Efficient Targeting: Contextual Programmatic Advertising Strategies for Media Planning

As a media buyer or planner, you understand the importance of ensuring your client’s ads are placed where and when they’re most likely to reach their target audience. When those clients are counting on your ability to reach increasingly elusive audiences with the most efficiency, you’ll need every advantage you can get. If your most recent campaigns have been falling just shy of their mark, consider adding contextual digital-out-of-home (DOOH) programmatic advertising capabilities to your digital toolbox.

With contextual DOOH programmatic advertising, your agency and your brand clients reap the rewards of highly targeted programmatic ad placement optimized by contextual relevancy. When you partner with a network provider specializing in professionally curated contextual programming, reaching high-value audiences in contextually relevant environments at multiple touchpoints throughout their day it is a lot easier than you might expect.

How Contextual Programmatic Advertising Merges Two Highly Valued Concepts

Contextual ad placement is nothing new. For decades, advertisers have placed their clients’ ads in contextually relevant spaces to ensure they’re reaching a specific audience. They’ve designed print ads for trade magazines, planned promotions for radio stations, and purchased airtime during programs that attracted the attention of the viewers most likely to purchase their clients’ products and services—for example, placing tool ads during a home-improvement show. 

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to keep investing in these spaces. But you may not have the advantages of the highly targeted, programmatic placement capabilities that emerged shortly after the introduction of the first mass-market internet browser.

If you were working with clients back when advertising agencies first ventured into digital marketing, you likely remember having frustratingly little control over where ads were placed or who would see them. Brand safety was a huge concern. For clients electing to capture the attention of the masses in digital spaces, you had to reach out to multiple publishers, negotiate with each rep individually, and hope for the best. 

Related: Programmatic B2B Marketing & Strategies to Leverage Contextual Relevance

As technology evolved, the combined advantages of third-party cookies, artificial intelligence (AI), real-time bidding automation, and machine learning eventually allowed you to plan highly targeted, highly efficient digital ad campaigns.

But with the recent demise of the “cookie trails” you once relied on to build consumer profiles and analyze behavior, you’ve likely noticed that the collective focus of the advertising industry has shifted dramatically. Although you can still rely on your ability to leverage automated programmatic capabilities, it’s the contextual relevance of your ad placement that will help you overcome the challenges of reaching high-value audiences with purchasing power—the merging of these two highly valued concepts.

Why Agencies Are Focusing on Contextual Programmatic Advertising to Engage Consumers

Most reports (and opinions) on the topic of contextual programmatic advertising compare viewer attitudes, thoughts, and feelings between ads triggered by user behavior and ad placement determined by something of immediate relevance. Some of the most common examples of consumer relevance include geographic location, current weather conditions, and publisher’s content topics. Industry experts suggest that contextual relevance dramatically improves the overall quality of the user experience while also elevating brand reputation.

Based on recent polls, 65% of survey respondents say they’re more willing to purchase from brands with contextually relevant ad placement. An impressive 75% say they’re more comfortable seeing contextual ads. It’s clear that in addition to targeted reach of an ad, where and when that ad placement is served contributes to the value of a digital space, feels less intrusive to today’s consumers and is far less likely to be ignored or overlooked. That’s an important consideration.

Most US adults spend around eight hours each day engaged with digital media. During those hours of browsing, most are exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 highly targeted ads. Of those many impressions, only about four of every 100 get more than a single second of attention. Most often, they’re popping up where and when their intended audience is not paying all that much attention.

Recent studies suggest ads need to hold viewer attention for a minimum of 2.5 seconds to have any chance of being recalled. With current polls suggesting viewers are twice as likely to notice in-context ads, it’s easy to understand why contextual relevance is essential. And with so many of today’s advertisers shifting their focus from behavioral targeting to a contextual approach, market analysts predict the contextual advertising market will be valued at more than $376 billion by 2027—doubling in just six years.

How Advertisers Are Incorporating Contextual Programmatic Strategies into Their Campaigns

Marketing efforts optimized in a way that holds viewer attention are three times more effective for building brand awareness than those that are not. Although you can still take advantage of user-generated data to ensure your client’s ads are seen by the right people at the right time, there are plenty of other ways to provide contextual relevance beyond strategies like placing footwear ads on websites offering informative articles to runners.

As you contemplate some of the many advantages of merging your programmatic purchasing strategies with contextually relevant placement, you may find it helpful to consider how today’s media buyers and planners—and their clients—are benefiting from everything contextual programmatic advertising has to offer.

Assessing Data-Driven Insights Across Multiple Networks             

Instead of relying on potentially invasive browser history, media planners investing in contextual programmatic advertising take advantage of keywords, website content analysis, and geolocation data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning analyze text, imagery, and speech to ensure ad placement is relevant to their client’s intended audience. Marketers have the ability to “follow” recently engaged viewers across multiple devices.  

Media planners embracing the virtues of contextual relevance also have access to data-driven insights into ad performance across multiple networks with aggregated data from each environment. They can take full advantage of user-friendly software developed to track and monitor conversion rates, cost of action, cost per thousand (CPM), and more. They use that information to fine-tune their targeting parameters, calculate their ROI, double down in areas exceeding expectations, and pivot as needed.  

Reaching Elusive Professional Audiences by Dayparting

Many of today’s most elusive high-value professionals are striving to improve their work/life balance. Experts estimate that nearly 140 million American workers are planning corporate meetings and family vacations, browsing social media, and shopping online during business hours. In response, media planners are using contextual programmatic advertising strategies to optimize this dramatic shift in workplace culture by targeting the workday.  

Today’s ad agencies are moving past conventional dayparting strategies. But instead of simply altering where and when their ads appear, they’re maximizing consumer engagement opportunities by taking advantage of technologies that make it easy to reach influential decision-makers as they’re making their way to the office, waiting for meetings, and running errands during lunch. Capturing the attention of high-value consumers with contextually relevant ads during the “new prime time” provides multiple opportunities to engage some of today’s most elusive consumers as they’re making their way back to their desks, ready to buy. 

Engaging Influential Decision-Makers Where They Live & Work  

Digital ad spend is expected to increase by nearly 14% through 2023. But that increase in spending alone may not be enough to improve the odds of reaching today’s ad-weary audiences. Current polls suggest that at least 42% of US consumers are installing ad-blocking software on their laptops, tablets, and phones. 

With so many high-value shoppers avoiding online ads and subscribing to ad-free streaming services, there’s been a marked increase in the number of agencies placing highly targeted ads alongside contextually relevant content on DOOH screens.

Related: Guide to Digital Signage | Your Questions Answered

Digital out-of-home advertising merges the benefits of both online and offline marketing. The demand is so strong that analysts anticipate an industry-wide compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 11% through 2032. But not all DOOH network providers offer the same type of service. The most in-demand networks are moving the industry forward by placing brand ads alongside expertly curated content displayed in the lobbies, common areas, and elevators in premium locations where high-value professionals live and work.

Use Contextual Programmatic Advertising Strategies to Boost the Efficiency of Your Next Campaign

Your agency devotes considerable time and talent to every client. But your ads are unlikely to capture and hold viewer attention if they’re not placed where and when they are relevant and meaningful to your target audience. 

Now that you know why so many media planners are adding the benefits of contextual programmatic advertising to their digital toolbox, you may also want to consider how its versatility could help amplify the impact of your next ad campaign. If you’re ready to offer one of the fastest-growing sectors of ad technology to your clients, visit Captivate.  

At Captivate, we provide unrivaled access to high-value audiences with contextually relevant advertising presented in close proximity to B2B and B2C purchase and offer multiple opportunities to align with contextually relevant content curated by our professional editorial team – —the type of content that can be customized to support your campaign goals. 

Captivate’s tailored solutions include ad formats, editorial alignment, and gamification. We also offer the tools you need for programmatic ad placement and partner with measurement & attribution providers to track campaign performance. To learn more about placing your client’s ads on DOOH screens delivering 2.2 billion monthly impressions, submit a contact form. Let’s get started!

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