Digital MarketingDigital AdvertisingSweet solutions for a cookie-less world

Sweet solutions for a cookie-less world

Sofia Maravich, Senior Director of Client Success at Nativo outlines the three main things marketers need to consider to be successful in a non-data targeting world.

30-second summary:

  • Over the past decade, ad targeting has swung heavily toward audience-based methods that prioritize the individual reached over the environment in which they’re reached.
  • Going forward, ad targeting will be less about audience data and more about content and context. More than ever, it’s important for marketers to tap into users’ in-the-moment mindsets and focus on reaching them in the most relevant environments.
  • Marketers should seek to create personalized content experiences that reflect the needs and interests of the target audience, according to available contextual and user data such as location.
  • The current momentum toward a more-secure, first-party-data-driven ecosystem is an acceleration in the right direction for marketers—one that was going to come about with or without new privacy legislation and third-party cookie restrictions by Google.

It might only be March, but already the advertising industry has been filled with highly pertinent news that will redefine industry practices in 2020 and beyond.

From CCPA’s Jan. 1 effective date to Google’s Jan. 14 announcement that it will phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within two years, the landscape beneath data-driven marketing is shifting, and the implications are vast.

Without a doubt, the above news items—as well as broader shifts in the space toward consumer privacy and limitations on third-party tracking—have serious implications for the ad tech and media sectors.

However, the repercussions of these moves will have just as significant an effect on brand and agency marketers, as their data-driven strategies will need to be retooled and revamped.

Let’s take a look at three key considerations for marketers when working with ad tech and media vendors in this new reality.

Contextual targeting takes center stage

Over the past decade, ad targeting has swung heavily toward audience-based methods that prioritize the individual reached over the environment in which they’re reached.

Much of this targeting on the open web has been driven by third-party data sources and tactics, many of which will become obsolete in the new privacy-focused, cookieless media landscape.

In the coming months, context will reassert itself in media plans as the driving force behind ad relevance. Brands and agencies will pivot away from solely obsessing over the individual viewing an ad and instead begin to consider the user’s consumption behavior when they see that ad. Therein lies great value.

Going forward, ad targeting will be less about audience data and more about content and context. More than ever, it’s important for marketers to tap into users’ in-the-moment mindsets and focus on reaching them in the most relevant environments.

Consider: What content is the user consuming and where? What is their mindset when they consume it, and which contextual environments promote the emotions and actions your brand is seeking?

This kind of targeting means deepening the reliance on keywords, time, location, environmental factors and other contextual data points within targeting strategies.

Personalization according to environment becomes key

As content and context reclaim their seats at the head of the media strategy table, creative strategies will work hand in hand.

For brands, that means producing content-driven ads with strategic messaging that adds a layer of personalization based on the media a person is consuming at that moment.

Going forward, brands need to think differently about the content and experiences they promote within their ads in order to effectively capture the consumer’s attention.

Marketers should seek to create personalized content experiences that reflect the needs and interests of the target audience, according to available contextual and user data such as location.

In this sense, personalization is about more than just messaging; it’s about format as well. When targeting and personalizing according to context, native, video and branded content formats have a higher likelihood of resonating with audiences than ever before.

Advertisers need to tap into available publisher data

Finally, as the advertising world sheds its existing reliance on cookies and third-party audience data, brand and agency relationships with publishers will become key to deepening both the resonance of messaging and the connection with consumers.

As publishers look to maintain their ad monetization opportunities, many will put an increased emphasis on robust first-party data collection strategies, including freemium and tiered paywall structures that deepen their knowledge of their readers.

This knowledge—particularly in partnership with the brand safety, contextual alignment and premium content value of a known publisher’s site—will be a boon to advertisers looking to strike the desired balance of delivering the right message to the right person within the right environment.

The media and advertising landscapes are undergoing a period of rapid change as it relates to new privacy legislation and third-party tracking restrictions, but there’s a massive silver lining to this cloud of change.

The current momentum toward a more-secure, first-party-data-driven ecosystem is an acceleration in the right direction for marketers—one that was going to come about with or without new privacy legislation and third-party cookie restrictions by Google.

Brands and agencies that embrace this time of transition and realign their strategies accordingly will come out on the other side stronger, both in terms of advertising ROI and the quality of their relationships with consumers.

Sofia Maravich is the Senior Director of Client Success at Nativo, where she successfully manages a team responsible for client growth and retention across 400+ brand advertisers, working with advertising agencies and brand direct partners.

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