Disruption in Targeted Advertising: How to Turn Crisis into Opportunity

Albert Einstein famously once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

The disruption in digital advertising over the past year has certainly felt like a crisis. On top of the iOS privacy rule changes, market volatility, and the emergence of new platforms, marketing budgets are being scaled back, and brands must be much smarter with their dollars.

But within any crisis, there lies opportunity — and the advertising world is no different. Publishers and ad platforms have a chance to offer new, more effective strategies and technologies to help brands reach their desired audience.

When brands are equipped to take calculated risks, seize the power of data in all its forms, and adapt to the changing environment, they can find effective ways to innovate and grow. Here’s how you can help them evolve in today’s changing landscape.

Be Prepared to Explain the Pros and Cons of Broad-based Advertising

In response to the iOS privacy rule changes, platforms like Meta lowered CPMs and encouraged brands to broaden their targeting since more precise targeting is no longer available.

Engagement is now prioritized over conversions, forcing advertisers to refine their approach and continuously iterate their creativity. While broad-based advertising casts a wide net to reach a larger audience, diluted targeting is inefficient. It can degrade brand equity — potentially alienating consumers with the wrong messages and limiting advertiser learnings from interacting with those that see their ads.

Support Advertisers in Making Calculated Risks by Offering New Approaches

Brands can balance out broad targeting efforts by experimenting with new media platforms and marketing tactics. Work with clients to establish how much risk they’re willing to take on and allocate the majority of the budget toward proven channels, even if it means accepting slightly lower returns at scale.

It’s easy to generate a great return at low spend, but the key is determining how much budget to put through a channel before performance erodes.

Encourage the Use of Trusted, Third-party Anonymized Data Sources

In the absence of quality first-party data, a new solution for targeting consumers is to leverage aggregate third-party data with AI-enabled datasets. This creates a wall of compliance between the advertiser and the data, which protects consumer privacy while still providing brands with crucial information to acquire the right customers.

It benefits advertisers by giving them:

  •   access to more data, which can help them identify new high-quality customers
  •   the ability to refine their paid marketing strategy and allocate budgets intelligently
  •   better prospecting performance and ROAS
  •   lower acquisition costs

Implementing this approach has the potential to revitalize targeted marketing for brands and is likely the future path for digital marketing.

The dramatic changes to the ecosystem have made this moment a critical inflection point, making it more important than ever to maintain a growth mindset.

As Einstein also said, “A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it is built for.”  Partnering with advertisers to widen their perspective, commit to experimentation, and seize the opportunities that lie within the chaotic waves of the moment will ultimately help them thrive throughout this tumultuous chapter of digital marketing history.