 billion in cash, enough to develop platforms and artificial intelligence to better exploit data.
And again, having the means is sometimes not enough, as shown for the moment by the setbacks of the former French star of targeted advertising, Criteo (listed on the Nasdaq), which also had to reinvent itself, after having been deprived of Apple cookies, of its privileged status with Facebook and soon of Google cookies, without convincing for the moment.
Because another upheaval is underway in the sector: access to easy data purchased from third-party cookie producers, the Gafams and their search engines, operating systems and others, is becoming more complicated. For regulatory reasons but not only. Apple has already restricted access to cookies for users of its equipment and Alphabet-Google is due to do so in mid-2023. Of course, not everyone is or will be affected. “There is still room for French players, but rather, for example, in consulting or influence marketing, like Dekuple, an activity that is not very bothered by the issue of cookies. On the other hand, influencers have partially taken the place of the media. There has been a transfer of value on the budgets with the new players”, according to Bertrand Bathelot. New constraints which also bring new opportunities for those who know how to seize them.
We present here fifteen small and nano cap companies listed in Paris – the big ones, such as Publicis Groupe, TF1 or M6, are not covered – to follow the digital marketing market, according to a subjective ranking.