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Bringing cookieless engagement to programmatic

Guest Column: Katie Secret, Senior Director & Head of Demand Product Marketing, Outbrain, speaks about the company's programmatic suite, its max engagement deal and more

e4m by Katie Secret
Published: May 11, 2022 12:36 PM  | 3 min read
cookieless engagement

I recently wrote about the ground shift caused by the impending demise of third-party cookies, and how advertisers need to rethink how they define success. 

There are few words more overused in our industry today than “contextual.” A “return to contextual” has been lauded as the solution to the decline of third-party cookies, and the corresponding user-based targeting and tracking that’s become commonplace. 

Programmatic buyers are particularly affected — Brands have relied on views and impressions from the “right” audience (typically based on demographics or browsing behaviour) to define the successful use of their programmatic budgets for quite some time. Now, brands, agencies, and programmatic traders are being forced to expand beyond views and impressions. It’s not enough to consider a campaign a success if it’s driven a certain number of views. But is it enough to consider contextual the answer? Are views from an audience reading about travel a strong enough signal that the audience will truly engage with a travel brand or offer?

At Outbrain, we’ve challenged ourselves to bring a better solution to our programmatic buyers. Outbrain’s programmatic suite has always been centered on driving more than impressions for advertisers. Now, we’re using contextual intelligence drawn from our direct publisher relationships and engagement-focused algorithm to power better programmatic outcomes, without cookies.

Katie Secret

Introducing Outbrain’s newest unique deal type, the “Max Engagement” Deal. Our Max Engagement deal uses machine learning to automatically surface the highest engagement opportunities for buyers, using historical contextual performance data. Not only does this deal type use proprietary contextual intelligence, it curates opportunities on a pre-bid basis. 

Pre-bid technology has benefited programmatic buyers for years: many traders rely on pre-bid viewability and brand-safety filtering to guarantee they only allocate media spend to the opportunities that align with their brand goals. Now, Outbrain is taking pre-bid capabilities further: correlating page context to action, and auto-optimizing campaigns with that intelligence.

That means we exclusively send bid requests for high-engagement opportunities. Rather than relying on hours of analyzing performance results and implementing manual optimizations, our Max Engagement Deal does the leg work for our buyers — resulting in reduced budget waste and higher performance. 

The results speak for themselves: Clients who have tested our Max Engagement deal have seen a 5x higher click-through rate —yes, 5x higher — compared to standard run-of-network deals, with clients reporting up to 0.70% programmatic CTRs. 

Our Vice President of Product, Lior Charka, says it best, “We’re proud to release a proprietary offering that focuses on the use of our contextual data to power performance. Programmatic buyers are disproportionately affected by new limitations to third-party cookies. We wanted to invest in a solution that helped these clients drive action from their audiences, without relying on cookie-based targeting methods of the past.” 

Are you ready to take your post-cookie strategy beyond basic contextual targeting? And to do far more with your programmatic budget than counting views?

Reach out today to learn how you can leverage our Max Engagement Deal and the rest of Outbrain’s unique programmatic suite to drive more interaction from your audience and more ROAS with your budget. The Max Engagement deal is offered as part of Outbrain Programmatic Access, and is available exclusively to direct Outbrain clients.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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