02/12/2018

-Attributed to Gordon Kerr, MD Americas at Smartology

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Imagine you are at a shop looking at a piece of clothing and decide not to purchase it and move on. Pretty normal right? Now imagine, the salesperson of that store decides to follow you out of the store for the next few days showing up everywhere asking about the item you were looking at. Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it?

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However, we often forget that online advertisers do exactly this: following you online for days after you have looked at their products. Unfortunately, it is the status quo created by adtech online. Consumers have been growing restless with the current situation, with the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI®’s) – highlighting that social media users are growing frustrated that their privacy is being invaded and with the volume of advertising aimed at them.

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The Californian Privacy Act is proof that legislators are responding to people’s frustration about their data being misused. The duopoly has cracked down on the use of third-party data, with Facebook removing ad-targeting functions and Google stopping brands using DoubleClick Id logs. At the same time, the shift to mobile, where cookies don’t work as intended has meant current behavioral targeting can’t reach most internet traffic – 57% of traffic is currently from smartphones and tablets and is forecasted to reach 3/4 of internet traffic by 2021.

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Contextual comeback

The triple whammy of brand safety controversies, the millions of dollars syphoned off in the ad tech digital supply chain and the move to increased consumer privacy via legislation means marketers are looking at their toolbox anew. CMOs are seeking tech innovations to help delivery messaging to consumers.

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Relevance

In a world where people are increasingly using ad-blockers, one form of marketing is making its reappearance felt. Contextual advertising. This method doesn’t rely on cookies but focuses on showing highly relevant advertisements matched with the editorial the user is reading or the video being watched at that moment. This form of audience targeting appears to be the holy grail of reaching people who might actually be interested in your product, at the right time.

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Respecting consumer privacy in line with regulations

Contextual advertising offers many advantages to brands, publishers and of course to consumers. Fundamental in the Californian Privacy Act (due to be implemented in 2020) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) era is the fact that because it’s contextual, no user data is stored.
When you add this to the development in machine learning and natural language processing, premium media placements are truly contextually matched, so no more Apple ads being served next to articles about fruit growing.

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Value

Contextual campaigns, when compared with audience-targeted ones are more effective in delivering industry beating engagement rates. This is because they’re directly and immediately relevant to people. For instance, a contextual adtech campaign with a leading Business School in London outperformed all MOAT benchmarks. Viewability was 81.04% (over 50% higher than the MOAT recommendation). The campaign generated an impressive overall engagement rate of 1.03%, over twenty times the industry standard of a display ad.

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Improving the user experienced

One crucial advantage of contextual targeting is that ads are always matched to their surroundings providing a more unified, less disruptive user experience.

However, there are a number of fundamentals to delivering successful contextual advertising campaigns. By following the steps below, advertisers will be well on their way to improving results while delivering a superior end user experience.

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Target Market

Choose your target market: Carefully consider your audience and the publishers that audience visits and trusts. The editorial environment is the primary driver of contextual advertising success. Ensuring a publisher has an engaged and committed audience will translate to that audience being receptive to highly relevant messaging/ad-content. The quality of the editorial environment matters. Know exactly where your messaging will appear and how audiences engage with and discover the publisher editorial.

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Content

Create as much content as possible and then optimize: The more marketing content you create for your brand, the higher the chances to reach a broader section of potential (new and existing) customers and the more content insights you will have. There is a direct correlation between number of content items and campaign performance. For example, if a Financial Services advertiser has over 100 different content items who will add and subtract content to the program frequently based on the engagement data. Then this advertiser has the highest-ever performing campaign with engagement metrics x4 higher than the benchmarked average.

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Choose the right type content: Branded content that is genuinely insightful/useful to people will always outperform sales/product content – however they compliment one another over time. Having a combination of both types of content will be more valuable in building the customer journey, improving brand familiarity and presenting product offerings.

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Building Trust

Building trust with the consumer: By refining the context of the marketing campaign, you can ensure that each potential customer is targeted properly. By delivering messaging and insights in context, the brand becomes more helpful to the target audience. This in turn drives trust and engagement.
Yes, people hate ads that are intrusive, annoying or disruptive and this is why ad blocking rates have risen (user penetration rate are at a 30.1% high in the US). Contextual advertising doesn’t get in the way and because it’s directly relevant, people aren’t irritated by it.

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CMOs are understanding that while effective advertising is about evoking emotion, the feeling you want people to associate with your brand shouldn’t be annoyance.

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Privacy is the new norm and it’s time we get used to it.

https://www.smartology.net/blog/category/ad-tech-news/

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