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The Ever-Changing Landscape of Ads

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on March 13th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Continuing the conversation around optimization and the need for combining both art and science, today’s blog focuses on the effects of content (environment) on your campaign’s results.

Instead of discussing well-worn topics, such as the value of contextual placements and contextual targeting, I’d like to touch briefly on another effect of content dynamics.  You see, the content of a website changes.  It changes all the time.

Dynamic content implies that the environment in which your ad displays is constantly shifting. In turn, that means that the level of distraction around your ad is constantly in flux. Does this detract from the delivery of your message? What about a poorly written article? What is the affect on your advertising of a highly engaging writer?  Does this lead the consumer to be more likely wooed by your message?

I am not touting the presence of unique technology to solve for this problem. I am speaking to the fact that algorithmic optimization, “silicon”-based optimization, so to speak, is a far-off notion. There are just too many variables. Once you think you have the answer, something in the environment changes, and all your calculations for content go awry.

Making a display campaign work in today’s environment is still a combination of art and science. You need to have the technology to hone in on your target audience and improve your ROI, while providing the visibility to apply art to the equation. The level of engagement of a consumer with the environment significantly affects the ability of an ad to garner their attention.

If technology can rapidly adjust your landscape and offer visibility, you can bring to bear the human mind to help determine how to jump to the next level without wasting a lot of money.

Optimization is art and science. Changing [dynamic] content and its impact on performance is just another example of the multitude of variables that must be considered to maximize ROI.

One Response to “The Ever-Changing Landscape of Ads”

  1. i completely agree that 'too many variables' makes solving for a correct technical or 'science' based approach a virtual impossibility at this point - what we've found is that the key is to get the contextual 'science' part the equation accurate enough at a segment level, and then dial up the 'art' of an engaging message.

    the technology and the variables can leave marketers 'chasing their tails' for ever-richer technical solutions; stopping and getting the message right can and should merit greater attention as viewer cynicism towards banner ads delivered through behavioral targeting increases.

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