It’s no surprise that the context in which an ad runs has a significant impact on its effectiveness. And that’s especially true for brand advertisers who are going online with their campaigns. I’ve looked at this phenomenon from plenty of different angles around here with posts like Advertisers Say Contextual Offers Best ROI and Contextual Targeting Yields Highest Return for Brand Advertisers. And now to finally put the question to bed, a new study by OTX Research has been written up by Jonathan Lemonnier in AdAge that seems to prove the point conclusively. They found brand recognition could be increased 19% just by running ads in context. By in context, or contextual targeting, they mean running ads on non-endemic content that happens to be relevant to the products or services being advertised. That is not the same as site targeting which is running ads on sites that are inherently relevant due to the overall genre they serve. This is significant to note because it opens doors for advertisers to dramatically increase their reach. No longer must advertisers find vertical endemic sites specific to their industry, they can now reach out to a much larger general audience to find specific content pages talking about related topics and actually drive greater brand recognition. This can even mean dipping back into the remnant pool for high performing inventory if you have the means of categorizing pages to determine true meaning. And that is sort of the rub here; it is not easy to discern meaning from the chaotic web and especially the unmanageable long tail. And when you step outside the well-lit confines of the premium world you immediately face the challenge of brand safety. How do you guarantee your brand will run alongside appropriate content when you are out there in the wild-wild-west of the web’s seedy underside? Real meaning and real preemptive brand safety take granularity. I am always surprised when I look at the contextual targeting solutions on the market today and realize how shallowly they categorize. Everyone seems to offer 20 or 30 top level channels and that makes good sense on the surface. That accurately reflects how advertisers generally see the world. But a high level channel only puts you in the ball park and does not significantly drive up targeting-based effectiveness. Knowing that a page is about Automotive is a good start but that will not significantly impact clicks considering this level of broad channel-ization has already become a commodity within our industry. It is when you can discern manufactures of cars from types of minivans that you really begin to be relevant to the end user. And when you can determine a page is not only Automotive in nature, and not only related to subcompacts, but also that it is about Toyotas, Hybrids and Fuel Efficient Alternatives, and Hydrogen technologies, then you have deep targeting that has a significant impact on relevance and performance. But sadly there are very few systems that can go beyond a rudimentary understanding to determining the page was really about hydrogen fuel cells on environmentally friendly vehicles. Without this level of granularity you are stuck running an Automotive ad or if you are lucky maybe a subcompact ad and settling for average click rates. The real performance comes in when you know the true meaning is environmental in nature and you can target eco-friendly ads that will have a significantly higher recall rate. I’ve seen semantic engines with only a few hundred total categories across only two superficial levels into which they must classify all the eligible content from the more than 20 billion web pages out there. To really understand meaning in the sea of available ad space you need a solution that is far more granular. You need at least thousands, if not tens of thousands of categories if you really want to certify that a page is brand safe with the goal of maximizing effectiveness and subsequently increasing ad revenues, ROI and page yield. This is why LucidMedia has more than 14,000 fine-grained subcategories behind our contextual engine. It allows us to determine the true meaning of a page before an ad is served and makes sure the most relevant ad can be shown to the user. In some of our earliest tests this deep categorization yielded a 76% jump in clicks in the average direct response campaign versus the typical run-of-network buy. When you want relevance on the web for advertising you need depth and breadth. Having just breadth only gets you half way there.
Posts Tagged ‘otx’
Rob Hof over at Business Week recently wrote about AdBrite and the launch of their new Open Targeting Exchange (OTX) in his Tech Beat column. The concept is an elegant solution to the challenge of high performance targeting for display advertising and we are excited to be AdBrite’s launch partner. AdBrite is “The Internet’s Ad Marketplace” so it is fitting that they are first to take what Rob calls “a sort of eBay for ad targeting technologies” to market.
Here’s the idea, AdBrite is aggregating and integrating multiple external display ad targeting technologies under one sort of free market system that advertisers and publishers can use to target their ads more effectively. When a pageview is called on an AdBrite publisher’s site, OTX calls out at all the potential targeting technologies in real-time to determine the most effective advertisement for the given property, user profile, and location. This fosters competition among all the targeting technology providers creating what our President and CEO Ajay Sravanapudi called a “Darwinian environment” where the fittest will survive and over time prosper. Publishers benefit from increased yield and advertisers get a better ROI. The proverbial win-win scenario. We were more than happy to throw our ClickSense® platform into OTX’s Darwinian savanna of 508M impressions a day and 60,000 publisher sites to sink or swim since it has already proven more than capable of handling some of the largest web properties for years now. But at the end of the day it is the user who gets an overall better experience with a more relevant ad and that is good for everyone in this business. We’ve let the lion out so keep an eye on AdBrite’s OTX in the near future.