M&M Global – In an age where relationships with consumers are the most powerful way for brands to cut through the noise – reputation matters. The fragile bond between brands and their client base are not built to withstand loss of confidence. In fact, the crucial yet precarious nature of consumer connections has seen damage to brand reputation become the number one risk to business success. With so much at stake, the need for brand safety at every stage of a campaign is higher than ever.
Yet while one-third of advertisers are concerned about bad placements, understanding of the negative associations they can have is limited, as are the precautions they take. To adequately protect brand investments, it is time for brands to go beyond the basics and embrace intelligent brand safety. So what does smarter brand protection offer that minimal measures don’t, and how easy it is to implement?
Sometimes the basics aren’t enough
While most old search techniques have moved into the ad tech archives, one legacy mechanic still remains — keywords. Intended to ensure ads are always appropriate, and therefore brand safe, this method’s reliance on probability makes its safety guarantee uncertain. Working on the basis that a word retains the same meaning in every environment, any keyword search is prone to error.
The meaning of any word can shift dramatically depending on its context. For example, ‘lion’ can refer to the king of the jungle, a creative communications award at Cannes, a popular chocolate bar, or a rugby team. By failing to delve deeper into the exact meaning of a word, or a combination of words, a keyword search can miss the true context of content and leave brands at risk of inappropriate placements.
Small mistakes can have big repercussions
Maintaining bonds with consumers enables brands to encourage purchases and nurture loyalty in a highly competitive marketplace. But these bonds are by no means robust and the slightest damage to a brand’s reputation can break them. An apparently minor mistake, such as a keyword search that places an ad alongside related but inappropriate content, can jeopardise a brand’s reputation and connections with consumers.
A campaign advertising holidays in Greece, for example, would be potentially damaging if an ad were to appear next to an article about proposals for tax increases on hotels due to the economic crisis. Without a robust strategy to guard against such placements, brands are putting their reputation on the line. Basic precautions place brands at risk of harming their carefully cultivated relationships with consumers and losing their market position.
Intelligent protection offers better insurance
To ensure security is infallible, brands need advanced safety measures that can be customised to their specific product, industry, and values. By proactively setting tailored parameters, brands can ensure every placement meets their specific needs. Yet this is only the first step towards smarter brand protection; providing absolute insurance against poor placements also requires a new breed of intelligent software.
Natural Language processing is designed to understand the subtle contextual differences of human speech, identifying all-important sentiments and key considerations in content. With the insight provided by in-depth content analysis and the protection afforded by personalised boundaries, brands can avoid the risks associated with bad placements. They can also use accurate data about publisher content to target ads for maximum impact at page-level, which is surely a pre-requisite for any smart brand planner.
When a marginal mishap can cause chaos, attention to every detail is crucial. Limited precautions, such as keywords and post-campaign analysis, are no longer enough to protect brands from serious reputational damage. While the basics carry too many safety hazards, intelligent brand protection offers a far more reliable form of insurance. Smart brand planning using semantic technology uncovers and avoids the hidden dangers within content, keeping relationships and reputations intact.
Nick Welch, business development director, ADmantX
Source: M&M Global