In the noisy digital world, ad relevance is crucial to reaching your target audience. Digital ads need to be approached carefully so as not to disrupt your potential customers’ online experiences. And with third-party cookie retirement on the horizon, digital marketers should evaluate new cookieless advertising strategies to ensure their ads are being seen by the right people, at the right time.

Contextual and behavioral targeting are two techniques that you should be testing now. Neither requires cookies, both are privacy-safe, and when implemented correctly, these can be highly effective for reaching your target audiences.

What is contextual targeting? 

Contextual targeting is a form of digital advertising that places display ads based on a website’s content. We’ve all seen them. It’s the reason why you’re served a meal kit delivery ad while browsing a recipe website, or a bridal gown ad on a wedding planning blog. Contextual targeting is the digital form of running a printed ASICS ad in Runner’s World magazine. The process matches display ads to relevant websites based on keywords, topics, and context.

What is behavioral targeting?

While contextual targeting relies on keywords and topics, behavioral targeting is based on a user’s online behaviors. By analyzing online browsing habits – i.e. sites visited, search queries, purchase behavior – behavioral targeting leverages user data to create a more personalized experience. 

Timely and effective advertising requires a deep understanding of your audience. Behavioral targeting does just that by going deeper than website content.

Dstillery’s cookieless behavioral targeting solution

To get ahead of the retirement of third-party cookies, we created a privacy-by-design, behavioral targeting solution called ID-free Custom AI™. Instead of reading the words on a page or scraping content, our behavioral solution picks up on other signals that reflect brand interest by using AI optimization toward a client’s first-party data. Unlike standard behavioral targeting, ID-free takes advantage of predictive behavioral signals without tracking your audience. ID-free evaluates individual impression opportunities to provide intelligent decisioning without compromising anonymity, resulting in better performance that scales.

ID-free Custom AI behavioral targeting solution compared to contextual targeting.

As long as first-party data is available, ID-free audiences can be implemented in your next campaign. Whether you’re looking for a behavioral targeting solution or want to future-proof your ad campaigns, now’s the time to test. Contact us today to learn more.