The Contextual Marketing Comeback

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In a world where people are switching off ads and switching on the blockers, one of the original forms of targeted marketing is making an unprecedented comeback. Contextual marketing, which allows relevant ads to be shown alongside content that users have an interest in, is on the rise. Especially with other popular types of targeting in peril, due to poor performance, bad user experience and regulatory concerns, context has the ability to make sense of everything.

The reason for that is contextual advertising has evolved. Long gone are the days where advertisers would rely on one keyword on a page to determine when and where to target a user. With advanced semantics and computer vision, marketers can now scan the full content of the page, including text and images. This allows for more precise targeting in a brand safe environment.

But how do you draw the line between context, and creepy? GDPR regulations coming into effect has seen brands and their agencies send increasingly desperate emails to their consumer base, begging to stay in touch, only to have a massive percentage ignore or worse, gleefully hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button. In fact, since the early hours of May 25, ad exchanges (which are most reliant on behavioural targeting) have seen European ad demand volumes plummet, sometimes by as much as 40%. Is context what was missing from this national ‘switch off’ from advertising?

The Drum, in partnership with GumGum, is launching a report on how to walk the contextual line, digging into the issues facing advertisers such as compliance, measurability and creativity.

The report will aim to explore the challenges when it comes to targeting key audiences, and help find the answers to the all-important question – how do you approach targeting in a post-GDPR world?

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