By Ted Vernon, VP of Sales at 4D

2024 seems to be the year of privacy and trust. This comes as no surprise, due to the ever-growing global data regulation enforcement, combined with the ongoing push from leading browsers to lockdown on privacy-centric initiatives aimed at protecting the consumer. Governments all across the world are making the right kind of noise around stricter legislation, urging marketers to let go of their deeply rooted habits of third-party data usage for behavioural targeting. 

And, it is in this pursuit for a better future, that advertisers are returning their efforts to the holy grail of advertising and marketing – first-party data – the gold dust of the AdTech landscape, where information about consumers is used to enable relevant, empathetic and personalized advertising. For those unsure, first-party data presents some of the most valuable insights a client will gain on its ‘known audiences’. For years first-party data has been used to tailor brand messages to recent, loyal and lapsed consumers, acting as an extremely powerful data set to build brand trust and long-lasting relationships.  

Up until recently, first-party data has long been used in combination with the not-so-sought-after third-party data set, and with third-party cookies decreasing in popularity, businesses are seeking new data sets that can enrich their first-party data, adding needed scale and a deeper understanding of the environments in which consumers spend time.  

The answer? Contextual data. Privacy-safe by its very nature, contextual data can enhance first-party data to align brand messaging in appropriate and meaningful contexts, tapping into new audiences to bridge the gap between ‘known’ and ‘unknown’. It’s no surprise that contextual advertising spend was estimated at $227.38 billion on the global level at the end of 2023. 

In fact, a WARC study reviewed 76 campaigns across eight different verticals, providing a comprehensive view of the effectiveness of contextual targeting. It revealed that contextually targeted solutions consistently outperformed industry benchmarks, delivering nearly 70% more attention for skippable ads. It’s clearly a promising future. Particularly when used with first-party data.

A Match Made in Heaven.

Let’s explore an example of how the two can work to enhance the end customer experience. Using first-party data alone, a brand’s Diaper advertising campaign may appear in written or video content that could span any topic from football to the weather. Arguably, you’re reaching a wide-scale audience through this method, but the relevancy will likely diminish due to the unknown insights surrounding the environment. 

By simply blending contextual data into the mix, that brand is now able to deliver Diaper advertising, in content that is specific to newborns, new parents, and more. The brand message is tailored by first-party data, and the delivery is tailored by context. It’s a match made in heaven. 

How about that for an advertising strategy that combines consensus, transparency, trust and context to create an immersive customer experience? It’s clear to see why more than 6 in 10 advertisers expect to increase their use of contextual data this year – according to a ComScore report. 

Welcome to one of the most efficient and advanced methodologies for advertising online in the post-cookie world – First-party data + Contextual Data.  

The Equation That Matters.

Contact me today to find out how you can tap into the new, privacy-first era with Silverbullet and 4D.