In collaboration with Seedtag.
In this exclusive article written following his recent appointment As Global Performance Manager at Seedtag, Kenneth López Triquell discussed the effect of leveraging contextual data on campaign performance.
Digital marketing is complicated. Finding the most effective way to connect with consumers in an ad-dominated world is no small feat. Mobile ads, in-video banners – the options available to advertisers are seemingly endless.
But ad placement isn’t the only problem brand marketers face. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the invasion of their privacy – and rightly so. Google was recently ordered to pay US$391m (£321m) in fines after being found guilty of tracking users’ movements after it turned off location tracking.
Behavioral targeting has been a powerful marketing asset for many years, but its influence is waning. Safari’s decision in 2017 to block third-party cookies by default now appears to be a pioneering move, with Google poised to follow suit in 2024.
Advertising has reached a crossroads. Brands need to explore new ways to connect with their audience – and that doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Contextual targeting may have fallen out of favor in digital marketing spheres, but it has continued to work in other mediums. Print publications use this technique to place advertisements next to relevant content to great effect.
Some brands have expressed reluctance to revert to past strategies. The evolution of AI and machine learning, however, has breathed new life into context.
Consumers make their voices heard
Consumers are tired of their personal data being used as pawns by advertisers. A recent survey of UK consumers found that 31% said they felt violated by the way behavioral tracking works.
Location data has been the holy grail of brand marketers for far too long. Tracking users’ movements across websites – as well as how often and when they load certain sites – provides a window into their routines and can be leveraged to easily build a portfolio on individuals.
Removing cookies from the equation is a necessity to maintain online security. The effectiveness of behavioral targeting in producing consumer demographic profiles is unmatched. But with this practice soon rendered obsolete by the deprecation of cookies, it’s time to change tack.
So how can migrating to an AI-powered contextual advertising strategy provide marketers with the foundation to improve both campaign efficiency and effectiveness?
Time for an upgrade
Social media, television, online – all media have become saturated with advertisements. And the ripple effect of that is that consumers are subjected to the same advertisement over and over again. Kantar’s research indicates that this “bombardment” is responsible for the fact that only 11% of consumers actually “like” the ad.
Using real-time contextual signals as opposed to cookies allows contextual advertising to easily meet this challenge. It protects consumers’ personal data without having to sacrifice efficiency. The inclusion of AI also allows us to understand how best to optimize and achieve the best performance results.
Analyzing the content of a website’s page provides a better understanding of the topic and context of the content – it works for both written and visual content. The combination of all these web context signals with situational signals such as time of day, weather or screen orientation is the catalyst for better segmentation, thus increasing the performance and efficiency of countryside.
The evolution of AI provides brands with a foundation to better identify keywords that resonate with audiences. Leveraging contextual targeting tools is essential in the quest for brand relevance. Cookies, while effective for over a decade, are seeing their role diminish – contextual AI is the best way to deliver improved KPIs for top-of-funnel cookie-free campaigns.
The performance side is improving – but now is not the time to stagnate. Integrating contextual targeting capabilities will enable the industry to address the challenges brands and agencies face in the mid-to-low funnel. Contextual opens the door to real-time metrics and data, both of which are fundamental to growing audience segments in real time and in a non-intrusive way. All of this means that we have a much better understanding of user activity and the content they are consuming, allowing us to truly understand whether they will take action.
A blast from the past of advertising
Third-party cookies have been a crutch for marketers for years. Brands have become complacent and unafraid to bend the rules in order to advance their own advertising programs. Google’s latest policy – a sign of the times – underscores the fact that consumers will no longer tolerate their privacy being invaded.
Seedtag has the opportunity to be at the forefront of contextual performance advertising. Investing in this alternative strategy today and relying more on AI and machine learning will revolutionize the way you target your audiences. Harnessing contextual targeting is the springboard to becoming the One stop shop for brands trying to optimize KPIs at all levels of the funnel. Now is the optimal time to embrace greater automation.
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