Looking Beyond “Old-School” Ads and Third-Party Cookies

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What do the decline of primetime TV audiences and the banning of third-party cookies have in common?

At first glance, perhaps not much. However, when viewed as part of a bigger picture, they combine to mean that marketing departments need to pivot to new strategies to reach their target audiences.

Who watches cable TV anymore? Research by Nielsen found that video streaming sites now account for 25% of TV usage, indicating the start of what they predict to be a significant shift in the way we consume media.

As technology giants like Apple and Google look to protect their users from third-party data, targeted online ads are coming under the hammer too.

If like 40% of marketers, you don’t yet have a plan for how to navigate a world without “old-school” ads and third-party cookies, it’s time to embrace the change and get strategizing.

Why “Old-School” Adverts Are Broken

Some of us might still remember when TV adverts were one of the main ways for companies to reach their target audiences, but those days are long gone. Now that we have so many different streaming services to choose from, the chances of TV adverts capturing a large audience are significantly decreased.

For example, coverage of the Olympic Games usually attracts huge numbers of viewers, so businesses were keen to secure an advertising slot during this broadcast. These days though, the ratings aren’t looking so rosy. The ratings for NBC’s primetime coverage of the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympic Games saw a 49% drop in viewing figures compared to the same coverage of the 2016 Olympics.

Those statistics are enough to give many advertising departments pause for thought, especially considering that TV adverts represent a significant investment in their development and securing a slot.

Ads Targeted Using Third-Party Cookies Are On The Way Out

Ads that rely on third-party cookies that collect consumer data and make sure they’re directed to a specific target market. Now that more and more tech companies like Apple and Google are either regulating or out-and-out banning third-party cookies, this strategy is time-limited.

If you rely heavily on targeted online ads as the foundation of your marketing strategy, we suggest changing this rapidly!

What’s The Solution?

This might make for depressing reading so far but stick with us. Luckily, there is an answer.

With the decline in the effectiveness of ads, combined with the death of the third-party cookie, it’s time to turn to some new, more effective strategies that instead utilize things like first-party data, contextual targeting, and email marketing.

First-Party Cookies

First-party cookies are very different from third-party cookies. First-party cookies are created and stored by the website (or domain) you’re using. They remember things, like a user’s preferences, to help optimize their experience, keep you logged in, or remember your language preferences.

Third-party cookies are a little more insidious, because they’re placed on a website from another domain, with the specific intention of collecting and analyzing a user’s habits, tracking their behavior, and gathering a massive amount of information which companies can then use to target the user for selected online ads. As we already mentioned, these are getting phased out due to privacy concerns.

Unlike third-party cookies, first-party cookies aren’t being phased out. Taboola can integrate first-party cookies into partner sites to help personalize their recommendations and offer a more bespoke user experience when it comes to news headlines or targeted ad content.

Contextual Targeting

This is an effective method for getting your ads in front of the people you want to see them, without the need for third-party cookies. Instead, companies can utilize a content-based approach to place their adverts on the articles or web pages that their audience tends to read most often. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, it’s possible to categorize web pages based on their context.

Choosing the publications you want your adverts to be seen on dramatically increases the chances of your adverts being seen by the right people.

Contextual targeting only works effectively if it’s backed by powerful algorithms like those used by Taboola. These algorithms can match a web page’s contextual classification with an article’s text to find the perfect placement for your ads. With these algorithms continually growing, the potential to target more and more sites, languages, and countries grow simultaneously.

Contextual targeting can offer a range of great benefits, including:

  • Driving conversions
  • Decreasing cost per mille (CPM) views
  • Reaching engaged audiences
  • Increasing brand awareness

Context Matters

Taboola helped pet food manufacturer Lily’s Kitchen reach pet lovers more than one million times in just five months. Contextual targeting was used to place adverts on the top sites publishing pet-based content, ensuring that brand awareness increased without the need for adverts on social media or users to search for content actively.

The online language learning site Babbel also used Taboola’s expertise to optimize their campaigns and create variations of their content, target the right consumers, and increase the organic reach of their articles. These strategies combined led to 100k new leads per month, a 22% increase.

Using reports to tailor your targeting

Once you’ve got a marketing strategy that uses contextual targeting underway, it’s time to integrate regular reports to help improve your success over time.

Generating reports relating to the performance of individual contextual targeting campaigns allows you to discover which subjects your highest-converting audience is reading about easily. These reports can also inform your strategy, giving a more profound understanding of which content is best received and where.

If users are starting to read more and more about a specific topic, you can create more targeted ads or videos to naturally complement the subjects they’re most interested in.

Email Marketing

In addition to using the strategies discussed above, you can also make the most of the first-party data from your customers. This includes the email addresses of anyone who purchases products or signs up for your newsletter.

Email marketing still leads the way as a very successful strategy, with the Data & Marketing Association reporting an average ROI of $42 for each $1 spent.

Taking the time to develop an effective email newsletter marketing strategy is well worth the time and money. Email marketing also puts you in complete control of your user’s data – rather than relying on third-party cookies.

It also means that you’re not reliant on social media algorithms, SEO keywords, or having to decide whether it’s time to focus on (yet another) platform or trend. Not having to keep up to date with continual changes like this leaves your team more time to focus on developing an effective strategy with longevity.

Whether you want to create an email marketing strategy with segmented offers for specific customers or a seasonal offer sent to your entire list, it’s up to you. Creating personalized and segmented offers means you’re reaching the most engaged audience for each of your offers or products, which helps increase revenue.

As your email list grows, you can even start monetizing it by adding affiliate links, integrating native ads, or selling ad space to a relevant and complementary business.

Email Performance Marketing – Next-Level Success

A basic email marketing strategy is a great start, but the real magic happens when you shift towards using email performance marketing. This strategy offers some great benefits, including:

  • Using audience segmentation to identify highly qualified leads
  • Drives brand awareness by increasing traffic to your site
  • Offers excellent, performance-based ROI
  • Streamlines your marketing attribution processes
  • A low-risk method with high compliance

Madrivo has seen huge success using this strategy, including results like an increase in gross revenue from $5,000 to over $200,000 in just 30 days, with 22,000 direct-to-consumer sales.

Results like this can be achieved when you work with an email performance marketing agency, like Madrivo. You’ll often find that agencies like Madrivo work on a pay-for-performance model. That means you only need to pay for results that actually end up generating new business.

If an agency doesn’t offer this kind of payment structure, then it can be a hint that they may not have full confidence in their ability to generate revenue (and maybe you shouldn’t, either).

Look To The Future And Embrace The New Era Of Digital Marketing

Sometimes it can be tempting to stick with the old, tried-and-tested marketing methods. However, as these methods gradually become less effective, you’ll likely start to notice a drop in your ROI.

The time to take action is now so that you can enjoy a seamless transition from those “old-school” advertising methods to something that helps you to connect more meaningfully with a more engaged audience.

Create Your Content Campaign Today!