How Contextual Targeting Puts Privacy First While Closing the Engagement Gap

How Contextual Targeting Puts Privacy First While Closing the Engagement Gap

Too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s why you need a platform that incorporates contextual targeting into your digital advertising strategy.

We’re Living in a Privacy First World

It started with GDPR. CCPA soon followed. Then Apple released its new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (IPT) in Safari placing restrictions on cookies. And most recently, Google made headlines when it announced it was doing away with third-party cookies altogether. 

Consumers are getting greater control and transparency into how their data is used. And not just once a year on Data Privacy Day – the trend of personal data empowerment is here to stay. 

Since GDPR became enforceable, the number of third-party cookies used per webpage declined from about 80 in April to about 60 in July, and the number of third-party cookies found on news websites (major advertising publishers) in Europe declined by 22%. According to a recent report by eMarketer, 30% of US companies currently comply with CCPA and 27% will be compliant sometime in 2020 (eMarketer, 2020)

But this doesn’t mean the end is in sight for real-time bidding (RTB) and all of programmatic. 

It does mean this is the beginning of a new era in digital advertising.

Contextual Targeting: More Than A Privacy Solution – A Strategy

If you’re not using a platform with contextual targeting capabilities, you’re behind. Bidding platforms can use contextual targeting to determine the value of the user and placement in the bidding process based on the information on the page, rather than the user. Understanding that we have enough information about ad space without user information means the industry can face the future of the industry with consumers’ privacy at the center of advertising strategy.

Not only are data protection standards changing, so are brands’ and clients’ unique goals. Contextual targeting – that is, targeting based on the information available of the site of the ad space, rather than user data – covers both. It’s possible to determine a unique ad space’s location, the time of day, day of the week, the size and location of the ad on the page, the site it’s on, the page of the site it’s on, and even specifics about what content is on that page. The look and feel of every single ad placement is unique, and can be correlated even more closely with user behavior.

Consider the recent announcement of the deepened partnership between Just Media and Bidtellect. Just Media initially noticed gaps in the B2B market, with DSPs often unable to penetrate the Native Advertising space and offer tangible analytics on engagements and conversions. With Adblocking and “banner blindness” becoming increasingly prevalent, content advertising with strong contextual-driven decisioning offers an alternative to close the engagement gap. 

“Intent has become an important part of our B2B campaigns across clients,” said Kathryn Nassar, Media Account Manager at Just Media. “Most of the data segments that judge intent do so by monitoring content registration, downloads, views and general consumption against certain topics. With Bidtellect’s contextual targeting we can strategically deliver ads next to the content helping to power that data, complementing our other intent strategies and delivering deep engagement with our content.”

Bidtellect’s contextual optimization capabilities enabled content to go beyond where standard banner and display ads can reach: in front of the eyes of decision-makers like CTOs and CIOs for meaningful engagement.

Consider this case study: a major university used contextual targeting to reach students, ultimately landing 88.3% VCR for the month. Contextual targeting allowed them to target based on location and categories like news and business, and science was ultimately the best-performing contextual category.

The value of contextual targeting cannot be understated. Context-driven optimization capabilities combined with post-click engagement measurement, creative services, unapparelled scale in consumer-friendly ad environments were all developed to drive performance for advertisers – without the reliance of traditional cookie-based advertising approaches. 

The result? Advertising intended to provide value to the end consumer. Not annoy them. 

It’s Data Privacy Day: So What?

It’s Data Privacy Day: So What?

Happy Data Privacy Day! This is a very real day with a very real purpose: to shed light on data protection and privacy. Today the industry unites to empower users and businesses to implement better standards for data usage and processing. Here’s what it means.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day began as Data Protection Day. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe officially signed it into existence in April of 2006 to be celebrated each year on January 28th. 

Why the January 28th? It commemorates the January 28th, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

According to The Council of Europe’s official website,

This date corresponds to the anniversary of the opening for signature of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 for the Protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data which has been for over 30 years a cornerstone of data protection, in Europe and beyond.

Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called the “Privacy Day” outside Europe.”

While data privacy may be in the news constantly today, at the holiday’s first inception the everyday person still didn’t fully grasp how their data was being used and to what extent.

The aim of the Data Protection/Privacy Day is to bring awareness to consumers about this process: how their personal data is collected and processed and what their rights are with respect to this processing. Not to mention risks from unfair usage to completely illegal processing and selling.

Now, it’s an international effort to empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.

How Is the Industry Measuring Up?

Today, data protection and privacy is at the forefront of all digital conversations. Here’s how recent enforcement like CCPA and GDPR have encouraged change:

A November 2019 Egress survey found that 93% of US IT decision-makers said they had at least taken some steps to comply with privacy regulation such as CCPA or the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (eMarketer, 2020)

At least half of respondents said they had taken steps like improving their use of existing security technologies, investing in new technologies and improving their data handling practices (Egress via eMarketer, 2020)

30% of US companies currently comply with CCPA and 27% will be compliant sometime in 2020 (eMarketer, 2020)

59% of US IT Security decision-makers improved teh use of existing security technologies in and 56% improved data handling practices in 2019.

Since GDPR became enforceable, the number of third-party cookies used per webpage declined from about 80 in April to about 60 in July, and the number of third-party cookies found on news websites (major advertising publishers) in Europe declined by 22%. (eMarketer, 2018)

What Can You Do?

For digital advertisers, it’s impossible to ignore the effects of greater privacy measures. It has and will continue to affect the digital advertising industry and encourage new strategies to take hold.

According to Forbes’s 2020 predictions for Content Marketing: “Privacy and limiting personal consumer information will play an even greater role in 2020. Delivering relevant, high-value content can no longer be reliant on personal data and cookies alone; sophisticated tools like contextual targeting will become invaluable. Understanding that we have enough information without user information means we can face the future of the industry with far less fear. – Lon Otremba, Bidtellect CEO.” (Forbes, 2020)

A side note on Contextual Targeting and Digital Advertising

Bidding platforms can use contextual targeting to determine the value of the user and placement in the bidding process based on the information on the page, rather than the user.

Understanding that we have enough information about ad space without user information means we can face the future of the industry with consumers’ privacy in mind.

The digital future is privacy-minded. Today we celebrate users taking back their data. 

 

Read more:

What You Need to Know About CCPA

Bidtellect’s Brand Safety and Fraud Protection

Gen Z in 2020: How to Advertise to the New Digital Natives

Gen Z in 2020: How to Advertise to the New Digital Natives

Advertisers: read on for the Gen Z digital trends of 2020. From video to gaming to smartphone use to their parents, here’s everything you need to know about advertising to the “digital native” generation.

Kids these days. They can swipe, click, snap, ‘gram, TikTok…verbs that weren’t even words just fifteen years ago. 

Gen Zers (born between 1995 and 2010) make up a vast proportion of the new “digital natives” advertisers need to be aware of.  Nearly all US teens are internet users. eMarketer estimates that 97.4% of 12- to 17-year-olds will use the internet at least once a month in 2020. And by age 13, 73% of kids will have a smartphone.

Having grown up as “digital natives”, this new generation of self-learners is also more comfortable absorbing knowledge online than in traditional institutions of learning (McKinsey & Company, 2019) This means they are pragmatic and analytical about their decisions, which includes what they buy and how they buy it. Beyond consumption itself, they are re-defining the term altogether: access is becoming the new form of consumption, rather than possession.  Gen Zers are also passionate about causes that matter to them and they want brands to be, too. 

Meanwhile, their little siblings (born after 2010) are gaining digital time of their own, supervised by their parents. Before kids aged thirteen and under start getting smartphones, they use tablets shared by the family for gaming and digital use. They’re not the only ones growing up fast. Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) are growing into quite the tech-savvy parents, keenly aware of the perils of the vast internet and digital landscape. They’re spending money and implementing digital rules for their kids in a different way than generations before them, having experienced, well, a little of both. It’s important for advertisers to appeal to savvy parents of the younger generation.

So what does it all mean for digital advertising in 2020? In order to engage with the kids and teens you’re targeting, it’s never been more important to put quality, safety, and value at the forefront of advertising. Further, video is the primary method of engagement across devices. 

In case you’re confused about who’s what age, McKinsey & Company made a great table here.

Kids vs. Gen Z: Videos, Gaming, and the Social Media “Recession”

Parents are spending record numbers on video and digital gaming for their children. Until age 13 or so, kids are substantially more interested in videos and gaming than social media. If they do have a phone, it’s used for games. 28% of children’s online videos “were related to toys or games.” (Pew Research Center via eMarketer, 2020)

46.6% of kids 11 and younger will be tablet users this year. The tablet is usually shared by the family. (eMarketer, 2020)

By Age 13, 73% of kids will have a smartphone (eMarketer, 2020) and 57% of 4-to-14 year-olds “mainly use their phone for gaming” (SellCell via eMarketer, 2020). 

58% of parents of 5-to-7 year-olds who played video games said they expected to spend more on such goods in 2019’s holiday shopping season than they had the previous year. So did substantial numbers of parents with gamers ages 8 to 10 (49%) and 11 to 12 (40%). (YouGov via eMarketer, 2020). 

Outlays from spending on digital games for kids ages 7 to 12 is projected to rise from $1.03 billion in 2015 to $2.26 billion in 2021. (Nielson via eMarketer, 2020).

As they grow into teens, video prevails:

On whatever device they’re using, teens will often be watching video. eMarketer estimates that 93.7% of 12-to-17s will be digital video viewers in 2020 (eMarketer, 2019).

For Gen Z, social media is of significant interest and time, but not necessarily in a positive way. Social media usage – especially Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat – is high, but so is anxiety and depression, cyberbullying, and self-reported phone addiction. Those surveyed pointed to social media as the primary cause of “fomo.” eMarketer goes more in-depth in their study on Gen Z here: At the Core of Gen Z.

Others claim we’re in a “Social Recession.” Instagram’s user growth is expected to drop to single digits for the first time in 2020, to 6.7% from 10.1%, and its owner Facebook’s growth is essentially flat. (eMarketer via WWD, 2020)

Bottom line: Video and digital games will be the primary methods of content consumption for Gen Z. If younger than 18, target parents’ who will spend big on their kids’ gaming interests. Think beyond desktop – tablet and smartphones are preferred – as well as outside the Walled Gardens as social growth slows.

Side Note: Do Gender Differences Matter in Kids’ Toys?

Much to the chagrin of newer generations, the jury is still out when it comes to gender-neutral versus traditional gender roles in toy marketing.  According to eMarketer, in an essay posted to kidscreen.com in July 2019, Sarah Chumsky, vice president for Insight Kids at the Insight Strategy Group, analyzed findings of a study by her company among kids and teens ages 5 to 16. “Girls tend to gravitate toward more female-centric topics (such as cooking, theater and dance, fashion and makeup), while boys still over index in the video games and superheroes categories.” But, importantly, “for every gender-polarizing category, there is a sizable minority of the opposite gender that engages with it [emphasis added].” A more gender-neutral approach to play clearly has a constituency among millennial parents. What remains to be seen is the degree to which kids themselves will get on board with this. (eMarketer, 2020)

 

Bottom line: Gender-neutral toy advertising may appeal to millennial parents, but kids still tend gravitate to traditional masculine/feminine interests when it comes to toys. Just let the kid choose which one.

Time Folding: A Real Thing to Describe How Much Content Gen Z Is Consuming

Do we really need a new term for what is essentially digital multi-tasking? Apparently. According to WWD and Nudge, “Time folding” is a new term to explain how Gen Z (and everyone) is consuming so much content. 

Engagement with content increased 20% last year, and the number of pieces of content produced is up 10%  (WWD, 2020).

Also consider that 97.4% of 12- to 17-year-olds will use the internet at least once a month in 2020 (eMarketer, 2019).

WWD writes: “Younger generations are doing more than one thing at a time, they’re folding time and they’re able to condense,” said Amy Emmerich, Refinery29’s global president and chief content officer. “Yes, they’re binging, but they’re skipping every 10 seconds. We’ve seen it, the younger generation is truly built to fold time.”

Haik of Vice Media, Refinery’s new parent company, offered that younger consumers are actually doing “three or four things at once” in terms of content consumption.

Bottom line: Create content often, but create content that sticks. It will take a lot to hold this generation’s interest.

Gen Z Isn’t as Worried About “Custom” Content Being Creepy…They Prefer It, As Long is It Provides Value

88% of Gen Zers indicated that custom content feels like a good way for new brands they haven’t heard of to reach them (Time Inc. Study via MediaPost, 2017).

⅔ of Generation X and Z consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising. (Time Inc. study, 2017).

Gen Z are most likely of all consumers to use “buy” buttons (56%) and shoppable photos (34%) (IAB via AdAge, 2018).

36% of Gen Zers have a positive reaction to Native Ads (Millward Brown, 2018)

“I feel like the native ads are more engaging. They have more entertainment value, are thought-provoking, and I perceive a more memorable and lasting connection than with traditional click ads.”  –Nicholas, 33, Finance Guru, a respondent in a Time Inc. Study (MediaPost, 2017)

Gen Z are dramatically more passionate about music and movies. Ads placed in these contexts are far more powerful with this group, with 39% of Gen Z saying music makes them more positive to advertising and 38% reporting that movies have the same effect (Millward Brown, 2017).

93% of Gen Zers say they want to see brands do something new, unique, or creative to get their attention (Time Inc. Study via MediaPost, 2017).

Bottom line: Advertisers should create ads that don’t feel like ads, but instead match the environment they’re in – in form and context – that lead to valuable content.

To Appeal to Gen Z, Be an Expert or Stick Up For a Cause

In polling for a 2019 report by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 68% of girls and 59% of boys ages 11 to 17 endorsed the statement, “I have discovered a new talent or interest [by exploring online].” And 60% of girls and 51% of boys agreed that they are “more connected to social issues and causes [because of the internet]” (eMarketer, 2019).

92% of Gen Zers believe brands have expertise on topics and add value to content (Time Inc. Study via MediaPost, 2017).

77% of Gen Zers say they feel more positively towards a brand when it promotes equality on social media. 71% said they’d like to see more diversity in advertising (Patagonia via Hootsuite, 2019).

7 out of 10 Gen Zers say it is important to defend causes related to identity, so they are more interested than previous generations have been in human rights; in matters related to race and ethnicity; in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; and in feminism (McKinsey & Company, 2019).

60% of teens support brands that take a stand on issues they believe in regarding human rights, race, and sexual orientation, according to the study (AdWeek, 2017).

Gen Zers value online communities because they allow people of different economic circumstances to connect and mobilize around causes and interests. 66% of Gen Zers surveyed believe that communities are created by causes and interests, not by economic backgrounds or educational levels (McKinsey & Company, 2019). 

61% of Gen Z also says they’d pay more for products or services that are produced in an ethical and sustainable way (Facebook Insights, 2019).

Bottom line: Lead with your values, connect through communities, and offer your expertise.

How Much Are Gen Zers Really Buying?

61.8% of 14-to-17s will be digital buyers in 2020. Though substantial, that’s lower than penetration for all age groups younger than 65 (eMarketer, 2019).

McKinsey found that 42% of Gen Zers from 17 to 23 years old are already gainfully employed in either full- or part-time jobs or as freelance workers—a high percentage for people so young. (McKinsey & Company, 2019)

While eMarketer stressed that parents are still ultimately making big buying decisions for Gen Zers, as most are still teens. “Marketers shouldn’t assume teens have gone wholly digital in their shopping. Physical stores still matter, in part as venues for in-person interaction with their peers. And teens are not too cool to use cash.”

Bottom line: While they may not be big online spenders now, Gen Z is on their way. In the meantime, create experiences for physical purchases and appeal to parents.

Gen Z is Leading the Way to Re-Defining Consumption

In their report, McKinsey & Co. touched on a significant shift in the younger generation: re-defining consumption. That is, “owning” something is no longer the sole signifier of success nor is physical possession. For Gen Z—and increasingly for older generations as wellconsumption means having access to products or services, not necessarily owning them. As access becomes the new form of consumption, unlimited access to goods and services (such as car-riding services, video streaming, and subscriptions) creates value. Products become services, and services connect consumers. This is because Gen Zers have access to more information than ever before, and are accustomed to evaluating a broad range of information before purchases. Gen Zers analyze not only what they buy but also the very act of consuming.  

Bottom line: Advertisers should keep this in mind when appealing to Gen Z. Remember experiences, travel, and memberships/subscriptions will be more appealing than “stuff.”

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

2020 is around the corner and if 2019 is any indication of what’s to come…there’s going to be a lot more changes. We asked experts at Bidtellect their predictions for the new year and what emerged was that as privacy moves to the forefront of conversation, so, too, will shifts in quality, ad types, and creative. Read on.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2020?

1. Privacy will play a major role in 2020 strategy with CCPA going into effect along with existing GDPR.

“The issue that will have the biggest impact on all digital marketing efforts in 2020, but particularly digital advertising campaigns, is privacy.  Specifically, the use of and reliance on personal consumer information in advertising, and how the use of that information will be regulated, protected, and limited.  Marketers must factor this into all their digital advertising plans in 2020​”

– Lon Otremba, CEO

“Platforms that rely heavily on audience targeting for performance will see a decline in results as the market continues to put restrictions on user data. Brands will be forced to rethink strategies and test new ones to make up for it.”

– Terah Bocchi, VP of Sales

“My 2020 prediction for AdTech, “Power to the People”, consumers will have more control over what personal information should be private, what is shared, with whom and how it can be used.”

– Kyle Suhan, Sr. Frontend Deveoper

“In the changing digital advertising ecosystem, focused on privacy and deeper regulation, contextual advertising will capture a greater portion of ad spend gaining ground against other methods of audience targeting.”

– Mike Conway, Chief Technology Officer

2. With Facebook under greater scrutiny for false accounts and shady ad placement, it’s time to start thinking beyond social, while DSPs will move to the forefront thanks to greater scale and optimization capabilities.

“Non-social native spending will decline and content distributions DSPs will benefit from that revenue!”

– Lisa Friedman, Director of Sales – East

“2020 – year of SPO. Clients will look to get a better understanding of DSPs supply paths to ensure they are not paying any unneeded tech tax.”

– Mike Feeley, VP Supply Partnerships

3. Ad types will continue to advance and evolve, from format to design.

“Each year, we see emerging trends with design. 2020 will be no exception to really explore surrealism and vivid, almost futuristic colors. Surrealism will be especially effective for retail clients to really showcase their products in a majestic way. The term “Zero Gravity” has been tossed around – images, text and copy will float on your page. We’ll begin to see a layered mix of portrait photography and bold digital design with simple minimalist shapes. [b]+studio is excited about these new trends and will begin testing out new imagery with a mixed use for our clients in 2020.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing

“I believe with consumers gaining more access to 5G, video ads will become more common and dynamic on mobile sites.”

– Tim Chidsey, Quality Engineer

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What Bidtellectuals Are Thankful For This Year

What Bidtellectuals Are Thankful For This Year

Does it seem like Thanksgiving really snuck up on us this year? What a whirlwind! But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for. While it seems like the world is moving at lightening speed – especially in our industry – it’s important to take note of what’s right in front of you. Below, some Bidtellectuals chime in with what they are most thankful for this year. We hope these make you smile!

What Are You Grateful For This Year?

“Thankful for having a great family, an awesome dog and loving what Bidtellect does for our clients.”

– John Szumowski, Southeast Sales Director

“Developing relationships with clients and supporting their respective initiatives.”

– Nick Herbst, Platform Solutions Analyst

“All of our customers, all of our partners – and Bidtellectuals everywhere!​”

– Lon Otremba, CEO

“Taco Tuesdays, hot sauces, great weather, family & friends and [b]+studio (duh!)”

– Yeni Gordillo, Sr. Creative Marketing Manager

“My family are still very close, even though we live in many different states.​”

– Karl Hentschel, Director of Quality

“My wife, awesome UI/UX team, and my dog​.”

– Mitchell Enfield, Junior UI/UX Developer

“Thankful for my family, coffee, my peleton, and to be able to have a part in building an amazing company.”

– Craig Aron, SVP, Growth and Strategic Business Development

“I am thankful for being a part of one of the best companies in ad tech.”

– Bobby Niebler, Director of Platform Solutions

“Jesus; my family and my friends.”

– Mike Feeley, VP Supply Partnerships

“Our clients, awesome team of people at Bidtellect, my family and friends.”

– Terah Bocchi, VP of Sales

“Fermented grapes, amazing son and awesome work family.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing

“When clients get what we do and create amazing content for their brand.”

– John Ferber, CSO

“I am grateful for my little family, beer and awesome food!”

– Tim Chidsey, Quality Engineer

“My Family, Friends, doing what I love every day!​”

– Lane Johnson, Regional Director of Sales – Central

“God, Wife, Family, Friends,Team, Bidtellect and living in FL, USA.”

– Jason Boshoff, COO

“California Sunshine, Family, and Bidtellect being super.”

– Jonno Burden, West Coast Sales Director

“Working with people I love.”

– TJ Kryzanowski, Director of Account Management – East

“Family and friends, my two puppies….and that it’s almost officially “acceptable” to listen to Christmas music!”

– Katie Broussard, Account Strategist

“Friends and family that I always want to be around, a great job, and not a lot to stress about!”

– Kendra Wilson, Director of Sales – Central

“Family, friends, good health, my cuddly dog Fonzie, and the most wonderful team here at Bidtellect.”

– Jennifer Zeidler, VP Sales Operations

“I’m thankful for my friends & family, and that I get to be part of such an awesome work fam!”

– Shannon Malley, Creative Marketing Coordinator

“Cisco UCS and Powershell​.”

– Jason Taylor, Director of IT

“Amazing dogs, a workplace that allows dogs <3 , friends that have become family, and of course, family.”

– Karen León, Account Manager

“I’m thankful everything new I’ve learned in the past year – it’s been a lot! And I’m thankful for these fabulous Bidtellectuals 😊”

– Charlotte Otremba, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communications

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Best Practices That Will Get You on the Nice List, 2019

Best Practices That Will Get You on the Nice List, 2019

Get on Santa’s good side with these creative best practices for Holidays 2019.

The holidays are approaching and it can only mean one thing: gift-giving overload. As customers look for that perfect special something, advertisers know it’s their time to make their products shine. Want to get on the nice list? Download this ASAP. See ya, bag of coal (or worse, sinking engagement)! This list is foolproof.


Headlines | The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.


Naughty: Long (as in more than 60 characters) sentences that aren’t written in title case. And anything pushy or blatant!


Nice:  Provide value! Think: promo codes, offers, holiday sales. Also: Short and sweet! Ask questions! Be punny! Keep it eye-catching.

Images | Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here!


Naughty:  Text on images. Just don’t!


Nice:  Use people or animals (they are more relatable!). Think: lifestyle, authentic, and in the holiday spirit. Tug on those heart strings!


Descriptions | This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers!


Naughty:  A description that’s shorter than the headline. Tsk tsk.


Nice:  Value-driven, relevant copy. Make sure your call-to-action in the description matches your KPI. Consistency is key!

Video | Work in video content!


Naughty:  Super long videos (yawn) and videos that require sound to get the message across! Not everyone has headphones in.


Nice:  Short and sweet with a clear message – conveyed with or without sound. Pro Tip: Add subtitles.

Testing | We’re talking about those optimization strategies.


Naughty:  Not testing out different creatives and KPIs for ultimate engagement. Come on now!


Nice:  Optimizing! Test those campaigns and adjust creatives and KPI based on performance for maximum engagement.

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