A marketer’s frenemy?
The parallel push for privacy
The latter is the central element to any digital strategy at the moment, which is driving the industry to a user-centric and privacy-centric approach. With Google abolishing cookies and Apple implementing its App Tracking Transparency (ATT), this is a good opportunity for the industry to take stock, refocus and innovate with consumers in mind.
And for the consumers themselves, it’s also about how they see their data. When it comes to the personal data held by businesses, people increasingly expect transparency, control and, above all, choice. But they don’t want to have to decide differently for each platform. A simple, unified approach – akin to an interoperable Single Sign-On (SSO) system – to manage consent is going to be essential.
The alternative: contextual targeting
Let’s go back to our car-boot sales analogy again; advertisers can be at both if they really wanted to. But they’ll also need the right number of tables and tools to help drive those sales.
For online advertisers and marketers, this is where advanced contextual targeting will be one of the true heroes of the open internet, bringing brands closer to their customers. Contextual targeting matches all the different sites with those advertisers and products that most likely work best there.
A huge advantage of this approach is that you’re reaching an audience that’s already interested in what you’re offering. The value exchange is clear to the reader, and the ads feel natural and less disruptive – protecting the user experience and avoiding the growing concerns associated with privacy.
But this isn’t contextual targeting as we know it. Now, this technology can connect first-party commerce data with real-time contextual signals for the first time ever, paving the way for marketers to drive and measure incremental revenue in a post-cookie world.
69 per cent of consumers are more likely to engage with contextual ads – and with new solutions that offer better, more personalised experiences, this number will almost certainly increase.
Beyond the walls
Walled gardens can – and should – be a critical part of the marketing mix. But right now, the balance with the open internet simply isn’t right or smart.
It’s time for businesses to consider diversifying their ad spend, using new technologies to meet consumers where they already are. At the same time, this method respects data privacy and offers a better consumer experience.
Walled gardens offer the golden nugget of a large audience, that’s for sure – but crucially, it’s not the largest. It’s important, therefore, for us all to break out – we need to look beyond the gated greens of Big Tech and into a territory rich with an audience willing to engage with your brand.
To find out more about contextual advertising and using first-party data, visit https://www.criteo.com/products/contextual-targeting
Originally published on Business Reporter