The ad-buying pendulum is swinging slowly but surely back to contextual targeting, thanks to the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation.
With so much market uncertainty surrounding the impact of GDPR, many ad buyers are reluctant to take risks with data-heavy audience targeting techniques. But contextual targeting, where ads are targeted to individuals based on the context of what they’re looking at on page, is suddenly looking a lot more appealing — and safer.
Some agencies have started shifting more of their budgets toward contextual targeting versus personalized, audience-based ad targeting. Some of the big media agencies have gone a step further and told publisher partners they want to cancel all audience-based targeting and focus entirely on contextual targeting for certain campaigns from now on, according to publisher sources.