There is a void to be filled – cookies will soon be consigned to the scrapheap, and new ad targeting technologies are required to enable digital marketers to identify audiences. We all know this.  

While Google’s will they/won’t they plotline has gone on for a few seasons now, it’s worth remembering that contextual solutions existed long before the future of cookies was thrown into question.  
Aligning a contextual solution with this hot topic is natural, and no doubt the most effective way to stay front of mind with prospective partners. But is this really the strongest argument for its use? 

Certainly, it’s the most pressing, but to us, contextual has a much simpler and more altruistic raison d’etre: to re-establish trust between brands, digital platforms and users.  
The cookie saga emerged as the industry was reeling from successive – and often self-inflicted- attacks on its credibility. Cambridge Analytica. Murky app spyware practices. Social networks’ security bugs. Countless customer database leaks. 

People are fully aware of the value of their data now and have become impatient with the harvesting of personal information. And in the Wild West of cookie-based targeting, sadly there’s a chance that brands themselves have come out worst of all; their creative and messaging the fall-guy in the eyes of the user for the system that’s trailing them around online.  
So in the upheaval that lies ahead, brands can be confident that a pivot towards contextual won’t only make their targeting compliant with GDPR, CCPA and ePrivacy and the like. It’ll make them compliant with users’ desire for respectful and appropriate targeting online.  

Illuma’s research and A/B tests are showing that contextual solutions are now as good, if not better than audience solutions. So if the same efforts that went into mining new variants of audience data continue to be ploughed into analysing contextual environments in ever-more advanced ways, then we will face 2023 stronger, and with a future-fit eco-system that works for everyone.

Contact us today to discuss your contextual ad targeting strategy.