What’s next for targeting in a cookie-less world

With third-party cookies soon to become a thing of the past, we sat down with Bloomberg Media Head of Data Science and Insight Michelle Lynn to learn more about how this massive transition will reshape the market — and what brands need to do to reset how they approach audience targeting.

Q: This is a seismic moment of change in the advertising industry, disrupting the traditional ways campaigns are targeted and measured. Audiences, for their part, have different expectations regarding personal information and preferences. How is Bloomberg responding?

A: We believe the shift to a cookie-less world is both important and necessary. There’s little doubt where our industry is headed in terms of privacy protection. Instead of reacting to every change as it arises, we’ve been building on our heritage as a data company to innovate and execute a strategy with data at the core. 

The most bedrock priorities haven’t changed: Take a client-centric approach, and understand our audience. We do that by delivering news and creating products that help people better navigate their personal and professional lives. And they see the value in that exchange of utility for data, which ultimately helps us gain more nuance in our understanding of what they want, and in turn deliver better experiences.

Q: How does that change how we work with our advertising partners?

A: We have always taken a consultative approach that allows customizable solutions. What we’re really excited about now is a new ecosystem we’re calling Bloomberg Iris, which is a pool of first party data made up of subscriber data, research data, contextual data and behavioral data. 

Read more about Bloomberg Iris in AdAge‘s interview with Bloomberg Media Global Head of Digital Julia Beizer

This allows us to have a multi-dimensional view of our audience, which helps us model new audience segments at scale, enhance targeting capabilities and drive better campaign performance for our advertisers. 

Q: What are some of the tools we’re using in conjunction with Bloomberg Iris?

A: With resources such as our proprietary BloombergAiQ tool, we are able to work with clients who want to use contextual targeting to meet certain KPI’s.  We have a long history of serving advertisers contextually and over time our capabilities have become more intelligent, resulting in a move beyond simple keyword and category targeting. 

It’s also important to note that the end of third party cookies does not mean third party data is going away; we’re currently testing and experimenting ways to extract value from third party data as part of our broad toolkit.

And we’re currently running a process to evaluate the pros and cons of new tech solutions that can help us innovate our own measurement and targeting tools.