Posted by Mike Schneider
What does every publisher want? They are all looking for more inventory to sell at a higher value. At the same time brand customers want increased conversion rates, while every consumer wants value, personalization and help making the right choices.
The challenge now is that somewhere in the last century, the focus has shifted from the customer to mass growth, scale and monetization. Consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing: They own a DVR to skip commercials, often ignore magazine ads, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information by ignoring banners or buttons, making them irrelevant. There isn’t a simple TV-to-EAR relationship anymore: the world is fragmented and people have developed extraordinary skepticism due to choice paralysis, where too many choices cause people to give up on choosing at all.
Content is the conversation that happens between the brand and the consumer. Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable. That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day. Good content marketing makes a person stop, think and behave differently because it conveys a relevant story that resonates with them.
The difference between intrusive ads and relevant content is context. The more you know about your consumer the more relevant your message is. We are not far from a future in which content is constantly adapted and served based on user context. Armed with contextual data on consumers, publishers can make smarter decisions about what content will most likely interest and engage their readers, help them through the decision-making process, and reduce choices to only those that are relevant. A highly engaged audience means more ad impressions to serve, and a highly segmented audience is an opportunity to monetize with targeted advertising.
Consumers make it clear what they like, where they are and what they are looking for in online conversations on social media. Now, with mobile ingrained in all aspects of a consumer's life, mobile app usage can tell publishers a great deal about users including what they like, where they go, and when they use the app. The mobile phenomena has opened up a plethora of opportunities for publishers to gather data on their consumers. How to leverage this data is the next question.
Advertisers have the ability to intelligently build contextual and anonymous personas of their audience based on their real-world activities. Skyhook’s solution builds these personas by combining census demographic data--like income level, education, gender, age and ethnicity--with behavioral patterns based on where users go and when. These anonymous personas provide powerful insights into affinities and intents, enabling advertisers to enrich their inventories with contextual data on audience lifestyles without violating their privacy or giving away proprietary information.
The more data advertisers have about a location, the more they know about who lives, works and visits there. Skyhook aggregates anonymous consumer personas into layers of context assigned to areas and venues. Venues take on the attributes of users who live, work, shop, eat and drink at that address. These venue profiles offer publishers an opportunity to charge a premium for audiences based on their precise, venue-level location and the associated interests and activities.
By cross-referencing consumer personas with venue profiles, publishers can have contextual data on where users are and when. This data can be applied to media buying algorithms to increase the value of ad inventories. This level of audience and venue knowledge enables publishers to deliver more valuable content at a higher CPM and with greater conversions.
Contextual information based on location enables users and advertisers to come together, understand each other, and promote a more beneficial experience. More contextual data on users allows for better targeting for brands, more relevant content for consumers, and higher value ad inventory for publishers. True context data delivers higher profitability for the same ad impressions. Publishers can improve user engagement by reaching their audiences with relevant, higher value content where and when they are ready to make a buying decision.