Note: this article about cookie death and the alternative to context targeting or marketing is probably the last blog post by kontextR! The reasons are described below.
Hectic activity in the house. As always, you've waited, it won't be that bad. It is! Almost all important projects that should earn money in the future - stopped! Lawyers, hardly available because they are fully booked. The sword of Damocles hovering ominously over everything, the publisher could lose its existence if solutions are not found in time. The deadline, May 25, 2018! The last will be bitten by the dogs! GDPR ...
The decline in the publishing business is also paralyzing
I can remember that experts at various publisher summits of the associations had warned against GDPR or GDPR years beforehand. There the timely dealing with the topic was intensively warned.
Very few publishers had an ear for it. In my opinion, this results from the fact that those responsible in a market that has been under pressure for decades hardly have a head and don't have the time to worry about the future. And rarely money for investments outside of the core business. You then just buy new websites. In contrast to fast-growing industries with integrated innovation DNA.
And when all the other publishing colleagues have the same problem, it doesn't feel so terrifying and threatening either. The individual management failure will then be drowned out in a bulk of general decline in a few years. Fingerpointing would be almost heartless when everyone else slept as well. So innocence through general impotence.
Data collection cookies
Until now, the online advertising and publishing industry assumed that political interference in their business would make life more difficult. With a lot of EU lobbying, attempts are being made to defuse various regulations. Whether GDPR, Consent or ePrivacy. Partly with success. It's “only” political. Ie there is a chance of influencing it. After all, as the fourth power in the state, the media are self-confident and have an influence on the careers of politicians.
Bei HTTP cookies the situation is different. The browser manufacturers are the gatekeepers.
Browser cookies, these small inconspicuous HTTP building blocks, have been puffed up into marshmallows by the advertising industry.
It should be noted that only with cookies can it be effectively traced which user has done what, how, when, where on a website or application. Other approaches to target group matching for advertisements have so far not been convincing or legally questionable.
Google turns the tap off - the users are happy
It goes without saying that personal data has become a political issue in the wake of the data collection rage on various platforms and the sensitization of broad sections of the population. The new kind of usability of the data to refine it through artificial intelligence into valuable informational advantages intensifies the criticism.
And what does a monopoly or an oligopoly cartel do when it is clear that political regulation cannot be averted? What if the room for maneuver narrows every year when you have promised your shareholders "double digit growth" ...? Then yes then the problem will be disposed of! In obedience ahead. Because the battle can be lost, but not ...
To lament about it is idle. Power wants to stay in power. And above all, Google is in charge of the net. The first shock for many website operators came in 2019 when Google forced publishers to set various flags on their pages. This is the only way that Google's Chrome browser can adequately display advertising on the site, ie by “making” cookies. Otherwise all Chrome users will fail for advertising sales.
As a result, some woke up and understood that the cookie death was initiated with a warning shot. The shot came surprisingly from the other, commercial side. Not as wrongly expected by politicians. And Google immediately followed up with the message, "Forget cookies, they are being phased out".
The time has come in 2022! Not only the Firefox browser, which is known for its user-friendly data protection principles, but also Chrome, which will soon have an 80% market share, will send cookies to nirvana. What, how exactly, is still open to Google. An expected candidate for chancellor is also not revealed too early. Otherwise one makes oneself unnecessarily vulnerable and cannot use favorable time windows.
Let me reiterate that Google is not to blame. Firefox as a non-commercial organization is also promoting “cookie-less”. It is quite natural for organizations to act in the interests of diverse target groups to be served. Whether for users, advertising customers or share holders. Assigning blame would only result in publishers remaining inactive in the victim attitude and thus really driving their own downfall.
GDPR & content - one piece of cake against cookie death
Anyone who thinks "we have survived the GDPR, we will burn our employees ad-hoc for a few months as soon as the deadline for the end of the cookies is set" could hear the death bell. In the best case, the inactive publisher is only enslaved in a vassal status of the US dominants in order to be able to finance the publisher with advertising money at all. Google and Facebook have the market advantage that they can obtain the consent of the users in their terms and conditions in order to be able to market further target groups.
The publishing houses and the rest of the advertising industry are left behind and it is no longer in their own hands to avert the end of their own target group marketing.
Most online portals have retired their sales staff or self-marketing after programmatic advertising became a mega-trend. Everything is automated. Make money, optimized. But if a bid auction no longer has any user data, there is no more programmatic. At least most of its forms are a thing of the past. Except for keyword targeting. Google's core business!
What remains? Context Targeting?
From my point of view - should it turn out like this and in the end the cookies as an advertising targeting solution are completely eliminated, as I expect - there are four approaches that can still earn advertising money on websites:
- As in the past, publishers market their categories more or less manually and without specific user targeting. To do this, employees have to be hired, which will be difficult.
- Use of new targeting forms instead of target group targeting, such as semantic or contextual targeting (keywords, sentiment, etc.).
- Marketing of the publisher page through Google, Facebook & Co only! Using technically complex approaches and their value-added offering in their core business, the giants also bring user consent with them. This means that they receive an even larger share of the cake in advertising revenues. Quite apart from the political influence and the reporting.
- As a variant of marketing by the big players, a consortium of publishers or marketers with a uniform user authentication is also possible. Even if, in my opinion, there are no effective incentives. Why should users create an extra account and agree to the data collection in order to often display annoying advertisements. In addition, ePrivacy will foreseeably prohibit publishers from restricting the content offered for certain users. Unlike the ad blocker, where some sites block the content if it has not been deactivated. This strategy is not expected to work!
As soon as it becomes clear in the next few months that the air is getting thin, all market participants will turn to context marketing. Some will wait until 2022, with corresponding consequences.
Hoping that your own marketer will bring the solution is like a suicide mission. Just the uncertainty about target group marketing through user data will bring strategists on the plan to test new approaches.
Corona has shown how painful declining advertising sales can be. The current problem of consent makes it all too clear that things will not get better with user data. Advertisers, agencies, marketers and publishers will learn how advertising revenues can be achieved and effectively played out without spying on customers.
Extra: kontextR it won't exist anymore!
You'd think this article was written to help kontextR-Own SaaS solution - it is a keyword or contextual targeting technology - to advertise. Especially since kontextR solves exactly the consent and cookie problem.
At this point it should be noted that in the near future we will discontinue the business or, if we are lucky, hand it over to a takeover candidate whose technology stack or strategy the software fits into.
kontextR does not act as an advertising marketer himself, which retrospectively is the silver bullet in ad tech, but was never our expertise. There is therefore no perspective to further develop a technology, for example in the direction of a programmatic keyword SSP. The fact that the platform, into which more than € 2 million has flowed so far, including government subsidies and above all private money, stably scaled to hundreds of millions of users ... is free! Because it is not sustainable without a viable business model!
The classic startup dilemma: giving up too early or too late !?
We have therefore decided to found and focus a new startup that the Accessibility in the digital workplace dedicates. To wait for the cookie death and the panic of the publishing and advertising industry to make another cut would also be fatal for a startup like ours.
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