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How brands are reigniting interest in advertising with contextual targeting

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How brands are reigniting interest in advertising with contextual targeting

Concerns about online privacy, intrusiveness and irrelevant ads are driving consumer antipathy toward advertising as an industry. As a result, marketing teams face the increasingly difficult challenge of changing perceptions of their brand and ensuring that advertising as a whole is seen as a force for good. 

There is a prime opportunity for brands to innovate and reinvigorate their marketing strategies to more effectively engage consumers and ensure they build positive feelings for their brand. Seizing the opportunity starts with building trust and doing away with annoying and wasteful intrusiveness, replacing it with something of value and a fair exchange for a consumer’s hard-won attention.


However, this is much harder to achieve if ad content and brand values are not aligned with the hosting platform. Contextual advertising has the potential to help marketers overcome these challenges, delivering results just as effectively as hyper-targeting while at the same time promoting privacy, transparency and supporting high-quality content.


Context is crucial


Given its ability to target the right audience without cookies or the collection of personal data, contextual advertising is future-proofed against the radical privacy changes that have already been made by Apple and are soon to be implemented by Google. 


Contextual AI analyzes the visual and written content of a page, ensuring that ads are placed in an environment whose content and ideas align perfectly with the reader’s interests. 


Seedtag conducted research with Nielsen to analyze whether consumers are more receptive to ads embedded in the content in which they are already immersed.


The study involved 1,800 UK participants surveyed across three categories; automotive, food and drink and beauty. The consumers were divided into four groups based on different targeting approaches within the industry: no targeting, interest-based, demographic-based and contextual. 


In most cases, contextual targeting outperformed the other categories throughout the study, demonstrating its effectiveness as a way for brands to create positive associations with high-quality content while building valuable trust with their consumers. 


Generating interest and attention


Even at the dawn of the modern era of mobile screens and always-on content, estimates suggested that consumers were already being exposed to thousands of ads every day. Furthermore, Nielsen research in recent years shows that consumers’ memory of an ad can vanish overnight, meaning it’s harder than ever for marketers to generate attention and sustain interest for their brands. 


Adopting a contextual advertising strategy is one tactic to overcome the challenge of standing out and being remembered. Nielsen and Seedtag showed that contextual targeting was the most effective method in generating interest across all three categories and was 32% more effective than demographic targeting.


Previous research has also shown how effective generating interest and attention can be for driving increased sales. A study conducted by Lumen into the effectiveness of various ad formats in retaining attention found that the longer an ad was in view, the more likely it was to lead to a sale. Contextual ads held viewers’ attention the longest and drove 3.3x more attention than the IAB’s other standard formats. 


Leveraging the “halo effect”


Marketers and publishers are tasked with serving relevant content that can engage a highly demanding audience that may have concerns over privacy or irritation with poor ad quality.


According to the Nielsen study, contextual advertising can help overcome these perceptions. For example, 72% of targeted consumers contextually said they liked the ads they were served — the most of any category. They were also the most excited and least irritated by the ads they were served in this manner.


The study showed that consumers receiving contextually relevant advertising were the most likely to be open to future ad engagements. They considered the ads to be the most relevant to the surrounding content. As a result, contextual ads cement a positive relationship between the brand and consumers’ interests. This positive view of an ad leads to positive brand perception, creating a halo effect.


In addition to driving interaction rates, contextually placed ads have also been shown to drive new product discovery, including customer groups that marketers may not otherwise expect. 


The Nielsen study found, for example, that males interested in organic beauty products were just as likely to consider purchasing them as their female counterparts when presented with contextually relevant ads for this type of product. This means contextual ads may have the power to break consumer stereotypes otherwise reinforced by traditional demographic targeting methods. 


In a world where consumers are growing increasingly tired of being bombarded with advertising, it is more important than ever for marketers to take advantage of opportunities to build trust. Advertisers that can take advantage of new technologies alongside the right partners have a unique opportunity to create positive associations with their advertising. They can increase favorability toward their brand. If they can leverage this halo effect, they have a unique advantage in driving growth while building valuable trust.


Sponsored By: Seedtag

https://digiday.com/?p=450278

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Confessions of an in-house creative strategist on feeling unfulfilled, difficulty in returning to agencies as the ‘pay is less’

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Confessions of an in-house creative strategist on feeling unfulfilled, difficulty in returning to agencies as the ‘pay is less’

The war for talent between agencies and brands’ in-house agencies has cooled. Even so, for adland talent who’ve made the move in-house, some say they are looking to go back to agencies after feeling creatively stifled. It’s not the easiest strategy to execute.

In the latest edition of our Confessions series, in which we trade anonymity for candor, we hear from an in-house creative strategist about their experience, why they want to go agency-side now and how pay is keeping them from doing so.

This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

What’s the in-house experience like?

I’ve been in-house for about a year. It’s very one-sided. The difference between agency and in-house is that with agencies, there [are] a lot of opinions and ideas [outside of the brand message] that go into creative. With in-house, you have the brand’s message and all creative is reflective of the brand’s message. With in-house, regardless of trends in the market, it’s a lot of ‘we’re going to stick to this one way of doing things’ mentality. It’s a lot of opinions about what the creative should be based on what it has been before. It makes it hard to introduce something fresh. It makes it hard to hire or be a new hire. If you’re not actually going to adhere to advice from new hires, what’s the point in getting new people? Are you just bringing people on board for a second opinion? That’s what it feels like.

Sounds like you don’t have the creative control you desire.

It feels like more of a second opinion role than to get something to manage or control. [Where I am now] it feels like we’re leaning more into what [our strategy] used to be than thinking about what we could be. That’s a big issue with in-house. With agencies, like I said, there’s a lot more trial and error. With in-house, a lot more of this is what we’re doing, these are the funds we have and this is what has worked in the past. In reality, a lot of what worked in the past, when you put it back into the market, it’s not going to work anymore. 

Why do you think it’s more challenging to get to a new creative strategy in-house?

With agencies, you have multiple perspectives. You’re working on multiple brands. You can see something working for another brand and talk to your client about it. You can pivot. You have the background and perspective to [pitch that pivot]. When you’re in-house, you only have the knowledge of your brand and what’s working for you. 

Are you looking to go back to agencies? 

Personally, I am looking to go from in-house to agency but I get paid a lot more being in-house than what I’ve been offered at agencies. I’ve been in interviews with agencies where they’re telling me that I’ll be learning [programs I already know how to use] so that’s why the pay is less than what it should be. There are agencies I’ve interviewed with who ask me to move to New York for less than what I make now and make that work. [With inflation,] there’s no reason why salaries aren’t also increasing. 

So you’d like to make the jump creatively but it’s hard when the compensation isn’t up to what in-house offers? 

It’s hard. I’ve been lowballed, too. They’ll post a salary for a position, go through the interviews and then offer less than what’s listed on the salary description. What was the point of putting the salary range there? I feel like people are putting salary ranges on job descriptions just to attract people with the experience that they are looking for but by the time they make the offer, it’s not what they said it would be. It’s offensive.

https://digiday.com/?p=452660

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