Contextual targeting 'significantly' more cost-effective than cookie-based targeting
Contextually targeted impressions cost almost a third less than cookie-based, behaviourally targeted impressions, a new study has found.
Run by AI business GumGum in partnership with advertising group Dentsu Aegis Network, and conducted by an independent third-party researcher, the study compared the effectiveness of the two ad targeting methods across live campaigns for four of Dentsu's major brand clients, including global beauty retail brand Sephora.
According to GumGum, the campaigns utilised the same brand safe inventory. One million impressions were served over a two week period in May this year, which were measured for cost efficiency and content relevance.
The study also found that overall, for CPC (cost per click) and vCPM (viewable cost per thousand), the costs of using contextual targeting were lower than behavioural by 48% and 41%, respectively.
“In a world with diminishing access to audience targeting, as responsible partners to our clients, we need the most robust understanding of potential best practices and tools available for success,” said Brian Monahan, global client president and head of US ventures for Dentsu Aegis Network.
“Beyond value-testing contextual, we also needed to gauge the effectiveness of the numerous emergent contextual intelligence offerings. This study gave us both of those things––and the results are compelling.”
GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder added: "Machine learning-backed contextual targeting has been a central tenet of our offering since the get-go, so to some degree, from our perspective, this study states the obvious, but it is fabulous to finally see a head-to-head contextual-behavioural match up and get hard data behind contextual targeting’s value.
“There are plenty of doubting Thomas’ about contextual as an answer to the cookie’s death and this ought to give them some faith.”
Third party tracking cookies have been a near ubiquitous facet of online marketing, yet they face extinction as the market faces up to privacy legislation and performance limitations.
Google and Apple have already tightened control of third-party cookies for Chrome and Safari users, making it more difficult for advertisers to track digital advertising behaviour.
Meanwhile, legislation such as GDPR and the subsequent ultimatum issued by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to the adtech industry mean fundamental change is on the cards.
Last month, news broke that Oracle and Salesforce could both face multi billion pound legal cases in Europe over accusations that their cookie-tracking methods breach GDPR.