Buyer Poll Confirms Shift In Targeting Tactics, More Stress On Audio Media

With Google announcing its plan to begin the deprecation of third-party cookies for test purposes in Q1 2024, the cookie-less marketing environment is now on the verge of becoming a reality.

How is the transition going?

One new poll indicates some progress.

Nearly half (44%) of 181 agency and brand marketers surveyed in February and March by programmatic targeting service Proximic by Comscore reported that third-party ID-based targeting is still their dominant targeting method.

However, among respondents overall, 25% of 2023 marketing spend, on average, is allocated to audience targeting using first-party data, and 32% to ID-less contextual segments.

Further, contextual data is expected to eclipse cookie-dependent data in the coming months, with 47% of these marketers saying they expect to be using ID-free tactics by year-end, and 40% expecting most or all of their targeting to be cookie-free by year-end.

Three quarters expect to migrate some or most of their targeting to cookie-free tactics, 54% plan to increase their use of contextual data, and 27% plan to incorporate new predictive segments into their targeting tactics this year.

Thirty percent expect to change data partners to respond to privacy law updates.   

Still, 18% admit that they are either not planning to use any cookie-free targeting tactics this year, or not sure if they will do so, and 16% admit that no one in their organization is pushing for the use or testing of such tactics.

Asked about media investments this year versus last, 87% reported using digital advertising channels in both years, and 58% ranked digital as the first or second most important media channel in their strategies.

While more than three quarters (77%) indicated investment in connected TV (CTV) in both years (summary at top of page), the lack of growth in marketers investing in this channel this year versus 2022 may indicate that CTV is plateauing as it has come to “sit comfortably alongside linear, digital and social within most media plans,” the survey takers speculate.

Audio/podcast is the channel showing most growth in new investment, with 5% of marketers saying they expect to invest in it for the first time in 2023. Two percent said they’ll invest in social media for the first time this year, and 1% in linear TV or “other” for the first time.

More results from the survey will be presented during a Proximic by Comscore webinar on the state of programmatic advertising on May 23.

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