The slow and steady demise of the third party cookie is creeping up on most advertising companies around the world. Whether it is Apple’s latest App Tracking Transparency (ATT) release on iOS14.5 or Google defining their approach with FLoC, consumer privacy is at the center of most consumers in 2021. Where audience data was top dog for most advertisers, leveraging your 1st party data and applying contextual targeting will be the comeback kings.
Leveraging your first party data is key for any business, to be able to understand your customers; who, where, how and what they will buy or consume is vital data. Brands who have a vast amount of consumer data and the capabilities to manage it are now starting to extend into building their own Programmatic solutions.
ASOS, for example, has built a global business out of selling clothes. With a rise in eCommerce due to the stay-at-home orders around the world, it has led to brands carefully considering how and where they place their advertising dollars. They are now building out their own programmatic solutions to allow brands to buy space where users are already there to browse in the form of sponsored ads.
Disney introduced a data-driven platform that included their Programmatic sales. Pulling together its first-party consumer data and audience modeling into a platform called Disney Select that lets marketers pick target segments based on buyer behavior, household characteristics and psychographics. Platforms like Disney Select that rely on first-party data are poised to become even more essential as the data privacy landscape tightens.
The return of contextual as the primary cookieless targeting alternative comes as no surprise. The difference between contextual and user-based is down to the intent of that user. Placing advertisements in environments where it is most relevant in terms of content vs. delivering advertisements to users based on their past behaviors. Both methods have their merits, but whether you realise it or not, you are targeted regularly in your daily life – fitness advertisements in the sports section of a newspaper or luggage ads on a travel blog.
However, a lot of the time, brands overlook the importance of placing a contextually relevant ad over just following or reaching a user who has an interest in a particular category regardless of their environment.
Contextual targeting has become more advanced with the introduction of machine learning – targeting is much more intelligence than just targeting “sports” content. Advanced targeting platforms now leverage multiple data points whereby elements such as sentiment as well as keyword and category can be taken into account. Users feel less “intruded” and “followed”, which reduces ad fatigue as rather than following a user around the Internet, brands can identify a relevant environment and deliver an ad within that content.
Placing advertisements with higher relevance to the content of the page is also more natural, and less disruptive to the end user whilst increasing their engagement as they are in-market in that moment of time specifically. Not only this, but it increases brand suitability and avoids pitfalls of advertising mishaps between a brand and content.
Where many advertisers have shunned contextual targeting in the past, with the impending cookieless world, it is now time to revisit and apply it into your campaigns. There are many alternative solutions in progress such as Unified ID 2.0 and Project Rearc by the IAB, and although these tout a replacement for cookies, scale may become an issue. Crafting a mix of 1st party data with contextual targeting for your campaigns will be key in 2021.
What’s your vision for Programmatic in 2021? Get in touch with our team today to see how you can scale your brand with Programmatic advertising using connectivity, flexibility and brand suitability in 2021!