Will contextual targeting replace cookies in a privacy-centric world? By Dynadmic’s Céline Gauthier

As a renewed focus falls onto contextual marketing, leading CMO’s are recognising the need for comprehensive placement strategy that goes far beyond keywords writes Céline Gauthier-Darnis, co-founder, MENA managing director, Dynadmic.

As we watch the automated cookie age disappearing there isn’t a CMO in the Middle East who is not already planning for a “cookieless future,” with an eye for innovating what has previously been an arm’s length approach to ad placement.  In recent years, advertisers have become incredibly reliant on a cookie-led world, leaving much of the targeting of their advertising up to the Google cookie machine, and stepping away from the ownership of truly curating where their ads appear. Is this unplanned change an opportunity for a much-needed reassessment of our marketing approach, and will a move to a deeply nuanced, interest-based, contextual placement be the answer to our media privacy woes?

Whilst there remain a limited number of solutions that have a like for like replacement to the third-party cookie, we are seeing the leading media platform players innovating at speed to drive renewed power of contextual placement media. These teams recognise overtly that a shift away from cookies shouldn’t mean that the brands can no longer target their consumer behaviours on relevant and powerfully resonant occasions, and are proving that the change may result in improved consumer attention.

Contextual placement today bears very little resemblance to what we once knew. Whilst it used to simply mean placing ads adjacent to relevant content – imagine a Chanel perfume campaign amidst footage of New York Fashion week – or searching for keywords, today the granular sophistication of the systems behind the contextual placements offer benefits in behavioural targeting that drill deep into the content that consumers are actively looking for. Content that is interest and mindset based.

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Fueled by AI and with the power to analyse billions of placements for relevance and connection every day, advertisers now have the opportunity to do far more than place their ad on a site and hope for results. The ability to place branded content, or ads, exactly where consumers want to see them has an ironically effective impact on viewership and engagement and provides many of the efficiencies of personalised messaging delivery. When asking co-founder of Dynadmic, a global agency in contextual media innovation and a global video ad marketplace, Céline Gauthier-Darnis, why their clients are choosing this type of approach to placement she offers that “our clients are already seeing 150 per cent increase on the numbers of completed views, 3 x the number of clicks and an 8 per cent average engagement rate with video ads. Once they see the results the approach speaks for itself.”

Where this really gets interesting is when you begin to layer the sophistication of semantic recognition technology, such as that at Dynadmic, which allow videos to be placed within fine-tuned verbal and audio environments for direct relevance. Dynadmic’s intelligent systems, for example, leverage the power of semantic algorithms and analytics in media placement to allow for both nuance and scale by ensuring placement specificity across a wide global network. Have an ad for your new unsalted cooking butter? Place it within other specific video content where the host is talking, right now, about the need for unsalted butter. The impact of this purposeful, timeous and disciplined approach on messaging placement is a significantly improved impact on sales, ROI and purchase intention. It does, after all,  logically make sense that the ads that are contextually relevant will be more engaging, more memorable and more connected to the shopper mindset. It is the right content, at the right place, at the right time. An adage that once drove all marketing excellence and today can still be seen as powerful contextual relevance in action.

This evolution of contextual placement offers precision reach at scale across pre clustered audiences, interest sets,  contextual categories and specific keyword clusters as well as custom audiences that many marketing teams are yet to explore. The availability of these sophisticated approaches allows marketers to specifically nominate the environments which they want to include, and, importantly, the ones they want to exclude for safety reasons such as environments sharing hate speech, violence, hyper politicalism, racism, toxicity or stereotyping.

Many platforms have lagged in this space but Dynadmic has been a leader in this space since 2012, honing their intelligence and accuracy ever since. Their proprietary audio-recognition technology has been enabling their clients to analyse across formats by listening live to content, spoken voice and sound effects in order to overhaul the accuracy and response to advertising. They have been able to scale this across publishers on a global network to achieve a scale that contextual previously wasn’t able to offer and prove in the process, that the days of simply searching for single keywords are well and truly over.