Harmelin Digital Contributor: Gregory Leon
Google showed their movement towards a digital atmosphere with higher walls and a more custom online-user experience when they announced two developments in their targeting and data capabilities. First, advertisers can now target users on YouTube based on their past Google searches when logged into their Google accounts. Second, support of third-party cookies and pixels will reduce in favor of multiscreen data through logged-in users.
What this means for marketers: On the surface, this announcement provides a useful new targeting tool for advertisers who utilize YouTube. It makes perfect sense to target online users based on their search habits, as 81% of shoppers conduct research online before purchasing (RetailingToday/AdWeek 2014). This key information allows a much more direct strategy for in-market targeting on YouTube. However, Google’s reduction in third-party data support also sheds light on the company’s plan to further protect their own data. Pixels and cookies haven’t proven themselves as the strongest players in a multimedia world where advertisers are interested in cross-screen attribution. With users logged-in to multiple devices on multiple apps (Chrome, Gmail, YouTube), Google can move towards an independent ad network, focusing their targeting efforts more on the dedicated, logged-in user rather than relying on pixels implemented on desktop devices only.