5 ad technologies that will be dead in 5 years

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The world of advertising will undoubtedly change in the next one, three, and five years to evolve into a landscape very different from the one we know today. Along the way, there will inevitably be changes in technology, ad formats, and overall regulation that will shape the way digital advertising is done. Here are the five advertising technologies that will be obsolete in the next five years.

5 ad technologies that will be dead in 5 years

Third-party cookies

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the "cookie" would become a thing of the past, and in the next five years, it will be. For years, websites, advertisers, and users interacted with cookies with much of the population confused as to what they actually were. Confusion regarding the difference between a first-party and third-party cookie is still common in parts of the ad community even today. If you listen to the media (non-digital crowd), cookies generally are misconstrued as sinister devices for spying, setting viruses, installing malware, or other nefarious purposes when in fact these small text files serve a very different purpose (cookies cannot install viruses or malware). 

In Europe, sites must disclose to their users that they are being "cookied" and get user's permission before dropping one on their browser. For those digital marketers and site developers, the cookie has been a powerful tool to help users with their web browsing history, remember items in a shopping cart, as well as target and retarget users based on their past engagements on advertisements or products. Cookies have generally been the foundation for how digital marketers track the success (ROI) of their online campaigns.

Along with some negative press, privacy advocates, and cookie-blocking browsers and software, the adoption of mobile/tablets is rendering cookies less and less valuable for advertisers. In the mobile/tablet space, traditional cookie tracking has become limited and/or non-existent due to restrictions on their use. The overwhelming adoption of mobile devices is perhaps the largest catalyst pushing third-party cookies into obscurity due to the fact that they are largely not allowed to run "in app," a place where around 80 percent of users spend their time in mobile (according to a 2013 Flurry Study).

Large media companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are already developing tracking technologies to replace the use of cookies based on ad IDs, device IDs, digital fingerprinting, and cross-device tracking based on single log in credentials. It is surprising that this shift away from cookies hasn't happened more quickly, but in five years, it should be common practice.



Dea Lawrence
Dea Lawrence March 12, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Prescient and insightful, especially your comments concerning digital GRPs becoming the next generation standard of TV/digital video measurements. And my feelings are completely unrelated to the fact that I work for TubeMogul....