Contextual offers the reply to the cookie query

For marketers who are used to using the cookie for targeting, the next year or so looks bleak. The Apple ID will fade away in a matter of weeks and a lot of businesses don’t know what to do. The gigantic gamblers have all made their claims and limited data targeting only to their walls. ID 2.0 is as good as dead with no Google support and match rates in the 30% range. It’s a nightmare for marketers as they are forced to give up more control over their brand.

But there is a solution.

Innovation has always been the catalyst for the growth of digital advertising, and there is general consensus that context targeting will play a key role.

Before we understand how we can take advantage of the modern era of contextual targeting solutions, however, let’s take a trip back in time to avoid yesterday’s mistakes.

Back to the future of marketing

Many will be familiar with the definition of contextual targeting – the practice of increasing user engagement by serving ads to likely consumers based on the relevance of the content. Simple but effective, right?

In the early 2000s, contextual marketing gained momentum as marketers preferred the promise of one-to-one marketing out of the cookie. In a quick concession, contextually transformed into a keyword, a solution to avoid brand security. In fact, “Generation One” platforms are basically the same today (albeit repackaged to do more) and core functions remain the “garbage collectors” of the web, aggressively removing off-brand content from media purchases.

However, as we enter a new era, a bevy of new companies have made great strides in contextual capabilities, well beyond the limited scope of first generation platforms.

Based on the latest advances in machine learning, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and big data, modern contextual platforms identify current marketing opportunities by analyzing hundreds of data points. from first-party sources (data management platforms and / or customer data platforms), the programmatic bid stream, second-party publisher data, and a wide range of new third-party data created by other innovative companies. In contrast to the original keyword platforms, modern context engines analyze a full view of each advertising opportunity and offer advertisers the opportunity to target the moments that consumers are receptive to accordingly.

What does modern contextual look like?

The disappearance of the third-party cookie has accelerated the resurgence of contextual cookies. The key components of entering this new age of marketing include:

  • Results-driven: Results for businesses are ultimately what keeps the wheels rolling, and shifting dollars from behavioral to contextual targeting will improve ROI for businesses of all shapes and sizes
  • Tap into almost every data point: The speed of the market and the abundance of data that is being generated mean that the definition of “contextually relevant” is constantly in flux. To be a viable, long-term contextual platform, solutions must easily ingest external data to cope with the changing world
  • Video Compliance: Connected TV and other online video channels are currently the coveted format for brands to educate consumers. It is important that modern solutions incorporate the context of the video images in addition to the audio and surrounding page content mate

Planning ahead is important

Within weeks, Apple will be removing your ID and within nine months cookies will be all but gone. Now is the most critical time for marketers to explore their options and develop a plan.

In 2020, Silverbullet launched its Context Outcomes Engine – 4D – A next-generation contextual solution that identifies current marketing opportunities by merging first-party data with the broader ecosystem. Would you like to learn more?

Download our whitepaper now.

By Mark Pearlstein, CRO

Silverbullet and 4D

Silverbullet is the leading marketing transformation company helping the world’s largest brands unlock the potential of first-party data and contextual intelligence to enable better, faster, smarter business outcomes.

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Mark Pearlstein
Mark is responsible for growing DoubleVerify’s global sales through partnerships with brands and agencies. Mark has 20 years of experience selling enterprise software solutions to the world’s largest brands. Before joining DV, Mark was SVP, Business Development & Sales at Ringleader Digital, the first third-party mobile ad serving platform. Over the course of his career, he has held key positions at both young and established companies, including Entriq, Motive, Broadjump and Oracle. Mark received his BA in Philosophy from Brandeis University.

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