The Hub

How to unlock success in the Golden Quarter with a privacy-first approach

Sarah Whitfield, Chief Marketing Officer, Covatic

The ‘Golden Quarter’ is upon us: the time when advertisers vie for consumer attention in the run-up to the festive season. This year, the stakes are higher than ever. In the wake of a challenging economic year, marketers are eager to capitalise on the seasonal spending boom.

However, the landscape is fiercely competitive, and success hinges on making campaigns not just creative but also highly addressable. In 2023, the challenge is two-fold: consumers are more engaged yet increasingly data-conscious, demanding relevance without compromising privacy. So, how can advertisers navigate these complexities and ensure their campaigns stand out in this unique environment?

The conundrum of 2023: prioritising engagement or privacy?

This year, a 7.5% increase in sales is projected during the Black Friday period, with Christmas gift purchases expected to account for 54% of total expenditure during this shopping event. Welcome news indeed for the retail sector, but some marketers have reported being more cautious with ad spend or even scaling their budgets back in response to ongoing inflationary pressures and a challenging economic outlook in the UK. When times are tough, advertisers are expected to do more with less, so every penny spent will be carefully monitored for a measurable return on investment.

In a world where every marketer is clamouring for a moment in the spotlight, capturing the right type of consumer attention is no easy task. The paradox of the Golden Quarter lies in the fact that while consumers are still engaged and receptive to personalised advertisements, they are also more concerned than ever about how their data is being used.

The demand is clear: messaging must be both relevant and non-intrusive. Finding the delicate balance between driving engagement and respecting privacy remains a challenge that must be navigated carefully to ensure success in the Golden Quarter.

Retargeting: the fly in the ointment

Events like Black Friday and the festive season drive traditional marketing activities like retargeting campaigns, into overdrive. These campaigns have historically relied on cookie tracking or pixel tags to target users based on their website visits or engagement with brand content. The aim is to serve customised ads tailored to individual users and their browsing history.

However, with the deprecation of third-party cookies on the horizon, these targeting methods are out-of-date. It's time to address the limitations of current practices and find alternative, effective, and non-intrusive ways of targeting more privacy-conscious consumers who are rejecting third-party cookies.

One notable trend is the re-emergence of creativity in marketing, with a shift towards balancing both short-term commercial marketing drivers and long-term brand building. Consumers, especially during the festive season, crave relevance and timeliness, but they also want to be entertained. Striking this delicate balance requires a 'user-first' approach to effective targeting, and this is where on-device advertising methodologies come into play.

Navigating the challenges with privacy in mind

Advertisers can seamlessly transition to effective targeting without compromising user privacy by embracing privacy-first addressable advertising methods, such as on-device solutions. This innovative approach prioritises user consent and leverages the data stored directly on users' devices, avoiding the need for identifiers. On-device solutions can also be used as a complementary strategy to amplify the investments made by brands who have developed targeting solutions of their own; enhancing rather than replacing them.

On-device advertising allows brands to tap into the rich data available locally on users' devices, delivering a comprehensive yet self-contained alternative solution to more traditional methods of targeted advertising, while respecting privacy boundaries. With ID-based solutions, the origin of the information can sometimes be unclear and the delivery slow, whereas on-device technology processes requests instantly, allowing for immediate action without loss of intent.

This method enables the creation of personalised and relevant advertisements promptly, based on the user's behaviour and preferences without compromising sensitive information. By prioritising user experience and privacy, advertisers build trust and can enhance the overall effectiveness of their campaigns. This user-centric solution ensures that advertising remains tailored and engaging while adapting to the increasing emphasis on privacy and data protection in the digital ecosystem.

A new standard for addressable advertising

To succeed in the Golden Quarter, advertisers must address user privacy, effective engagement, relevance, and frictionless purchase experiences.

Achieving this balancing act is not as daunting as it may seem. Covatic's on-device technology provides a privacy-first solution that allows advertisers to tap into the season's potential while keeping the trust of consumers intact.

This “privacy first with no commercial compromise” approach enables the delivery of tailored, contextualised, and relevant content to users, which in turn leads to a better experience for them. It’s a win-win situation, offering brands a unique opportunity to maximise the Golden Quarter's potential and ensuring consumers are delivered ads they want to see and interact with.

As the industry moves towards a user-first approach, addressable advertising will prove to be the tool that helps many marketers navigate the Golden Quarter successfully by respecting user privacy and delivering compelling, relevant content to users.