Why semantic targeting is the new must-try in b2b?

From underdog to B2B upstart, semantic targeting makes it possible to send promotional messages to potential prospects in a thematically relevant environment, increasing their impact. The highlight: the targeting form does not use cookies, but instead makes use of intelligent algorithms.

Why semantic targeting is the new must-try in B2B?

Reaching target groups on the Internet with relevant advertising in such an accurate and well-dosed way that they don’t feel bothered by it, but are only too happy to click on it, is a masterstroke. Recently, the Cookie ruling, the DSGVO and the ePrivacy Regulation (ePVO) expected in 2020 made data-intensive targeting methods look pretty old. The three data protection regulations have one central aspect in common: they massively restrict the handling of cookies and personal data. Unless the user explicitly agrees, advertisers are no longer allowed to set cookies to collect user data and create detailed user profiles on this basis. Without user data, it is again impossible to play out personalized advertising with precision fit. This means that the DSGVO and the cookie ruling are massively changing the online advertising market. Its effects are already clearly noticeable today – and the ePVO is still pending. Advertisers have well-founded concerns that digital ads are no longer being heard by their target audiences and that their advertising is literally going nowhere. In addition to the ineffective use of their advertising budgets, they are also afraid of bad ads, misplacement, rising costs and falling conversions. The fact that there is a targeting method that – when used correctly – can dispel all these marketer fears and make 2020 the up-and-comer par excellence is not on the radar of many – not yet.

What opportunities do DSGVO, cookie ruling and ePVO open up??

The DSGVO, the Cookie ruling and the ePVO are currently the scare topics in the digital advertising environment. The online marketing industry in particular has been hit hard. Targeting in particular relies heavily on collecting and analyzing large amounts of first-, second-, and third-party data about users and their behavior. In the wake of the DSGVO and the cookie ruling, data-intensive or data-heavy targeting has become a game with fire. As a result, the majority of advertisers have much less data to draw on than before in order to create tailored ads and play them out with precision fit. In addition to an uncertain future in terms of advertising, the advertising industry is also dreading a wave of warning letters on a gigantic scale. The fact that the changes in the law also reveal opportunities and open up alternative ways to reach their own target groups may sound like a farce at first glance. Thus, in times of the DSGVO and the Cookie ruling, a reorientation is increasingly taking place – away from personalized campaigns, towards semantic targeting.

What is semantic targeting??

Targeting is commonplace on the internet. In addition to technical targeting, such as frequency capping, time of day and day of week targeting, geo and regional targeting, operating system, browser and bandwidth targeting, there are other targeting methods that target users and their environment. A distinction can be made here between profile targeting, behavioral targeting, keyword targeting, contextual targeting and semantic targeting. In October 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that it is no longer permitted to set cookies to play out targeted ads. Instead, legally sound solutions are needed. This is why 2020 will be the year of semantic targeting – a form of targeting that has hitherto led a shadowy existence. Unlike most targeting methods, semantic targeting does not use cookies that collect data and information about user behavior, but instead focuses on website content. What does that mean exactly?? Online ads will only be displayed in thematically relevant environments. And how does it work? In semantic targeting, the entire content of the page is scanned with regard to certain topics. The semantics are so sophisticated that they capture website content in detail and understand language in its ambiguity and dynamics. This makes it possible to understand the actual linguistic meaning of sentences and their contexts, and to precisely track subtle nuances. This technology will eventually lead to a true thematic fit of advertising environment and advertising content.

Why good media planning is the basic requirement?

Semantic targeting is important, but it must fit into a cross-media marketing mix that suits the company in question. After all, it’s no secret that marketing campaigns are only as good as the underlying media planning. A well-developed media plan is therefore a must. For this to succeed, it is important to plan measures for the entire year in advance and budget them accordingly. Advertisers should define in advance which goals and target group they want to reach in the short, medium and long term. It is crucial to identify those topics that can be translated into meaningful measures and effective messages. Equally important is the selection of the right advertising media and channels.

How does semantic targeting ensure brand safety??

Under these organizational conditions, semantic targeting allows topic-relevant ads to be displayed in a relevant environment. For example, the managing director of a housing association would be shown the ad of a provider of controlling software if he reads a thematically related article in an online specialist portal. Advertisers are allowed to display such ads even if the advertised person has not agreed to it. Because no personal data is collected and no cookies are set. This makes semantic targeting definitely DSGVO and even ePVO friendly. At the same time, brand safety is ensured. Since the complete content of a page underlies the publication of an online ad, image-damaging misplacements are practically impossible. Semantic targeting ensures, for example, that a car insurance ad is not placed next to a report about a car accident. The algorithm recognizes the context of a message that is not suitable for advertising. This ensures that ads do not appear in a so-called "bad neighborhood", but only in trusted environments. This reliably prevents dubious or negatively connoted content from rubbing off on the actual advertising measure and, in the worst case, causing image damage for the brand.

What are the benefits of semantic targeting in B2B??

One of the biggest advantages of ads based on semantic targeting is that potential customers do not find them annoying. Since you are currently dealing with a specific topic, topic-related advertisements offer decisive added value. Unlike advertising that is not placed in a thematically relevant environment and consequently disregards the context in which the user engages with it – or not – semantic targeting makes it much more likely that

  • the ad is played out in a content-relevant environment so that it has a positive impact on the brand and the company,
  • Users click on the ad and
  • Users not only click on the ad, but also belong to the target group and, in the best case, convert.

In addition, semantic targeting in B2B offers further advantages: Ads for services and products in need of explanation – typical for B2B – are placed in a relevant context and benefit from a very high advertising effectiveness due to the perfectly matched content environment. In addition, semantic targeting can be used to increase the reach of ads. This in turn leads to an optimal use of existing advertising budgets. What makes semantic targeting unbeatable and therefore a must-try or must-do in B2B is obvious: On the one hand, the intelligent form of targeting protects against misplacements in problematic contexts. This guarantees brand protection and a positive image. On the other hand, it contributes to the generation of qualified leads through precise and interest-oriented playout. At the same time, the targeted placement reduces costs and causes an increase in conversions. In addition, semantic targeting represents a future-proof technology that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning. And the most important: Semantic targeting is DSGVO-, ePVO- and Cookie ruling compliant and thus guarantees the necessary legal certainty.

In our guide ePrivacy Regulation. How can advertisers reach B2B decision-makers in the future?? you will find further information on the current legal situation as well as useful tips and concrete recommendations for action.

In our Media Center you will find an overview of the target markets you can reach via Haufe’s specialist media.

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