May'23·Jordi Capdevila·3 MIN

The evolution of audience targeting in the 21st century

Home The evolution of audience targeting in the 21st century

Audience targeting for marketing and advertising campaigns has been a common practice for many years. It involves audience identification and segmentation based on criteria like demographics, interests, and online behavior to display ads on channels like social media and search engines.

However, this normalcy has been disrupted in the last couple of years owing to the ever-increasing spotlight on data privacy. The uproar against the usage of consumers’ data led to the establishment of data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA that advertisers and publishers must comply with, and the imminent phase-out of Google’s third-party cookies.

This transformation in the advertising world is changing how the audience is targeted, pushing boundaries and emphasizing the need for a privacy-first targeting strategy. The age-old practice of tracking users’ browsing patterns and leveraging third-party data no longer makes the cut. Today, the world is being powered by innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that are shaping the way businesses of the future operate.

Unfolding the future of audience targeting

With privacy taking the front seat and third-party cookies soon fading, audience targeting needs an overhaul. This evolution has paved the way for more advanced strategies like contextual advertising. The future is all about leveraging the latest tech advancements backed by AI trained over years, analyzing millions of articles under supervised machine learning. With the ability to develop custom ML models and NLP capabilities, contextual AI is capable of analyzing not only entire editorial pages but whole networks of content across countries and languages.

Contextual ads are ideal for the cookieless world as they provide a privacy-first ad strategy that does not leverage any third-party data. Unlike traditional audience targeting that is cookie-led, contextual audience targeting is content-led. Contextual advertising empowers marketers to enhance their understanding of consumer interests and relies on AI to deliver ads on relevant websites that target relevant audiences without using cookies.

Contextual AI analyzes a webpage's content and context to understand the meaning, relevance, and sentiment of the text and images on the page. Post analysis, AI then extracts information like categories, topics, keywords, and sentiments to display the most relevant ads.

Contextual audience segmentation

Contextual advertising targets the audience based on their content, context and interest contrasting with intrusive audience targeting practices. This makes contextual ads more effective as they display suitable ads to the most relevant audience at the right time, boosting ad performance and results.

Contextual AI can identify the topics discussed on a page and understands the context of each webpage. It can understand nuances in language and tonality and analyzes factors like keywords and phrases that are most relevant to the content on each webpage.

By extracting and analyzing these integral aspects, contextual AI can determine user intent, interests, and preferences more effectively. With a focus on accuracy and personalization, contextual advertising offers an endless scale of building contextual or personalized segments to reach target audiences. Leveraging contextual intelligence, marketers can build audience segments beyond the standard IAB taxonomy and deliver ads at a highly granular level. Brands can create bespoke categories based on individual campaign needs, outdoing the limitations of predefined categories, thus making way for greater accuracy.

Contextual advertising eliminates impression wastage, enhances personalization, and delivers a superior, non-intrusive browsing experience. Contextual ads do not use third-party cookies and are compliant with all data privacy regulations, making them a strategy of choice among businesses today. Contextual advertising also rates high on brand safety and suitability, as it is with GARM: Brand Safety Floor plus Suitability Framework, and provides context-based protections for advertisers as well as publishers.

This is just the beginning of the AI-led adtech revolution and how next-gen tech shapes audience targeting. In the future, the entire targeting strategy could be led by AI, saving marketers valuable time and enabling them to achieve far better results.The transition period from cookie-based advertising to the next will be an interesting one as brands and marketers will be forced to experiment and deliver new-age experiences. The future of advertising will be human-first with brands obsessing over transparency, winning consumer trust, and creating an experience that users love, without invading their privacy.

At Seedtag, we are powering this revolution with our contextual AI technology LIZ©, and Seedtag LAB, our exclusive contextual advertising program.

Higher CTR, increased ad recall, uplifting brand favorability, and more. Look at what we’ve delivered for our global customer base here.

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