As advertisers prepare for a cookieless world, it’s important for them to work together on new strategies and solutions to reach the right audience. In fact, while the death of the cookie has thrown the industry into a tailspin, it could actually yield a more secure, privacy-safe, and lucrative future for businesses.

That’s because — in a world without cookies — advertisers have a valuable opportunity to completely rethink the way they target and identify audiences. And any excuse for innovation is a good one.

With that in mind, Adweek Editor in Chief Stephanie Paterik led a recent roundtable discussion, “Context is King: Reaching The Right Consumer in a More Private World,” with advertising leaders, including:

  • Nadav Perry, Vice President of Global Brand and Agency Development, Taboola
  • Scott Spaulding, Vice President of Global Agency Partnerships, MediaMath
  • Josh Palau, Chief Media and Activation Officer, PHD


Here’s what they had to say about how they’re preparing for a cookieless world and a brighter future.

“Your job as a marketer is to make meaningful connections with the consumer and make your product top-of-mind to solving their problem. So just stick with that as your North Star and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.” – Josh Palau, Chief Media and Activation Officer at PHD

Be Prepared to Harness New Opportunities

Yes, there are risks involved with throwing out third-party cookies. But the opportunities outweigh the setbacks.

Nadav Perry, Vice President of Global Brand and Agency Development at Taboola, suggests advertisers look out for four big opportunities in particular:

  1. Helping consumers enjoy a more privacy-safe internet
  2. Finding new uses for first-party data and CRM marketing strategies
  3. Looking out for new technologies with innovative solutions
  4. Revisiting existing technologies with modern capabilities like machine learning and artificial intelligence

“I like that we’re tearing the skyscraper down and rebuilding,” said Scott Spaulding, Vice President of Global Agency Partnerships at MediaMath. “We keep adding companies with point solutions to keep covering up an already cracked foundation. This allows us to build a stronger foundation and higher skyscraper than we had in the past.

Start Testing Solutions and Vetting Partners

Many solutions already exist to help advertisers prepare for a cookieless future and embrace their first-party data. They just need to start testing different platforms and partners to find the right mix for their business.

“There is some basic due diligence that we’re all responsible for having to do,” said Josh Palau, Chief Media and Activation Officer at PHD. “It’s digging to the surface of what they’re offering and how that matches up to your needs.”

“There’s tremendous talent, both agency- and client-side, that have been staring at this for a while,” said Palau. “I think the starting point is, ‘Hey, what is your POV on what you’re seeing from the space?'”

Prepare your templates and frameworks. Challenge your investment teams to build economic models. Consult your performance metrics across channels. And don’t lose sight of the overall goal: reaching your target audience.

Focus on Contextual Advertising

On an open web without third-party cookies, brands will need to find creative ways to engage consumers. That’s where contextual advertising comes in to play.

Yes, contextual strategies have been around for a while. Here’s a simple example: A men’s retail brand advertises on a sports website, where young males are likely to be reading. The death of the cookie, however, will shepherd in a new generation of smarter contextual advertising.

“Smart contextual is about understanding in real time what the audience actually reads, and that could change within the day or many, many times a day,” said Perry. “For the open web, and especially the non-signed-in open web, that’s going to be one key solution.”

Brands and publishers can also use that contextual data to launch native ads and content marketing initiatives, delivering more intuitive consumer experiences across the web.

“There are multiple ways to promote [content marketing] and get results from it, whether it’s for upper-funnel brand awareness or bottom-of-the-funnel lead generation. In the future of contextual marketing, content marketing is going to become more important and more prevalent, and I’m looking forward to see how that develops.” – Nadav Perry, Vice President of Global Brand and Agency Development at Taboola

Watch the entire “Context Is King: Reaching the Right Consumer in a More Private World” roundtable below, and comment on YouTube with your predictions and thoughts!

Originally Published:

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