[Checklist] How to Choose the Right Contextual Partner

5 Critical Questions You Should Consider to Pick the Right Contextual Partner

Google may have delayed cookie deprecation for the third time, but cookies will not stand the test of time, and they will be phased out eventually. Cookies are not privacy compliant, and regulators across the globe are cracking down on the collection of personal data. Not only are cookies exploitative of personal data, they also are no longer an efficient way of reaching consumers.

Cookies make ad predictions based on previous consumer behavior. Why not tap into a consumer’s active mindset? Why not tap into what someone cares about at a specific moment in time, rather than relying on past behavior to try and assume that you know what they care about? That’s where advanced contextual shines – it matches brands with consumers in the right mindset, based on the context of a digital environment.

But, not all contextual is created the same.

And so, as you’re embarking on your cookieless journey, how do you evaluate contextual providers to understand their capabilities for driving optimal outcomes for your brand? To start, you should ask contextual vendors these five questions:

Let’s dive into why these questions matter when evaluating potential contextual partners.

1. Where can I review your methodology?

Transparency is critical in ad tech, and what better way to ensure that a vendor’s tech does what it says it does by reviewing their methodology? If a potential partner is not forthright about their contextual methodology, consider a different vendor who is more transparent.

Our methodology for Verity™ is public for anyone who is curious about how Verity™ works and processes data.

2. Do you own your contextual technology, or are you tapping into someone else's?

This is a key consideration when selecting the right contextual provider. It’s totally okay to license another contextual vendor’s technology, but is your provider being upfront about this information? Again, transparency is key! If their contextual tech is not proprietary, that’s okay; just make sure they’re honest and then conduct a deep dive into the licensed tech, so you understand that platform’s capabilities.

3. How do you validate that your contextual approach is accurate?

It’s important to validate that both your contextual solution and your individual contextual campaign strategies are working well. When it comes to Verity™, we’ve conducted research to verify the performance of our tech.

We’ve enlisted research partners like Dentsu Aegis Network, which conducted a study that demonstrated that Verity™ is not only more accurate than other contextual vendors, but that contextual targeting is also more efficient than behavioral targeting.

Similarly, we partnered with MAGNA Media Trials to conduct a study that compared targeting using a contextual intelligence engine, like Verity™, to both targeting based on metadata and demos. The study found that video ads are 2.3X more memorable when using a contextual intelligence engine.

4. Is the technology audited or accredited by a third party?

Third-party validation via a technology audit or accreditation is important to ensure that a contextual provider’s platform is capable of doing what they say that it can do. If a contextual provider does have third-party validation, that’s great and is a key proof point in their capabilities.

At GumGum, we’ve undergone a rigorous audit process with the Media Rating Council (MRC) to become the first ad tech provider to receive content-level accreditation from the MRC for contextual analysis, brand safety and suitability across CTV, desktop and mobile web environments.

This recognition by the MRC validates that Verity™ is able to consider all available signals (text, images, video and audio) needed to give a true contextual reading, and it highlights that Verity™, along with the MRC, is working to define contextual standards for the industry.

We are re-evaluated every year by the MRC to maintain our accreditation and underwent a two-year evaluation and comprehensive audit of GumGum’s technologies, systems, and processes to achieve our initial content-level accreditation for desktop and mobile web.

5. Is the technology limited to keyword and text analysis, or can it analyze all digital signals such as text, audio, image, and video?

This goes back to what we were saying earlier: not all contextual is created the same. Contextual technologies have evolved so much over time; today, they should be significantly more sophisticated than relying solely on keyword and URL analyses. If your provider is not capable of analyzing audio, images, or videos, it might make sense to consider a different provider that can. When you’re limited to keywords and text-based contextual, you’re entirely limited from the true power of contextual; the technology is simply incapable of understanding the full context of a digital environment.

To tap into the power of advanced contextual, and for your contextual strategy to drive optimal brand outcomes in a cookieless world, the contextual platform needs to understand all available signals in a digital environment.

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