Now, more than ever, advertisers are looking to leverage the power of online to reach a targeted audience. We’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate this shift to online, as a shift to a home-based lifestyle has given us more free time to browse and connect with others on the web.

However, as consumers become more digital savvy, they are also more aware about their data and how it is shared online. In fact, 58% of British consumers worry that tailored content from brands is compromising their privacy.

The end of the cookie

The introduction of the GDPR legislation a couple of years ago is just one of the ways that regulators have started to address this issue. However, concerns over data continues to be a big focus for digital advertisers, many of whom rely on data-driven targeting strategies in order to deliver the most effective advertising and ROI.

We know that this is traditionally done via third-party cookies, which store and track our activity across the web. However, with an increased focus on how users’ data is handled, actors across the industry are taking steps to enshrine customer privacy – with one such action being the elimination of third-party cookies by the mainstream browsers.

The likes of Firefox and Safari have already cracked down on third-party cookies, and Google has also announced that it will be phasing them out by 2022.

Finding an alternative

This means the race is now on for advertisers to find a solution that offers the same targeted approach that is just as effective but must be privacy-first. Some will go back to the ‘walled garden’ approach, relying on first-party data led advertising.

However, advertisers will miss out on a crucial audience if they don’t look at the opportunities across the entire web – such as the independent sites or sites that do not require a user to login. These sites make up a huge percentage of the content we consume online when we are browsing.

The future is live intent targeting

One answer is through live intent targeting. At Nano Interactive we have worked hard to develop a powerful and effective live ad targeting solution, powered by a ‘Consumer Intent Score’ model. This relies on ‘live intent’ signals – the exact moment that someone has searched for something and it has brought them to a publisher’s page. This is then combined with advanced on-page entity analysis – providing the deeper context and underlying meaning of the page, the underlying sentiment of the content and how brand safe it is – to help us really understand what the person is looking at and how they got there. It is 100% identity-free and no personal data is stored, nor are any identifiers or any tracking done across the web.

Privacy is increasingly becoming a major concern for consumers, and with more of us spending time online, advertisers need to act now. Whilst the phasing out of third-party cookies is a major breakthrough by the industry to address privacy concerns, it is going to be a big challenge for advertisers to continue to target effectively unless they start to find solutions now. Consumer privacy must be the gold standard of digital advertising, and intent targeting is a method that is effective, efficient and does not compromise on data privacy. This is the future of digital ad targeting.