Contextual targeting is an old standby, but it's still going strong.
The concept of contextual targeting is simple: you serve ads based on the content of the page or the device that a user is using. It’s been around for decades, and while some brands have ditched it in favor of other forms of ad delivery, many still rely on contextual targeting to reach their customers.
In fact, we're seeing a lot more interest in contextual targeting from both brands and publishers lately. Why? Because now it integrates nearly all AI technology core components including image recognition, natural language processing (NLP), predictive analytics, and the flexibility to plan a strategy and optimize accordingly.
Brands Are Recognizing Contextual Targeting’s Value
From both branding and customer experience perspectives, contextual targeting can play a significant role in customer acquisition when advertisers use it in multidimensional ways across online and offline signals. Brands are recognizing this value and are taking notice—the IAB recently published its State of Data Report detailing the response of U.S. data leaders to upcoming third-party cookie and identifier changes and noted a significant 75% yearly spend increase in contextual channels (in contrast, the confidence was far less for third-party identity resolution solutions, only rising by 23%).
Contextual Targeting More Cost-Efficient Than Behavioral Targeting
It's no secret that marketers have been working hard to improve ad personalization. The industry has been busy providing solutions to support the latest ad tech industry advancements such as MUM for Google Search and voice assistant technologies. Last year, brands invested six times more in customer experience strategy than programmatic display advertising to enhance user touchpoint technology through personalization, real-time engagement, AI and improved data quality.
While these efforts are certainly a step in the right direction, there is still room for improvement. For example, marketers could complement these efforts and gain more brand loyalty by creating a tailored approach to real-time messaging when users are seeking it most. That’s where contextual targeting shines.