The dust is beginning to settle on the recent announcement that Google has made about the depreciation of cookies and the adoption of FLoC.
Advertisers and brands are scrambling to find the next best solution in the marketplace. Data providers are conjuring up methods and ways to fight the change. Since the inception of the internet, the world of advertising has gone through a sea of changes. The first-ever digital ad appeared on Hotwire.com in 1994 and it was a banner ad. This opened the floodgates for advertisers and brands to showcase their ads to the world. As time went on digital advertisers figured out different ways to capture users’ cookie-level information. This enabled advertisers to have a better understanding of people’s choices and preferences which ultimately helped them showcase targeted ads.
Fast-forwarding to 2021 we are now at a critical junction. With GDPR, CCPA, and CPRA measures being put into motion, advertisers can no longer capture cookie-level data. Brands and advertisers are beginning to reintroduce contextual advertising into their day-to-day functioning. Contextual advertising is a method of targeted advertising that considers keywords, phrases, and content of the website, video, or audio. The topic of conversation in an article or video is studied in great detail. Brands, advertisers, and publishers who are concerned about privacy regulations and laws could adopt contextual targeting as it is a great method to target market individuals.
UNLIKE BEHAVIORAL TARGETING, CONTEXTUAL TARGETING FOCUSES ON THE CONTENT BEING CONSUMED BY THE USER RATHER THAN A USER’S COOKIE-LEVEL DATA.
Brands can focus on the messaging and branding of their product rather than be concerned with privacy regulations. Brand safety measures are easier to adjust as it is dependent on the content consumed rather than the consumer’s journey through the internet. When third-party cookies finally disappear the underlying assumption is that contextual targeting will help replace them.
With advances being made in the contextual targeting realm it has been highlighted that contextual would be a cheaper and more efficient way to advertise compared to behavioral targeting.
But, advertisers have been using behavioral targeting techniques because it helps them understand a consumer’s journey over a course of time. An advertiser can study a consumer’s media consumption patterns to draw justifiable conclusions of the specific ad to showcase to them.
So finally, this leads to the question of which advertising strategy is better: contextual targeting vs behavioral? Both of them have their pros and cons. With the different privacy laws being brought into place we believe that it is only a matter of time that contextual targeting is adopted on a far wider scale.