Marketing to Women: Contextual Relevance Counts

July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Women are more favorably disposed towards contextually relevant ads online.  Of course, we are –  and now we have an eMarketer report on a March 2012  Dynamic Logic/Vibrant Media survey of US online women to discover their attitudes about contextual targeting.

In the case of contextual targeting, both the brand and the website wins.  The women surveyed said contextual video ads made them feel more favorably toward both the brand (62%) and the site where they saw the ad (56%), making contextual targeting for video important for  both publishers and advertisers.

Half of respondents reported their overall browsing experience was more valuable because the ads were perceived as relevant to the task they were doing at the time—in effect, relevant to the content of the webpage.

Even if the ads were relevant to online women, contextual relevance to the site seems to command more attention.  Ideally, when we are doing a task online, an ad that complements that task is more likely to be noticed and be seen as a help, rather than an interruption.

An earlier Yahoo study showed that both personally relevant and contextually relevant ads increased the emotional response of the viewer.  The sweet spot seems to be when both contextual and personally relevant targeting methods are used.  Yahoo draws the conclusion that when communicating new product features, personal relevance becomes more important.  When awareness is the key objective, contextual relevance can build long-term memory of the brand.  And, when the highest level of emotional and cognitive engagement is required, both contextual and personal relevance is key.

As consumers become increasingly “blind” to mass online advertising, techniques such as behavioral and contextual targeting  are more important in capturing the right consumer at the right time with the right message.

Contextual advertising is targeted advertising that typically occurs on a banner or pop-up ad on a website. Contextual ad systems target advertising to a specific user based on the keywords on the page he or she is visiting (hence, the context of the ad comes into play).  For example, if the user is viewing a site about sports, and the site uses contextual advertising, the user might see ads for sports-related companies, such as memorabilia dealers or ticket sellers. Contextual advertising also is used by search engines to display ads on their search results pages based on what word(s) the users has searched for.

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