Performance in a privacy-first world

June 12, 2023

Marketing teams that don’t exceed today’s metrics will find themselves struggling to meet a rising bar.

Performance in a privacy-first world

Performance or privacy? CMOs know they don’t have a choice. They need to balance both. More than three in four (77%) are being asked to prove short-term return on investment (ROI) of campaigns, and yet 59% of consumers globally won’t buy from a brand they don’t trust.

Of course, privacy isn’t the only factor affecting performance. The same inflationary pressures now causing consumers to cut their budgets (and stop buying your products) are impacting marketing budgets too: 52% of marketers say marketing spending is lower due to this factor.

As long as market volatility continues, marketers can expect to be asked to do more with less. KPIs may be out of date almost as soon as they’re set. Marketing teams that don’t exceed today’s metrics will find themselves struggling to meet a rising bar.

Privacy vs. performance: a balancing act

Tighter data protection regulations and higher consumer demand for greater transparency have forced marketers to look for advertising solutions that don’t rely solely on digital identifiers. Uncertainty surrounding the longevity of third-party cookies, dwindling numbers of identifiable users and increasing legislation means marketers may no longer have the signals they have relied on to target consumers with precision. Instead, they’re facing higher CPMs and producing lower ROI.

For CMOs looking to grow, it’s about making every marketing dollar count. But for that, they need the right tools.

Strategies for success

In today’s tough regulatory environment, there are strategies that balance the need for strong marketing performance with respect for user privacy. These methods help build trust with consumers while still driving solid results, laying a strong foundation for a marketing approach ready to handle whatever the future throws at it.

Embrace contextual targeting.

Contextual targeting allows marketers to display relevant ads based on the content of a webpage, rather than relying on personal user data. This method is less invasive and can result in more relevant ads, as users are likely to be interested in products and services related to the content they’re currently consuming.

This approach perfectly balances accuracy with efficiency. Contextual targeting can also help advertisers discover new buyers on long-tail sites visited by passionate customers. For example, health and wellness brands can reach yogis on mainstream yoga sites. However, a more effective strategy is to use contextual targeting to place ads in content where these consumers are exploring new retreat locales.

Supercharge first-party data.

First-party data (data collected directly from consumers) provides valuable insights while maintaining a higher level of privacy compared to third-party data. By utilizing the data provided by or collected directly from consumers, marketers can build a more accurate understanding of their ideal target while still respecting users’ privacy.

Beyond simply leveraging first-party data to create audiences, marketers who want to take their targeting strategies to the next level can combine the precision of audiences with the reach and relevance of context. Using unique semantic user and page profiles, this innovative strategy – at Fyllo, we call it Contextual Audience Extension – leverages first-party data to develop a model that identifies where the seed audience and others like them are most likely to be.

In doing so, marketers can extend the reach of their campaigns to discover previously untapped audiences that share similar interests and behaviors with current customers, in the places they’re most engaged and receptive to relevant messages.

Adopt a privacy-by-design approach.

Rather than treating it as an afterthought, build privacy into your business practices and your IT systems. This organizational approach ensures privacy protection will always be a core component of every campaign.

Part of this approach involves transparency with users about how their personal data is collected and shared. Marketers can also educate users about the benefits of targeted advertising. More relevant ads make for a better experience when they align with consumer interests and can help them discover new products and services. By earning the trust of their audiences, marketers can build a responsible and sustainable approach to targeting.

The path to outperformance

The future of ad targeting hinges on finding the sweet spot between performance-driven strategies and privacy-first practices. Those who value transparency and user control will be better positioned to earn audience trust and drive long-term success.

At Fyllo, we give marketers the power to outperform in a privacy-first world by helping them balance personalization and anonymity, reach and relevance, safety and scale, all without compromise. And it’s in this balance that we find a winning formula for today’s most effective campaigns. Contact us today to learn how we can help you crush your next campaign.

Originally authored for Marketing Dive

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