Why Are We Talking about Contextual Advertising?

The boom in data, personalization and all the new technologies that have appeared in recent years have changed how advertising is served. Ads have become another element in which companies and companies make the treatment they give their consumers and users unique and personal. Given that the things that interest us have a much better reception, companies have been betting to try to understand what those things are and then position them in their ads. The advertising in recent years on the Internet has been marked by the interests and habits of consumers.

But that has had its negative point. As it became more and more common, so did the most critical view of consumers of what was happening. Retargeting ads, for example, began to look too invasive and even disturbing. That was a de facto word that began to be applied to more and more online advertising formats. Consumers were not always interested in seeing advertising linked to their interests, habits or actions. Sometimes it just kind of scared them or it felt slightly violent.

“Added to that are data protection laws and the fact that they are becoming tougher and more demanding. Consumers have more and more control over what happens with their information and regulations limit more and more what companies can or can not do. Things are increasingly complex for them.”

And all this is impacting how advertising is served and how the technologies that allow it to be used are used, making the great trend of the next few months an old acquaintance. Advertisers return to classic contextual advertising.

Contextual advertising was the gold advertising standard of the internet in its early stages. The ads were served based on the context of the contents and what they suggested. If the content spoke of travel, the advertisements were of travel (but not necessarily of that destination that the user had searched two hours before).

That publicity that seems so unsophisticated compared to the one that has been imposed in recent years is the one that now returns. It benefits, as one expert recalls, not only from data protection regulations and how they have made things complicated for them, but also from the emerging mobile world.

Following consumers with traditional technologies (a return to cookies, now that more sophisticated tracking systems are more affected by data protection regulations) is not very good because good data is not achieved. Cookies do not work well in mobile spaces.

Context, use and solution to problems

And, therefore, the context has created a favorable scenario for the return of contextual advertising. It remains relevant, respects the privacy of consumers and does not make the user experience so negative or so disturbing. Some studies even suggest that they can offer better results in visibility.

In fact, a study already pointed out that 49% of marketing managers in the US were using contextual advertising. In the United Kingdom it was not as popular, but the market is open to change. 44% of the respondents in the study (which addressed the two markets) indicated that they considered that advertising format made the ads more relevant. In the last edition of the study, 31% of respondents admitted that they planned to increase their spending on contextual advertising, a few percentage points more than the 24% that said the same thing last year.

Of course, it is likely that contextual advertising now is not like 2004 and that brands and companies are able to apply more sophisticated tools and practices. But the interesting thing is that, among the things that the market seems to focus on, there is a solution that comes back.