graphic showing keywords related to audio to illustrate contextual advertising

Take Control of Your Campaigns With Cookieless Advertising

Cookieless advertising is providing an opportunity for advertisers and marketers to take control of their campaigns and drive successful, effective results. 

In Q3 2022, we released an exclusive report which surveyed agency and brand advertising decision makers. We found that marketers know that it’s time to embrace cookieless advertising, but have yet to act. Right now is the moment for education, as advertisers look to work with programmatic partners who support the performance of cookieless campaigns. 

Onboarding a cookieless advertising solution is the first step to adding this strategy to your digital marketing plan. To help you get started, we’re sharing insights from our exclusive report of over 150 agencies about cookieless advertising, conducted in partnership with ad industry business intelligence firm, Advertiser Perceptions

Read on to learn key insights from the report, including how to tackle cookieless digital environments and leverage contextual advertising strategies to drive performance in your programmatic campaigns.

The State of the Cookie in Advertising

As the programmatic landscape evolves, more limitations are being placed on environments where cookies are used. But contrary to the popular misconception that cookies are about to crumble into the data abyss, there are plenty of instances where they will continue to be relevant for marketers. 

For example, cookies can be used for 1st-party data collection and tracking, where consent is given, and in several 3rd-party tracking mechanisms that are highly regulated.

So, do you need to worry about environments where cookies can’t be placed or tracked? Thanks to cookieless solutions like contextual advertising, you don’t! Contextual advertising has resurfaced as a performance-driving targeting method for reaching the right audience, at the right time, and in the right context.

We wanted to understand how advertisers in the US are perceiving the misconstrued “cookieless future,” and here’s what we found.

The key takeaways showed that advertisers are aware they need a solution, but many have yet to act.

95% 95%

of advertisers place at least some priority on finding solutions for the cookieless future.

20% 20%

of advertisers have implemented solutions for the cookieless future.

66% 66%

of advertisers believe that contextual targeting will be more important in a cookieless environment.

Advertisers have plans to take action to ensure their campaigns are successful, with or without cookies.

96% 96%

of advertisers are running more contextual advertising campaigns, or plan to in the next 6 months, to prepare for the phase out of 3rd-party cookies.

81% 81%

of advertisers plan to use contextual targeting with behavioural targeting.

97% 97%

of advertisers believe digital advertising will remain at least somewhat effective in cookieless environments.

Advertisers are looking to DSPs and other resources to help them address their concerns and perceived benefits of cookieless advertising.

71% 71%

of advertisers turn to programmatic advertising platforms like DSPs for guidance to address cookieless advertising.

61% 61%

of marketers feel that cost increases due to inefficient targeting is a top concern for the cookieless future.

51% 51%

of advertisers believe that the key benefit of contextual targeting is that it aligns with audience interests.

Contextual Advertising as Your Cookieless Solution

The best way to prepare for the evolving privacy landscape is to start testing cookieless strategies, now. One tactic you can leverage is contextual advertising. Rather than targeting ads based on user behaviour, contextual advertising targets ads based on the environment that an ad appears in. 

This targeting method uses algorithms to target ad placements based on keywords, website content, and other metadata. As a result, your ads are shown to users based on the content they are viewing at that moment in time. 

There are many unique benefits of contextual advertising, including the ability to target niche audiences while they’re in the right frame of mind, and get access to real-time metrics. Contextual advertising is also a brand safe solution that is perfect for building strong brand affinity with your audience. 

3 Steps to Onboard Contextual Advertising

The time to embrace cookieless advertising is now and one way to get started is with contextual advertising. Here are 3 key steps to successfully introduce contextual targeting into your digital strategy.  

1. Prioritize implementing contextual targeting. 

Our report found that only 19% of advertisers have implemented contextual solutions, and 72% are exploring various solutions to implement in the next 12 months. This gap in implementation could be the single biggest challenge when trying to ramp up quickly with new targeting strategies. Programmatic advertising is dependent on testing, and the sooner you can test and optimize contextual targeting, the better off your campaigns will be in the long run.

Advertisers and marketers understand the need for contextual advertising adoption, but there’s a gap between that acknowledgment and speed to market. Widespread adoption is inevitably coming, so marketers should be prioritizing the implementation of contextual tactics, now. 

2. Work together to try something new. 

Digital marketing today requires creative thinking and staying on top of the latest technology, channels, and formats. The best way to get ahead of industry changes and implementation ramp up periods is to invest time in learning and development. 

Finding time to educate your media buyers on how they can be successful in cookieless environments will be the difference between campaigns continuing to perform with ease and a dip in performance. 

At the same time, it’s key to ensure your teams are all working together in harmony, so that your contextual advertising campaigns are set up for success. Having the right training, as well as access to resources, can make all the difference when implementing a new platform, tactic or strategy. 

4. Find the right programmatic partner. 

Programmatic platforms that provide contextual strategies, including those that leverage machine learning and AI, are the best resources in times of uncertainty. They understand how to use the features available, and the best way to learn and ramp up. 

Programmatic platforms that leverage machine learning and AI should not be viewed as a barrier, but rather as a benefit, because they offer highly relevant and accurate targeting capabilities. If the unknown surrounding the technology is seen as a challenge, this can be easily overcome with education, and the right technology partner. 

It is beneficial for advertisers and marketers to lean on their programmatic platform producers for information and support not only for contextual, but for all digital advertising strategies. 

Your partner should understand the nuances in the industry, and how to foster success. You’ll want them to have expertise in all areas of digital advertising, including the channels that work well, the data providers that should be leveraged, and the formats that yield high engagement. Tapping into this knowledge set for programmatic solutions is the best way to break into the contextual space efficiently. 

Add Contextual Advertising to Your Media Plan

Advertisers need to prepare for any digital environment, cookieless or not. The best way to ensure a seamless transition is to reset and implement contextual strategies now. 

With 4 out of 5 advertisers planning to use contextual targeting in conjunction with behavioural targeting, now’s the time to test using these targeting methods together. Identify what keywords and tactics are most beneficial for your campaigns, and use these strategies in tandem with audience targeting for a well-rounded digital strategy. 

graphic that reads "Cookieless strategies with a dash of AI: Taking a Bite out of Contextual Targeting" and a button to download the full report

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