A lesson in brand safety from Mark Ashworth at Oracle Data Cloud

This year’s DMEXCO in Cologne put innovation and digital business on the global stage for attendees. Up for discussion was the future of business, and the major players in tomorrow’s world took to the stage to spark conversation around how best to prioritise and protect brand safety and data security. As a global issue of paramount importance, data security has been the key talking point for brands this year. So, what are brands and businesses doing to up their brand safety measures?

The Drum had a chance to gain insight into how brand safety is evolving in today’s digital climate, catching up with Mark Ashworth, Vice President and General Manager - International at Oracle Data Cloud. “Brand safety is as important as it has ever been for marketers,” according to Ashworth. “But the fact that we’re still talking about it is probably indicative of where we are as an industry.”

What does this mean for the industry? “We need to move beyond brand safety as a talking point and talk more about brand suitability,” he says. “This means taking a closer look at context when considering brand safety, managing risk and ‘bringing better data specificity to their targeting.’”

Risk management for brands: sticking to the guidelines and get the bigger picture

Marketers that ignore the need to acknowledge and respect regulations around data security jeopardise their brand safety. When it comes to the GDPR and brand safety, an “ID-less solution” is worth exploring as a way to safeguard data security and protect brand safety. That’s where contextual intelligence comes in.

“The reason that marketers are turning to context is the need for greater specificity around their targeting,” Ashworth elaborates. Depending on what information a consumer is looking for directly affects the marketing messages they will be receptive to. As Ashworth explains: “[Marketers are] looking to find people in the right mood.”

Why are marketers seeking these contextual advertising solutions? “They’re looking to find the right type of audience for them,” he says. “The holy grail for marketers is driving revenue for their business through the tactics they employ.” Making money through marketing efforts is the clear end goal and thus, reaching an engaged audience that are the right “type” for a business is key. “Knowing that you’re targeting the right kind of person, and actually being able to measure that, is critical.” Keeping that revenue flow safe from the red is something all marketers must work to.

Ashworth cites this “brand safe environment” as the sweet spot in audience creation where marketers are reaching real people with genuine interest in the brand messaging, product or service. “Are they engaging with my content?” is an important consideration amongst other questions about the length of engagement and conversion rate, which are all essential insights for any marketeer.

Put simply, Ashworth says that “to win, [marketers] need to be able to measure things and adapt. Context and measurement are key.”

Catch our conversation with Mark Ashworth in this video.

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