What’s Next For Contextual Targeting?

Illustration of a target shape is shown with people in isometric view, using a red color palette.

With Google having set the timer on the end of third-party cookies, the advertising industry is on the lookout for new ways to deliver targeted ads while still respecting user privacy.

Enter contextual targeting.

By placing ads alongside relevant content, marketers are able to reach customers based on their interests and, as a result, are more likely to find audiences with desired attributes.

The simplicity of contextual targeting has caused many to claim the advertising industry is going ‘back to the future’ when it comes to the way it reaches customers.

And while this sense of simplicity has meant contextual targeting is proving very popular, there are some questions around how this technology – and other cookieless solutions – can be deployed at scale.

“Scale will be a challenge from an execution point of view once cookies go away,” said Oracle Advertising‘s regional director, June Cheung.

“Brands are currently heavily reliant on cookies as part of their digital campaigns, allocating significant portions of their budgets to strategies such as retargeting, third-party audiences and lookalikes.

“Context will play a key role in replacing these strategies; however brands will likely struggle to deliver the campaign budgets they have come to expect.”

To address these concerns, it is time for brands to start thinking beyond traditional targeting technology.

Dynamic contextual targeting offers a way to automatically update segments based on what is trending online, meaning campaigns will continue to appear alongside relevant content even as these topics evolve.

“Our belief is that brands need to start tapping into contextual solutions that are dynamic, ever-evolving and timely in reaching consumers when they are most engaged,” said Cheung.

Dynamic contextual targeting in action

One such solution is Predicts, which uses daily dynamic optimisation based on trending content to boost the relevancy and scale of campaigns.

While the technology behind contextual targeting typically relies on keywords and phrases, Oracle’s Contextual Inteligence, utilises multi-term matching and understands the context of the full page, allowing for greater accuracy and scale.

Oracle Predicts optimizes around trending convent, providing greater scale – to the tune of 11x greater than standard segments alone. It provides the three key benefits most advertisers desire; increased relevancy, improved ROI and fewer wasted impressions.

Importantly for advertisers, it means they can stay one step ahead of trending content in a way that standard contextual targeting can not. The use of daily automated optimisation means the brand is always at the center of the conversation – even as the conversation changes.

Why it works

There are numerous benefits associated with dynamic contextual targeting, but perhaps none more valuable than transparency.

Marketers can see first-hand how their custom contextual segments are being matched with relevant display and video content.

The effectiveness of contextual targeting is perhaps best illustrated when it is compared with static segments.

While static segments are defined in advance and therefore limited in how they can evolve, Predicts’ dynamic methods mean the campaign is continually being adjusted to include recent trends.

You can see below how Predicts was able to capture more relevant content than a typical segment.

You can click here to find out more about Predicts and Oracle Advertising.

Featured image source: iStock/mathisworks

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