Contextual targeting is becoming increasingly essential for marketers to navigate through the future ‘cookie-less’ marketplace.

In light of the pandemic, the marketing ecosystem is going through a paradigm shift globally. Lately, privacy concerns combined with the cookie’s demise is forcing marketers to deliver more empathetic as well as personalized campaigns in a brand-safe marketplace.

The several challenges that will consequently come up, will present different opportunities for the marketers to unlock advanced, intelligent contextual targeting strategies.

Getting ready for the cookie-less future

The beginning of data privacy regulations such as CCPA, GDPR, and browser crackdowns on cookies are monitoring and setting limitations on how data tracking can be utilized to target digital advertising. With consumers becoming increasingly privacy concerned, days of the third-party cookies are over.

As per Flashtalking’s statistics in 2018, nearly 64% of cookies are being rejected – this is either manually or via an ad blocker. This instance took place before the new privacy legislation was implemented. As a result, today, about 46% of smartphones reject almost 79% of the cookies. Besides, the cookie-based metrics exaggerate reach by 30-70%, reported Silverbullet.

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At the beginning of 2020, Google had announced that it phases out third-party cookies. Browsers like Firefox and Safari have already implemented that. Google Chrome accounts for over 60% of web browser usage. Hence, it is a big deal for both advertisers and marketers – mainly those who use programmatic.

As a result, contextual targeting is fast becoming a priority for marketers and contextually relevant advertisements have been driving a remarkable surge in the purchase intent for businesses. Simply put, it is an effective way to target relevant audiences with the help of keywords and subject resulting from the content around ad inventory – and not a cookie!

As of now, these browsers will allow first-party cookies. It is no secret that the cookie can no longer be counted on primarily to update behavioral targeting. Advanced contextual targeting analyzes images, audio, video, and text to build contextual targeting segments. Hence, contextual targeting, if done rightly, can offer reliable results that businesses require.

As the marketing landscape searches for solutions amid the cookies’ demise, with time, contextual targeting will enable marketers to go back to what they should be doing. This indicates shaping an authentic, empathetic, and real connection with target consumers. As marketing continues to get “back to the future”, contextual targeting is eventually becoming a safer and smarter approach to drive essential marketing messages.

Clearly, with the ending of the third-party data ecosystem, businesses are rapidly rethinking their marketing strategies. Marketers are fast-adapting the role that context plays on how the ads are perceived in the digital era – signifying that these are more important now than ever.