Using Contextual Intelligence for your digital campaigns: 5 questions to ask

October 2, 2019 | 3 minute read
Text Size 100%:

The internet is a vast jungle of noisy distractions, and as a marketer, it is essential that you locate your audience through the chaos. The use of Contextual Intelligence in digital campaigns is quickly becoming the best way to do that.

Contextual Intelligence is often known for its role in assuring brand safety and keeping advertisers away from unsavory or sensitive content. But context also acts as a boost and allows brands to reach potential customers in the right environments through relevant and tailored custom contextual segments.

Context assists in finding customers when they’re in the right mind-set. Aligning your ads with the right environment has powerful results. This is the premise of “positive context,” which opens up new opportunities for brands to deliver relevant, timely experiences.

Use the following checklist as a guide to get your campaign rolling in the right direction with context:


1. Are you using tactical terms to improve your campaign’s reach and relevance?

When creating your campaign, take the time to strategically plan your keyword list. Leveraging the right terms will allow you to reach audiences that are actually interested in your products and who care about your offerings.

For example, if your campaign relates to camping, you could use a keyword such as bonfire, which could target another audience that is doing a backyard event.


2. Are you making sure your brand is protected from harmful environments?

Approximately 52% of brands have dealt with brand safety issues more than once, leading to challenges with consumer perception. Misaligning content can be conveyed as a deliberate indication of brand values.

Nowadays, brands don’t want to be associated with topics or discussions that will hurt their reputations and destroy their brand images—and that is where context comes into play. The risk of negative exposure is critical in any campaign.

Not only can you set your campaign to avoid the common brand safety topics, but it’s also smart to think about nuances in certain creatives that could spark offense. For example, a minivan that is featured in an ad about a car wreck may not be the best brand association. 


3. Are you building custom contextual segments that align with the unique subjectivity of your brand and specific campaign objectives?

There are many ways to think about what the “right” context means. Here are some tips to determine what fits your brand:

  • Aligning with customer needs—for example, the content you produce should align with your target audience.
  • Aligning with a personas/lifestyles—meaning that your content should relate to personal hobbies and activities (traveling, foreign culture, food interests, etc.).
  • Aligning with equity-building content that reinforces broader brand objectives. For example, if a brand is endorsed by a major celebrity, aligning its advertising with content about that individual.


4. Are you using a context partner to help you automate the segments in real-time?

Utilizing a context partner can assist with obtaining custom keyword segments in real-time. This will allow you to capitalize on popular trends as they unfold and appear next to new, brand-safe content as it’s published. Here are the best questions to ask a context partner to get the best results:

  • What is the value of using both people-based audiences and contextual audiences, and how do I use them interchangeably?
  • How effective is contextual targeting in finding actual buyers?
  • How quickly can you identify trending content, and at what scale?
  • How quickly can you make custom segments available for use?
  • How do you guarantee that my message will appear in the right environments?
  • Do you offer a full-page or page-level analysis of keywords?
  • How do your contextual segments perform?


5. Are you optimizing and getting creative with your campaign?

Use related words, keywords, and phrases to enhance your campaign. Doing so will allow you to reach new audiences in relevant environments, sparking interest and aligning messaging. You can also get creative by using real-life events and situations as a way to spice up your campaign.

Oreo is a great example of utilizing context with their “Dunk in the Dark” campaign, which mimicked the power outage during the 2013 Super Bowl. This showed the power of quick thinking, and an understanding of the atmosphere in order to deliver a powerful message.

Deciding what is appropriate or not for a brand can be very simple to understand yet challenging to achieve. Being able to successfully locate and reach your audience will determine the success of your advertising campaign. Including Contextual Intelligence in your next campaign can ensure that you’re targeting audiences with relevant content in safe environments.


Looking for additional ways to enhance your digital campaigns?



Check out our Digital Marketer's Pocketbook.




Da'Les Allen

Da’Les Allen is a Digital Content Specialist for Oracle Data Cloud. She creates content such as blog posts and videos for the organization and strategizes on ways to distribute the content. She enjoys creating content (obviously) and reading on the different marketing trends in the industry.

Previous Post

Busting performance claims and delivering true Identity Graph quality

Audrey Rusch | 4 min read

Next Post

Creating a sense of belonging for all employees: the launch of IDEA

DaLes Allen | 2 min read