The ad industry is going on a diet forced upon us by an oligopoly of internet companies who clearly do not want to work together going forward. What does that mean for you?
Apple is now going to ask users if they consent to being tracked. A small percentage of users will accept, but the majority will likely decline. Can you blame them?
I had a conversation just last week about the ways Facebook and Apple listen to your conversations and target ads to you as a result. They may say they don’t, but when my wife and I are talking about a Marriott vacation over dinner, and the next day I am getting Marriott ads delivered to me on my Facebook feed without either of us having visited a Marriott or a vacation site, or done any searches of any kind related to the topic of a vacation, you have to say “hmmmm..."
There used to be jokes about the “shoes that followed you around online” after you did a search. That was cute. Some of what is available now is downright creepy.
I’ve said it before in this column and I will say it again: Content is king. Contextual targeting is going to make the comeback it has been threatening to for years. Within the walled gardens of Facebook and Google, you will do more targeted delivery, but the general web is going to regress back, and that may not be a bad thing.
Context is easy to identify, and it levels the playing field for the other 20% of the web.
Many of these lower-tier sites have been surviving on DSP-network targeted ads. If advertisers do not choose to be there, maybe the lower-quality sites will go away, and the Internet will focus on quality content again?
Of course, all this talk of dead cookies means the oligopoly becomes stronger, not weaker. Google, Facebook, Amazon and a few other companies still benefit. At least they do online.
What about OTT and digital television platforms? What about AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast and the other players in that space? Are they able to leverage consumer data across platform? Ideally, yes. Will they be able to do it properly? That remains to be seen.
I actually think OTT and DTV platforms will benefit from this because they have a right to the consumer data, and they operate in a closed platform environment as well. The ads I get on my AT&T TV platform are general right now, but they can be improved very quickly.
Will these changes affect the overall volume of dollars heading into digital forms of marketing and advertising? I don’t think so. The consumer usage is there -- and where consumers are, the dollars will flow.
The lion’s share still goes to the oligopoly, and these moves may actually strengthen their positions and secure them a higher percentage of the spend.
This may be a forced dietary restriction, forcing us all off cookies, but cutting the sugar just means we process more of the protein and hopefully end up with a stronger physique as a result.
So whether you call it a cookie or not, the ad industry is changing dramatically in 2021. I think 2022 may leave us healthier as a result of fewer cookies, but I’m curious what you think. Tell us in the comments below!