By: Jaimie Hefelfinger

In last month’s newsletter, we discussed upcoming data regulations that are expected to impact the advertising industry. The major theme to the regulations is giving users transparency into which brands are tracking them and what information is being collected. Companies like Apple and Google are implementing changes such as asking users for consent before collecting data as well as blocking cross-site cookie tracking. When these regulations take place, it is assumed that there will be less third-party data available and there will be changes in how we digitally track a user through their purchase journey.

Upon first hearing about these changes, it’s common to feel concerned about how they might negatively affect how we are currently selling digital advertising. However, at the end of the day, the primary purpose of advertising – connecting brands with potential consumers – will not change. The “how” we target consumers might evolve, but these changes don’t mean the end of digital advertising. Now, let’s dig into how our media plans might look in this new world.

As these regulations take shape and come to life, we are expecting media planners and buyers to move away from tactics that heavily rely on third party data (such as audience targeting and mobile location retargeting) and cookie-reliant tracking (such as retargeting). Through Basis DSP, there are plenty of targeting options to ensure your message is reaching the right person. Looking ahead, we will see an emphasis on tactics like:

  • Contextual Targeting (CT): CT uses page-level data to target the content on the page. This will ensure we’re delivering a message to a potential consumer if they are reading relevant content. As an example, if your advertiser is a home builder, we can serve their ad to people reading real estate content.
  • Hyperlocal Mobile HLM): HLM utilizes GPS functionality in a user’s mobile device (rather than mobile device ID) to target real-time location data. A great example here is to geo-fence auto dealerships and serve ads to customers when they are on the lot.
  • Run of Network (RON): RON allows us to cast a wide net across a variety of sites and then drill down on the main campaign objective by using optimization tools. This is an efficient and useful tactic to add to any media plan.
  • Private Marketplaces (PMPs): PMPs are customized, invite-only RTB marketplaces where publishers make their inventory and first party audiences available to a select group of buyers. We expect to see a spike in the use of PMPs, as buyers rely more on first party data (since cross-site third party cookies are not in play).

Targeting will not be the only thing affected by these changes. How we track user actions through conversion pixels will also be impacted as we eliminate cross-site cookie targeting. But don’t fear! Centro developers are working hard on our cookieless conversion methodology so you can still incorporate user action campaigns into the mix.

There are a lot of unknowns as to how digital advertising will be impacted by the changes ahead. What will always remain true is that your advertisers look to you to drive business results through successful marketing initiatives. Keep that in mind during your meetings. You are their digital media consultant who will be there to navigate the new landscape, and Centro is here to make sure you are armed to answer their questions.

Don’t forget to sign up for our March webinar (link here) where we discuss data regulations and what changes lie ahead in more detail.