The recent privacy features of Apple/Mozilla browsers and Google’s announcement of phasing out third-party cookies by 2022 have become the backdrop of today’s digital advertising market. Time is running out for third-party cookies, and marketers are now faced with the challenge of moving away from common user-based tracking techniques.

For many verticals, now is the perfect time to learn how to target consumers and drive audience engagement without cookies. Advertisers and brands have to return to the fundamentals of the marketing cycle and reinvent their approaches in listening, segmentation and profiling of their audience. From this standpoint, the niche of financial products might persevere in a cookieless model, as it has always been at the forefront of new data-driven solutions and caters to the specific, long-term interest of the audience.

New approaches to segmentation and targeting

As for now, common financial products advertised by means of cookie-based tracking include trading platforms and systems, investing advisory services, and financial assistance. Typically, these products are not one-off impulse purchases and require strong user relationships and audience activation.

To build strong relationships online, publishers, advertisers, and brands should seek new and durable identity solutions that are based on users’ consent and bring value to their experiences. Without third-party data collectors, advertisers are left to re-examine their own first-party data and partner with publishers to integrate their first-party data pools.

Publishers should be able to comply with regulations, seek user permission, manage personal data collection, segment their users based on demographics, search behavior, preferences or viewing habits, and target custom audiences. As for now, most websites have unidentified audiences, but there is still the possibility to achieve new industry standards and best practices.

Contextual intelligence

Contextual targeting might be seen as the only viable solution possible until publishers are able to operate their bodies of data for performance targeting. Therefore, advertisers should work with and support premium publishers that are relevant to their products, i.e. sites dedicated to financial and business topics.

Personal finance apps are other contextual indicators of a money-saving interest or investment intentions of their users; marketers can also try context categories close to financial, such as cashback, travel, parenting, shopping, etc.

With this in mind, working with native advertising platforms provides not only the opportunity to place contextual ads, but also allows advertisers to break down channel silos and easily scale the campaign across publishers. On some of these platforms, the real-time ML-algorithms analyze the content of each page and check if it is relevant to the product. Advertisers can assemble custom audiences they want to target, select publishers and set context filters to choose environments that signal a specific state of mind and intent.

Bottom line

Soon there will be far fewer possibilities to target custom audiences based on aggregated third-party data pools. Instead, advertisers should partner with publishers, create a cleaner data landscape and incentivize users to willingly share their data.

Exploring contextual advertising is another way to survive a cookieless world. That shifts the focus from audience characteristics to the keyword context and page content semantics. Hopefully, this shift may create a room for experiments with targeting styles and content integrations, while not crashing on profits.