As consumers get more savvy, brands need to prove that they speak the same language. To find out how effective contextual and audience-targeted ads are at doing that, we teamed up with Forrester to measure engagement. The study showed that while both of these types of ads are growing in popularity, combining the two led to the best results. That's why many participants are now planning to increase their spend to increase engagement.

September 2012

In a world increasingly populated by savvy, always-on consumers who have come to expect relevancy in their interactions with brands, display, among the the most flexible and targetable of digital ad formats, is perfectly positioned to help marketers deliver highly relevant messages. Google and Forrester Consulting surveyed 150 interactive marketers to evaluate their perceptions on the effectiveness of combining audience & contextual targeting with respect to display buying. Here are some highlights:

  • Adoption of both contextual and other forms of audience targeting is very high, and the perceptions of combining both targeting types is overwhelmingly positive.
  • Audience targeting has become the norm in display buying, with big spenders and those with multiple business objectives the most "lean forward". The majority of marketers surveyed are bullish on audience targeting, and few see it as overhyped.
  • 94% of respondents combine contextual and audience targeting for higher performance and greater accuracy in their display campaigns.
  • Most marketers plan on maintaining increasing spend on combined audience & contextual targeting.