With the emergence of the “digital democracy,” smart marketers are handing power back to the user through contextual technologies, bringing trust and value to consumer engagement, said Doug Stevenson, CEO of Vibrant Media, at the recent Digital Hollywood Media Summit in New York.
The consumer experience, technology and relevance were key themes at an important discussion – “Contextual Media & Advertising: Transforming and Redefining the Relationship Between the Consumer, Advertising and Media Platforms” – at the conference.
Contextual advertising began with a focus on smart targeting and relevance, from a foundation based on the magazine model of ad placement aligned with content. Now, contextualization can connect keywords, content and images online: through in-text, display and in-image advertising.
Stevenson joined a panel of industry notables for the discussion, including: Chris Pyne, Managing Partner, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom; Jon Kraft, COO, UberMedia; Dan Taylor, Head, Google Display Network, Google; Chris Actis, Senior Vice President, Group Digital Director, MediaVest. Elizabeth Rae Rosenstein, Principal at Deloitte Consulting, was the moderator.
With social networks and media innovation, it is possible to go beyond reliance on any one platform (e.g. the desktop PC or TV), to opportunities for “contextualizing everywhere.” Actis said that this could go beyond traditional ideas and screens, to connect marketers with consumers more directly through hyper-relevant in-store relationships.
Focusing on consumers, their needs and relevant data is leading naturally to tapping the power of social networks and igniting communities, for the “ultimate in relevance,” Actis said.
Pyne emphasised how new developments in communications and the emergence of technology as a driver of innovation puts the onus back on marketers to produce creative that brings meaningful connections and value to consumers. He pointed out that relevance is especially important in meeting the challenges of youth marketing. Developing a deep understanding of the consumer is the only way to succeed when “twice as many children under the age of five can download a mobile app as can tie their own shoes.”
Stevenson cited a study that found less than eight per cent of the under-15 set trust advertising, making forging relationships of trust key to engaging consumers. That call can be answered through transparency and providing relevance for users, as part of the circle of value that contextual advertising brings to advertisers and publishers as well.
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