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AI could help advertisers recover from loss of third-party cookies

Digital advertising

Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics offer a new road of promising possibilities to companies, that reduces the reliance of digital advertising on cookies. Advances in these fields would eventually reduce the level of dominance of large-scale content aggregators like Google, Facebook etc.

Google recently announced that it will no longer allow data collection by third-party cookies using the Chrome browser. Those cookies are the backbone of a number of companies who depend on them for improving their digital advertising. It allows the sites to to create an end user profile without exactly disclosing the individual identity. Though this does not pose a threat to privacy, users find themselves at discomfort because of the persistent feeling that the sites they visit are being tracked by an unknown identity.

Third party browsers are already being abandoned by browser providers like Safari and Firefox. This does not mean that Google is completely giving up tracking behavior. It has tweaked around the data collection mechanism, taking cookies out of the picture, replacing it with a Federate Learning of Cohorts(FLoC) mechanism. With this mechanism, users are now grouped into cohorts, which can be targeted by the advertisers in place of targeting specific anonymous users. The question about how this will transform user experience still lacks a clear answer.

While the initiatives are at crossroads, some advertisers are already thinking of taking the road of machine learning algorithms, which are now easily accessible, thanks to digital advertising networks. This will be of substantial help in reducing their dependency on entities like Google, Twitter, Microsoft etc. who hold the steering wheel of major online communities.

A credit management bureau, Equifax, for instance is working with Quantcast which helps to direct advertising towards the places where the creation and consumption of real content actually takes place.

Quantcast platform is fueled by an Ara engine. It works by applying machine learning algorithms to collected data from about 100 million online destinations. A set of predictive models are then used to analyze this data, which brings forth certain patterns of behavior, thereby facilitating ad campaign targeting. The predictive models are updated constantly to ensure that it reflects latest happenings on the net. This entails benefit not just for clients like Equifax, but also for publishers of original content, helping them to retain a major share of revenue generated through advertising. Companies like Google and Microsoft are making a move to compensate the publishers for their content, sensing this development. However, a good share of advertising revenue will still be in the hands of the publishers.

This alternative approach to advertising  might not necessarily disorient the leading names in the field, nevertheless it is a step in the right direction. Blending AI and advanced analytics to digital advertising would also act as an effective countermeasure that can fill the gaps and blank spots growing within the entities controlling the domain.




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