Seedtag's Emilia Kirk on Revolutionising Contextual Advertising in the Post-Cookie Era

In an interview with ExchangeWire, Emilia Kirk, UK commercial director at Seedtag, delves into the intricate world of contextual advertising within the post-cookie era. Kirk explores the nuances of precision targeting and ethical data practices, offering a unique glimpse into the pivotal role that Seedtag's AI, Liz, plays in shaping the dynamic field of contextual advertising.

How does Liz's real-time analysis of web content contribute to the formation of up-to-date contextual audiences?

Liz's advanced technology empowers us at Seedtag to construct distinct contextual territories tailored to meet audience interests. With the use of embeddings, Liz allows us to generate a unique graph (the Contextual Graph) where all the articles published and read in Seedtag’s network have their own specific point in space. The insertion of the audiences’ interests into the same space allows the crafting of unique segments through an affinity score. This ensures both precision and scale.

How can contextual audiences contribute to a relevant contextual advertising campaign? 

Seedtag provides advertisers with tools to effectively address the hurdles of reach, scale, and privacy that they commonly encounter with the coming deprecation of third-party tracking cookies. This enables advertisers to target audiences based on the content they’re currently consuming rather than their past behaviour, as with cookie-based targeting. By activating Seedtag’s Contextual Audiences, brands can target precise interests rather than broad stereotypes, capturing their target audience's attention and engaging them at the optimal moment to maximise campaign effectiveness. 

When compared to other contextual approaches, contextual audiences excel in precision and result quality. Traditional contextual targeting methods often lack precision and even when they achieve it, they tend to sacrifice it when they scale. By breaking free from rigid taxonomies, we at Seedtag achieve superior accuracy while empowering users to customise contextual audiences according to their unique campaign requirements. 

How do you believe the sector can deal with the evolving content landscape online, particularly in maintaining the relevance of contextual advertising?

With the internet and social media, people have access to an overwhelming amount of content. As a result, they are increasingly seeking ways to filter, prioritise, and digest information more efficiently. This has caused many individuals to shift from endless scrolling and consuming a high volume of content, to a mindset of valuing quality over quantity. This shift has paved the way for more personalised and relevant advertising experiences. When consumers encounter ads that align with their interests and preferences, they are more likely to view them as valuable additions to their content consumption journey rather than interruptions.

As we see a shift away from third-party cookies, how do you see the sector adapting its targeting capabilities to sustain or improve performance?

The advertising sector is adapting to the demise of third-party cookies by embracing strategies like leveraging first-party data, contextual advertising, privacy-compliant technologies and an extended use of AI. Advertisers are increasingly reliant on their own first-party data collected from websites, enabling personalised advertising without compromising user privacy. Machine learning and AI are already being used to identify patterns and target audiences effectively without tracking individual users. However, the role of predictive models is set to be intensified in the future. This will result in further, more advanced predictions of people's actions based on anonymous historical data rather than personal information.

In this transformed environment, adaptability, ethical data practices, and innovative technologies will define advertising success. The introduction of Contextual Audiences showcases Seedtag's commitment to delivering AI technology to help brands not only sustain but excel in their cookieless campaigns. Seedtag's technology is going way beyond classic contextual technologies and Contextual Audiences is a good example of that. This solution will provide brands and agencies with the possibility of capturing their target audience's attention while engaging with them at the optimal moment to maximise campaign effectiveness.