MONDAY 5 DEC 2022 10:10 AM


Amid the slowdown in digital advertising, Paul Thompson, manager and advisor at seedtag, believes AI provides a solution. The technology will help brands to target wider audiences with an approach that feels agile and personal.

While Google’s decision to once again delay the phasing out of third party cookies gives the industry more time to prepare for the “death” of the cookie, brands and publishers still need to act now to ensure they’re ready for a cookieless future.

It’s no secret that consumers have become increasingly hostile towards advertising, and these worsening consumer attitudes have been a key factor in the dramatic changes to the advertising industry. All future advertising strategies should make improving the consumer experience a top priority.

As digital audiences have grown, so has investment into online advertising. However, this money is too often used for increasingly outdated, intrusive targeting strategies, which are both hyper-targeted and wildly irrelevant to consumers. We’ve all experienced it. Users are increasingly sick of being followed around the internet by ads for something they are no longer interested in or never wanted to see in the first place.

What solutions are available?

The end of cookies does not necessarily mean the end of the world for advertisers. Brands have a number of solutions at their disposal, both old and new, that they can use to not only provide consumers with a more pleasant experience, but change the perceptions of online advertising.

One possible solution is first-party data. Brands and publishers can leverage the information users willingly share with them to create more personalised advertising strategies, improving the consumer experience. They can also craft Unified IDs. Users share their email addresses with platforms that are then anonymised and encrypted into an ID that is shared only within that network, tracking users without the need for third parties. Brands can also look into driving organic traffic, by refining their SEO strategy.

These solutions are simple but limited. In order to be truly effective, they often require expertise as well as effective strategic planning. Unified IDs often lack scale to be truly effective while first party data strategies lack reach and may require extraction capabilities that very few companies have. We need a new solution to give these techniques the boost they need for a cookieless world. AI could be that solution.

The power of AI

AI has now reached the stage that it is an invaluable asset to brands looking to redefine their targeting strategies. It is now capable of reading and understanding editorial and advertising content the same way you and I could, only at a massive scale.

One solution I’m familiar with is Contextual AI, which works specifically on editorial content, analysing text and images and taking into account factors such as tone and sentiment. The AI has been trained using machine learning and campaigns that leverage contextual AI are much more agile and better targeted, improving the experience for the user.