The value of contextual targeting
07 October 2010
For those keen to exploit the added advertising potential of targeting their key consumers, the advent of behavioural and contextual advertising is a great boon. However, it is contextual advertising that offers the most successful results, and isn’t affected by the privacy concerns of behavioural advertising.
Contextual advertising uses information from the publisher’s site to ascertain what adverts to serve to the user. The ads therefore are tailored to match what is on the page. Rather than just having a roster of certain ads for the site contextual advertising, such as the type that Grapeshot uses, drills down to the pages and sections of the site to target the advertising to the content that the user is interested in.
In this way the adverts are tailored to what the user is looking at. Whereas with behavioural targeting you are followed around the internet by ads for a shop you looked at once previously. With contextual ads you are catching the potential consumer when they are engaged with related content. For example, when looking at the culture section of a newspapers site the user will be served adverts for plays and operas, or when looking at a gossip site there will be ads for magazines and media services.
Evidence for the success of contextual targeting can be seen in the great results we have had, showing increases in click through rates from 30% to 113% in campaigns across healthcare, travel and telecom campaigns.
Contextual targeting does not have the privacy problems inherent with behavioural targeting. Rather than taking information about the user's historical browsing from the user's cookies, as is done with behavioural targeting, contextual targeting uses the information the user is reading there and then on the publisher's site and combines this with time-of-day and geographically sensitive data to provide advertising tailored to the readers interests.
John Snyder, chief executive, Grapeshot