Traditional digital advertising is at a crossroads. Major tech companies — namely Apple and Google — have recently begun to roll out ad blocking systems that will severely restrict the effectiveness of cookie-based digital advertising. Fortunately, a4 — in partnership with other major MVPDs — is scaling a new technology that will avoid the new ad blocking efforts while enabling a more effective and precise way of targeting consumers online.
A Big Problem and What It Means for Advertisers
Apple’s new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), installed on iOS11 and later browsers, prevents cookie usage (which sends information on consumers’ browsing histories to advertisers). Cookies are available from a third-party site for only 24 hours and after 30 days they will be deleted automatically. Given the iPhone’s market share and the fact that mobile is increasingly becoming the dominant digital device platform, this change to cookie-free browsing is extremely significant, and is sure to result in reduced effectiveness of cookie-based targeting.
When Apple’s plan was announced in June 2016, six advertising trade bodies wrote to the company expressing concern that it would overly disrupt the current advertising ecosystem. Apple responded by saying that they weren’t trying to block ads, but to protect user privacy with regards to ad targeting and tracking.
Google has also announced it would begin blocking ads as well — specifically ones that “that don’t meet Google’s standards” on Chrome (which clearly is up for interpretation). The June 2017 announcement said it would block ads under the principles of the Coalition for Better Ads, which was formed by Google, Facebook and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Critics of the action say that Google may set its own preferences and favor ads that adhere to its own formats, thus limiting the effect other ad providers will have in reaching customers.
How to Prevent these Changes from Affecting the Bottom Line
So what can advertisers do to continue to target audiences effectively while facing ad-blocking technology from major digital players? Authenticated addressable digital targeting is the answer. This method of audience targeting leverages IP addresses that are authenticated against a U.S. Postal address to enable precise targeting.
As IP addresses constantly change, a4’s technology instantly maps the new IP address to the U.S. Postal address of that household, enabling the ongoing delivery of targeted digital advertising to authenticated audiences. Furthermore, a4’s device graph logs mobile device IDs on the home WiFi and enables targeting of those digital devices whether they are at home on or the go.
This method places no reliance on the endangered cookie and ensures that the targeted audience will be served digital impressions. a4’s unique technology is the only one of its kind — no other platform can deliver on both cookie and authenticated addressable digital targeting methods with the utmost precision and results.