February 10, 2020

Should we be brave and give up on Google Ads?

Advertisers consider a cookie-free diet

When recent food fads, such as going gluten-free, drastically influenced the buying behaviour of cookie consumers (shout-out to the genuinely coeliac readers), bakery businesses were stunned.

Similarly, Google’s announcement that it will be removing third-party cookies by 2022 has been as much of a shock to advertisers as it must be to this guy…

Give up on Google Ads

With more people now paying attention to their privacy, it’s understandable that Google would want to display attempts to provide a better online experience… and good on ’em, if that’s the case. Users know they’re being tracked and remarketed to.

Google’s solution to this is the “privacy sandbox,” which would ideally still allow advertisers to show you relevant ads while also allowing you to share as little about you and your browsing history as possible. 

TechCrunch

How to replace audience tracking

For brands & businesses that have enjoyed the pinpoint targeting ability of placing ads in front of people who are in-market (determined by their browsing behaviour), these coming changes mean that we’re going to have to think about alternative and creative methods to reach those audiences.

Of course, Facebook Ads will be loving this. With their aggregated (rather than customer-level) data, they are definitely making attempts to be more privacy-compliant. Here at New Beach, we dig deep into Facebook ads’ targeting ability for our clients on a daily basis. The platform just has so much user data … so our campaigns are able to reach and engage the very consumer that our brands are seeking. But like Google, Facebook Ads are a closed eco-system… they hold all the cards. These so-called ‘walled gardens’ are selling their own inventory, at their own prices, meaning that the advertisers (our brands) are subject to these powerful platforms’ rules.

So how else can publishers & brands reach, excite and keep their own audiences?

  • Research – through in-person or onsite surveys. Old skool, we know. Getting to know exactly who your consumer is, and what they want, is absolutely integral
  • Audio – consider creative ways to whisper in the ears of your core crew. Spotify campaigns, sponsored spots on podcasts. It’s genuinely intimate marketing and really effective
  • Return to Programmmatic – the private agreements between advertisers and publishers where campaigns get in front of aligned audiences worked well – long before Facebook and Google absolutely owned everyone’s eyeballs. Will we see a resurgence in this method?

Be Brave

Now that web users are questioning their browsers and how their online journeys are used in marketing, an interesting product that seeks to revolutionise the digital advertising model has emerged: the Brave browser.

Robust, fast, free and open-source, Brave is based on the chromium web browser and developed by a firm co-founded by Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript and a co-founder of Mozilla.

By eliminating ad trackers, Brave blocks efforts by advertisers to first identify users, then follow those users. It provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to reward websites and content creators that they like.

Seems strange for an ad agency to be spruiking a web browser that features a built-in blocker of ads & ad tracking, but stick with us…

Users of Brave can earn in BAT by browsing websites that are a part of their publishers’ program. If users consent to replace usual adverts, with anonymous adverts from Brave, they get paid in BAT. For users who don’t want to support any website, they neither earn nor contribute. They just enjoy fast browsing. Here, enjoy a more visual explanation:

How does Brave Browser work?
Source: ZeroCrypted

It’s a mind-flip, for sure. Rather than advertisers giving squillions of dollarydoos to platforms like Facebook and Google in exchange for the data they have on users, this model cuts out the middleman, rewarding the end user for their attention and the publisher for the space to advertise in.

We’re very interested in what a shift to user-controlled data may mean in the future for our clients. As respected digital entrepreneur and musical ol’ mate will.i.am says:

The ability for people to own and control their data should be considered a central human value.
The data itself should be treated like property and people should be fairly compensated for it.

Pass the cookies… we’re keenly watching this space.


Here at New Beach, we agree that the next data giants will create new types of services designed to help people.

We offer a full scope of media and marketing services, including SEO and what’s trending.
Get in touch to find out how we can help your business or brand get in front of people in creative and future-ready ways.