Online advertising is worth $ 300 billion (251 billion) annually. And now it’s been disassembled and rebuilt behind the scenes.
The basis of advertising that tracks you on various websites is third-party cookies, which are small files that tell advertisers, social media platforms, etc. where you were. However, cookie days are numbered. They have been for a while. Cookies have recently disappeared when Google announced that it would stop using tracking technology that uniquely identifies web users when browsing the Internet.
This is a big deal from a company where Google benefits most from cookies, which make up about half of all digital ads, and will have a direct impact on others. So what happens next and how does it affect digital marketing as a whole and businesses that rely on online advertising?
Google is currently focusing on what we call a privacy sandbox method that targets ads without collecting personal information. Google and other companies have proposed a number of bird-themed acronyms such as PIGIN (Private Interest Groups, Inclusive Noise), Swan (Storage With Access Negotiation), and Pelican (Private Learning and Inference for Causal Attribution). .. What is Big Tech and a ridiculous acronym?
Anyway, the most famous of these new services is called FLoC or Federated Learning of Cohorts. Google’s FLoC plan is to anonymize recent browsing activity and aggregate it into behavioral labels shared with websites and advertisers. It’s not a cookie, it’s like a cookie jar where advertisers close their eyes and reach out. Because size is important for online advertising, Google suggests that central admins prevent the cohort from being too small. Small cohorts are combined with other similar cohorts until a sufficient number of users are represented by each.
The FLoC cohort is less useful as a long-term identifier because it is recalculated weekly each time it uses data from the previous week’s browsing. In addition, the cohort assignment is done in the browser. That is, the information is stored locally, not on the remote server. Sounds good. In fact, Google has told advertisers that FLoC is valid for 95pcas as a third-party cookie, based on recent trails. However, there are many concerns.
There are privacy concerns. Dr. Johnny Ryan of the Irish Citizens’ Freedom Council wrote: Google hasn’t yet provided enough information to decide whether the new advertising system will end the vast amount of data for thousands of companies operating in the online advertising industry for free. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls FLoC the opposite of privacy protection technology. In addition, FLoC grouping can be substance abuse, financial difficulty, or trauma.
There are concerns about Google’s market dominance. Open web marketers say: “This is an exclusive player who is trying to strengthen its advantage by degrading the open web using privacy and collaboration as a veil of legitimacy.
And there are concerns in marketing and publishers. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) puts publishers on the wall as the online advertising industry isn’t prepared for the loss of third-party cookies, making the open web a more confusing place to target potential customers. It warns that there is a risk of losing digital advertising revenue to a deserted garden. Things get even more complicated because FLoC only works with Google’s Chrome browser.
But here is the real problem with FLoC and other bird acronyms. They are intended to replace existing advertising systems and do not improve them. That area can be done with improvements. Last year, a study by the University of Baltimore found that in 2020, global online advertising scams cost advertisers $ 35 billion ($ 29 billion). According to another study by UK advertisers ISBA and PwC, 15% of advertisers spend about one-third of their supply chain costs. Could not be completely attributed. According to the same survey, sites that serve ads receive only half of their advertising spend, and the remaining 50% of advertising spend evaporates in what P & G’s Mark Pritchard called a memorable media value chain. ..
Some brands are questioning the value of advertising costs. For example, Airbnb reduced marketing costs by 58% or $ 662 million in 2020 through a pandemic. Did traffic plummet? There is no hell. The company attracted 95% of the $ 1.14 billion a year ago traffic.
Marketers should always be skeptical about advertising costs, but publishers should also be careful about signing up for FLoC technology. Everyone knows that advertising is part of science and art. However, digital advertising and its reliance on clicks have lowered the priority of art in favor of science. And Google’s approach to replacing cookies continues this imbalance. This all works very well for certain domains such as search and social advertising. In this case, targeting based on purchase intent or known interests means that science and analysis are at the forefront. However, this is not always the case for publisher sites that need to make their cultural relevance USP and focus on first-party data strategies.
Keep in mind, however, that Google’s introduction to non-tracking technology isn’t about fixing transparency, dealing with fraud, or helping publishers. Minimize legal changes and market dynamics. New laws in Europe and California raise awareness of privacy and give more people control over the data we share and how we use it. Google is within the rights to recreate a cookie-based cash cow for a more privacy-centric web. The problem is that given Google’s excellence, most marketers and publishers have no real choice but to join FLoC.
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