The Rise of Contextual
Google Captures the World Stage
Google rocked the digital advertising world last week, announcing they would no longer sell targeted ads based on individual browsing histories next year. This announcement is a logical next step to Google’s prior decision to block cookies in Chrome. Google may have been late to the cookie blocking party, following Safari and Firefox, but they make for the biggest headlines.
If you purchase digital ads, on your own or through an agency, you’re using Google, which commands 90% of ad search and 40% of the entire US ad market. Google holds unprecedented power in leveraging personal data to track movements for ad purchases. Make no mistake, their plan to stop selling ads based on individual browser data doesn’t mean Google isn’t still collecting data, they are just using proprietary means, dubbed their “privacy sandbox”.
Defining the Privacy Sandbox
The “privacy sandbox” is a data clean room - a place where first party data can be uploaded and Google’s collected data lives, but now, is only analyzed internally by Google. While seemingly privacy-compliant, this tactic further strengthens Google by limiting individual company control over data and targeting.
If Google’s latest moves leave you feeling uneasy, you’re in good company. As the announcement was shared and re-shared, talked about in boardrooms and groaned over in the trenches, Industry leaders are looking for alternatives.
Luckily, visionaries saw this change coming and developed technology solutions that offer privacy-compliant tracking based on powerful, behavioral data.
The Rise of Contextual Targeting
Welcome to the world of contextual targeting - years in the making, it skips invasive tracking and cookie-based inaccuracies, and leverages content-based consumption habits.
Online consumption habits illuminate what a consumer is reading or watching, quickly leading to a superior understanding of consumer motivation. For example, if a consumer is reading articles about the weather in Florida when they live in New York, Content Targeting assumes a trip to Florida is in the making. Layer that knowledge with content consumption on how to purchase a house in another state and the picture starts to take shape - you have a high-value group of people who would likely be in the market for a host of products and services.
Since this kind of targeting is never based on individual level data collection (PII), it offers a wide range of benefits in the privacy era. Larger scale, motivational learnings - the “why” behind consumer-based consumption, stability and improved accuracy.
Contextual isn’t a new tactic - it’s been around for years, now growing into a sophisticated and refined offering with serious merit in today’s digital advertising ecosystem.
As privacy regulations and demands continue to hit the digital ad market, whether from government, consumer demands or advertising behemoths, the need for powerful, more ethical outreach options will continue to grow. And the big winner is turning out to be Contextual.
About Advanced Contextual
Our mission at Advanced Contextual is simple. We believe individual privacy is important and doesn't have to compromise good business. We provide publishers and brands with tools to better understand their audiences through content consumption and dynamic intent data. We do this in a way that preserves both scale and precision, not tied to any single identifier.