Niall Moody, Managing Director at Nano Interactive, discusses with EGR why the future lies in taking contextual ad targeting to the next level and how combining this with ‘live intent signals’ is the magic formula. 

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One impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a surge in gaming interest and hours from consumers. We have seen that UK searches for gaming brands and products have increased by an average of 33% since the start of lockdown as of March 2020.
While interest is at a high, so is competition for consumer attention. As a result, gaming and gambling brands have a big opportunity to get in front of their key audience when they are at their most engaged. The question then becomes, of course, how to reach these potential customers with relevant marketing in the moments that matter, to ensure higher brand consideration and ultimately drive sales for your business.This is especially true when consumers have the pick of the crop with multiple brands competing for eyeballs and for interest.

Traditional targeting

Many brands opt to rely on the ‘walled gardens’ like Google or Facebook, using their owned data to ensure they are reaching the right audience in the right places with advertising. However, this leaves a huge gap in the open web: consumers who are using multiple publisher sites but may not be logged in. These would have traditionally been tracked using third-party cookies but this has proven to be a non-privacy centric solution, especially now that today’s consumers are more aware than ever of how their data is being used, and they don’t like what they’re finding out.

In response to regulatory and consumer concern, browsers such as Safari and Firefox have removed third-party cookie tracking, while even Google Chrome is set to follow suit by 2022. In fact, Google has indicated that it will not be pursuing any kind of identifier targeting moving forward. Gambling brands who want to tap into the current spike in interest must consider alternative solutions that don’t in any way compromise a user’s privacy.

Consider the moments that matter

The future is in taking contextual targeting to the next level and combining this with ‘live intent signals’ – analyzing in real-time what has driven a potential consumer onto a particular publisher site. We do this and combine this data with intelligence on the context and entities of the page (eg understanding that a person is reading a game review after searching for new online poker games). This means marketers can understand why a person is on a page and whether what they’re looking at is relevant to the ad being served without the use of any tracking or invasive technologies.

Marketers know the days of the third-party cookie are numbered. For gambling brands it’s important to be able to reach ‘anonymous’, relevant internet users without stalking them across the web. Understanding the solutions on offer to do this is key, but brands must also understand that only privacy-first solutions are truly future fit and customer centric. As the game heats up, only those playing by the rules will stand a chance with connecting with the customers of today.