What does the future of an audience first strategy look like in an age of privacy?

Unless you’ve been eaten by the cookie monster, you will have heard that the cookie will become redundant, effective from 2022.  Progress is still underway concerning the future of targeting for advertisers and will continue to evolve over the next 12 months in conjunction with Google and the wider industry. For now, we look at what an audience first strategy will look like based on the information that has already come to light.

We heard earlier this year, Google’s technology advancement of FLoC via Privacy Sandbox and the continued development on Unified ID 2.0 spearheaded via The Trade Desk which gives us a vision into the facilitation of people based marketing over the next 12 months.

There are, however, heightened predictions that contextual advertising will become more mainstream, both in Australia as well as globally. Predictions by PubLift expect this to grow by USD$279.2 billion globally.  With rising concerns around privacy, more advertisers are seeing the value in leveraging sentiment and emotion with their audience via contextual targeting.

According to the IAS Ripple Effect Study, placing ads in high quality mediums leads to higher levels of likeability, engagement and greater memorability. One of the latest additions to contextual targeting is sentiment analysis.  Powered by AI and machine learning, this capability is changing the way in which advertisers approach their creative strategy, with a stronger alignment on the content an ad appears beside, we’re able to trigger emotion and drive a greater level of audience sentiment.  We’ve already seen a local adoption of said technology via Playground XYZ in which they are using this type of technology to measure and optimize advertising based on attention and advertisers have reported incremental growth in key brand metrics as a result.

We can say with a good degree of certainty that identity based solutions will be the unique drivers in people based marketing over the next 2-5 years, however, we know that both adoption and facilitation will take time to scale in the short term.

Whilst 1st party data is not going away and will still be the catalyst of success for brands, we will see marketers innovate with contextual tactics which will lead to a better connection, greater personalization and a more memorable digital ad experience for consumers.  All the while ensuring success in an age of privacy.