Emilia Kirk is the Global Head of Growth at Seedtag, responsible for Client, Marketing and Product Growth. Visit Seedtag’s site to hear more

There are certain developments in the world of business that cannot be ignored. They revolutionize the way you work and become absolutely essential in the ways you operate. However, some developments, such as contextual AI, work quietly in the background and are sometimes seen as nice-to-have rather than business-critical. In my experience, this is a flawed assumption. I believe contextual AI needs to be seen as part of the absolute necessities to drive success.

Contextual AI is intended to become a tool that will help to set organizations apart from their competitors. Leaders and experts alike are beginning to recognize the importance of what contextual AI can bring, and its role in helping businesses to succeed looking forward.

The Pillars Of Contextual AI

Contextual AI can be divided into three pillars that help make businesses become more visible to the people they want to reach. In the same sense, when a business is looking for a partner, it has to be sure that a prospect can offer the right services to fulfill its goals. Contextual AI aims to deliver that.

The technology allows a brand to enhance its understanding of consumer interests. It is easy to make assumptions about consumer interests in different sectors, but difficult to prove them. Contextual AI automates and aids an organization’s understanding of consumers, giving it proof points to make business decisions with more confidence. 

Contextual AI is also highly capable of providing contextual creatives that resonate with consumers. Having the information and understanding of what customers want to see, and how they’re going to react, will ultimately give access to better impressions, provide better consumer engagement and help build a memorable and consistent brand identity. 

Finally, it is also capable of delivering messages into the most valuable content type, and it can do this at a large scale. This ultimately helps businesses to get their message out in the most effective medium, to wide audiences, while remaining accurate and relevant.

Answering The Negative Connotations

Whenever a consumer hears the words “data,” “AI” and “consumer” in the same sentence, the warning lights typically begin to flash and it’s not long before words such as “privacy,” “intrusion” or “spying” are thrown around. However, while the likes of behavioral advertising rely on user consent, cookies and “opting in,” contextual advertising doesn’t require intimate personal details to be effective. It targets audiences through the use of keywords and leverages AI to understand the context of a page they’re on, rather than cookies. 

Shifting From An Enhanceable Tech To Essential Tech

In previous years, contextual AI was seen as an enhancing technology, but not an essential one. Now, the recognition of contextual AI as more than simply enhancing is growing.

Businesses are constantly looking for more cost-effective solutions to their problems, and contextual AI offers one solution to fit that bracket. If you look at a similar alternative, such as behavioral advertising, it is heavily reliant on data — and lots of it. The huge amounts of data required to make this a success means that businesses have to implement a successful collection, analysis and then reporting solution in order to leverage it effectively. This can be a costly process if a business does not have large economies of scale.

There are regulations that will make solutions like contextual AI even more important. The key change is going to be the incoming regulations that will stop access to third-party data and will require app users to opt into data harvesting. Consumers today are increasingly aware of who has access to their information, and the privacy battle doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Google actually took a big step forward when it announced that it plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Google Chrome. Contextual AI and other solutions work without third-party data and without requiring users to opt-in.

While there are plenty of benefits to contextual AI, there are some key areas that businesses need to be aware of when they’re looking to implement the technology. Most notably, placing ads in the right areas is absolutely essential. A misplaced ad — untargeted or not relevant in the context of the publisher’s page — will often lead to audiences turning off and not interacting with the content. It’s vital that all advertising is placed accurately because just one misplaced ad could cause consumers to turn their backs. 

The other key consideration that businesses need to be aware of when implementing contextual AI is to ensure that they don’t fall into the trap of blanket blacklisting. Advertisers will often blacklist whole swathes of areas where they don’t want their content to appear, but that can ultimately lead to key targets being missed. Blacklisting is important because pages need to be relevant and highly selective, but by avoiding blanket blacklisting, brands can ensure that they don’t miss out on any key targets.

Contextual AI Is Here To Stay

Contextual AI isn’t going anywhere, and I believe the sooner that businesses embrace it, the better. It has numerous benefits that users can utilize when implementing, and realistically it can offer businesses a good opportunity to build upon their customer data management. Contextual AI is not cookie-dependent, making it resilient to current upcoming regulation changes — and better able to meet future regulations. With the modern world in the state it is, brands have to be flexible in their offerings, changing course at a moment’s notice to be ahead of the curve. Exploring emerging technologies and those with features that can adapt will help meet this modern world head-on.


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