Charting New Norms: March Madness Marketing in a Cookie-Free Era

Back to Blog - by Shannon Bloemker

In our previous March Madness posts, we’ve empowered advertisers with insightful strategies to navigate the evolving dynamics of the tournament, spotlighting key advertising channels and innovative creative formats. This year’s tournament coincides with a crucial moment in digital advertising, as Google begins the phase-out of third-party cookies, signaling a major industry shift.

The transition to a post-cookie era necessitates a new playbook for advertisers, especially during high-stakes events like March Madness. This change calls for innovative targeting methods that extend beyond the traditional reliance on third-party cookies.

3 Targeting Tactics to Harness in a Cookie-Free Landscape

Let’s explore three strategies, each offering unique ways to effectively and meaningfully connect your brand with the March Madness audience.

1. Automatic Content Recognition (ACR)

Leverage user preferences by targeting audiences based on their viewing habits, such as fans of specific March Madness games from 2023, real-time game viewers, or devoted sports enthusiasts. ACR facilitates precise segmentation at the game or network level, ensuring your brand resonates perfectly with the preferences of March Madness aficionados.

2. Retail Media Networks (RMN)

RMNs are a key emerging channel for the tournament, but they also provide a direct avenue to harness first-party data for targeted advertising. Whether running campaigns across RMN websites and apps or tapping into their rich repository of consumer insights, advertisers can tailor their March Madness messages toward specific audience groups. Align your brand with the purchasing intent of engaged viewers, ensuring you reach consumers at an optimal time during their purchase journey.

3. Contextual Targeting

Align your brand seamlessly with March Madness content that resonates with the audience, such as articles recapping games, interviews, and game analyses. Craft your strategy around terms like “March Madness,” “Final Four,” or “Game Day recipes” to position your brand within the contextual fabric of the tournament. This approach guarantees that your message reaches the right audience in a way that enhances their overall experience of March Madness.

Elevate Your Brand in the Basketball (and Post-Cookie) Madness

As we wrap up our post-cookie advertising strategies for March Madness, it’s clear that Automatic Content Recognition, Retail Media Networks, and Contextual Targeting are more than just tools – they are game-changers. These strategies are the key to unlocking meaningful connections with your audience, ensuring your brand’s message not only reaches, but resonates with March Madness fans. Embrace these tactics to navigate the tournament’s advertising landscape with confidence and precision, setting your brand up for a winning season.

For tailored March Madness packages and to elevate your brand’s game, reach out to the Digilant team here. Let the madness begin!

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