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Top tech companies like Google are betting big on contextual targeting to protect the digital marketing ecosystem

June 21, 2022 4:51 p.m. STI

New Delhi [India]June 21 (ANI/PNN): With privacy breaches on the rise in the digital advertising space and new privacy laws in place, the world’s biggest tech companies, including Google, are betting big on the contextual targeting – cookieless targeting – to keep users anonymous and their browsing history from being tracked to protect the digital marketing ecosystem.
According to estimates, Google, Facebook and Amazon generated more than $30 billion in digital ad revenue in 2021 as a result of the pandemic. Because these companies had access to massive datasets, they were able to breach people’s privacy. Different privacy regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA, and CPRA, were enacted in 2018 to govern the misuse of personally identifiable information (PII) – audience-based targeting.
Audience-based targeting has been used on different DSPs (Demand Side Platform). A DSP can be defined as a tool that helps advertisers purchase specific ads and place them across different video domains, apps, and platforms. Additionally, DSPs allow advertisers to select multiple layers of datasets to target their audience.
The rise of audience-based targeting has led to the rapid growth of several third-party cookie-based companies. 2016 marked the turning point of audience targeting, with several advertising platforms in the United States allowing political parties to target their audience in an intrusive way. This quickly led to the enactment of various privacy laws, as well as the cookie apocalypse.
“Contextual targeting can easily be deployed to engage in-market audiences as well as build brand awareness,” said Akaash Ramakrishnan, co-founder and COO of AdSkate, a leading advertising platform focused on providing contextual targeting solutions. “For example, if you have a target audience that is on a pet forum, you can feature relevant ads for pet products that can lead to quick conversions.”

“With new privacy laws in place following data breaches, contextual targeting appears to be the market’s best and safest bet.” This type of cookieless targeting is rapidly reappearing in the digital marketing ecosystem. Advertisers will be forced to adapt or eventually perish,” Akaash remarked.
What is contextual targeting?
Contextual targeting is a method of targeting a specific audience set based on the content they consume. Contextual targeting uses NLP (natural language processing) and predictive modeling to understand the tone and inflection of the content the user is consuming. Based on the researched content, an ad will be presented to the user.
Another imminent application, according to Akaash, of contextual targeting is in the CTV domain. Smart TV manufacturers have created a method to capture ACR (Audience Content Recognition) data to identify the audio and video content the user is consuming. As a result, they can be contextually targeted to different devices in a specific household.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an American advertising association, conducted a survey called State of Data Report, which found that 42% of marketers want to increase their ad spend on contextual targeting. Additionally, the survey indicates that 46% of industry professionals do not understand how certain BlackBox ideas (such as Privacy Sandbox) work.
Google recently announced that Topics, a new privacy sandbox, will be implemented. Topics allow a person to remain anonymous while browsing and their browsing history is not monitored. Chrome, the browser, will identify a group of themes that a certain person is particularly interested in. Subject data will be retained for three weeks and the device used to navigate will be investigated at the same time. This process does not rely on any external server or API. Google has joined the world of contextual targeting with the rollout of Topics.
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