While ad tech is becoming increasingly sophisticated, privacy regulations are evolving too. Government directives, like the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, are limiting the options for collecting user data through third-party cookies. Programmatic advertising, traditionally, is built on cookie-tracking mechanisms. As a result, user and data privacy laws make it difficult for programmatic players to reach relevant consumers.
While the ad tech industry looks for ways to follow the new privacy parameters, contextual advertising is clearly the path ahead for ad tech. Let us look at some recent, evolving industry trends. It will help us see how contextual tech can prove to be a breakthrough for advertisers.
Restrictions on data collection without clear consumer consent are tolling the death knells of cookie-tracking. Adding to the barriers are revisions of privacy policies by browsers. Google, Mozilla, and Apple are phasing out third-party cookie support completely. In this scenario, privacy-friendly contextual ads driven by content and not audience data can deliver on advertising goals.
Thus, refined ways of tailoring adverts to the content context are enticing advertisers. David Goddard, chair of IAB explains, “Rather than showing you a Nike ad because you were shopping for shoes two hours ago, you’ll get a Nike ad because you’re reading about the Olympics, or training for a marathon.”
2. Brand suitability and ‘Contextual intelligence’
Keyword block listing-based brand safety efforts were already showing up as ineffective. Then, the recent pandemic struck. It completely overturned advertising strategies as businesses struggled to tide over the crisis. Conversely, content sites are seeing a massive rush in traffic.
However, advertisers are cagey about placing their brands alongside negative news. Accordingly, programmatic vendors may try to protect brand images by auto-block listing content mentioning words like coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown or quarantine. But what if a blog is about self-care in isolation, or on homeschooling while working from home in lockdown? It is likely to draw a huge footfall. If an advertiser is promoting products and services in line with these topics, blocking such stories will make them lose out on effective ad environments.
Contextual intelligence, based on the text and graphics in the page being consumed, sheds light on the context of the entire content. It can connect the right ad with the right target audience at the right moment. As brands retool to adjust to the post-pandemic landscape, contextual ads can help to expand their brand reach while maintaining brand-safety.
3. The rise of the zero-party data
For refining personalized targeting post GDPR, advertisers and publishers are likely to turn to zero-party data. Such data is collected directly from consumers through surveys, subscriptions, and other opt-in offers. Combining such data with contextual intelligence can prove to be the ideal solution for engaging consumers online.
4. Looking beyond text
A fascinating advancement in digital advertising is the application of contextual targeting on the visual parts of web pages, like videos, images, and more. Linking visual details with the text provides deeper insight into the content’s context. This can give an accurate perception of where to place ads for maximizing the impact on viewers.
While adverts generally distract, contextual ads match the consumer’s intention behind visiting a webpage. Moreover, the rising trends in the digital ad world make contextual ads more targeted. With the new ad tech environment supporting it, contextual intelligence is proving to be the future of digital marketing.