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The Power of Contextual: Maximising the potential of your environment


Contextual Targeting
Contextual Targeting

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Contextual targeting is not just a passing trend; it's an emerging force that will gain even more traction over the next 12-18 months (if not sooner), writes Terry Hornsby

Opinions about contextual advertising are diverse and divided. Today, I'd like to shed light on the power and performance we've observed with Mantis, and how you can leverage contextual as the powerful targeting tool it is.

As an industry, we've often struggled to fully grasp the true value context can offer. This is primarily because we've been viewing contextual at a very high level. For instance, we suggest advertising football boots in sports sections or wellies and sunglasses in fashion sections - while this approach achieves decent results, it doesn't tap into the transformative power of contextual advertising. To do that, we need to think outside the box - a strategy that the Mantis team has been actively implementing with publishers, agencies and advertisers over the past 18 months.

Allow me to share some examples of the Mantis segments we've built and provide insight into the impressive performance you can achieve with your content and environments by adopting a fresh approach to contextual.

Consider the wellies and sunglasses example mentioned earlier. A conventional approach would target fashion content - a solid base for sure. But to really elevate performance, we need to consider life situations and content environments that align with the consumer's mindset when they encounter our marketing. For instance, we created a wellie segment that includes:

  • Fashion content
  • 'What's on' content (e.g. walking, outdoor activities)
  • Garden content
  • Festival content
  • Royal fashion content

These are just a few ways to view contextual through a new lens and enhance performance. With Mantis, you can construct numerous deep contextual segments. And yes, I hear your concerns about scale!

Scale is a significant hurdle in transforming contextual into the powerful tool we've proven it to be at Mantis. But that's where our industry can unite and offer curated contextual marketplaces. Here at Mantis, we’re eager to collaborate and assist with this.

If there's one key takeaway I want you to remember, it's this: view contextual in a new light. Don't just target mattresses in mattress content, advertising in health and bad back content, moving house content, property content. Aim to place your advertising targeting in an environment where it is most beneficial and resonates with your users' mindset.

See below for CTR performance on Mantis campaigns that have been enhanced by contextual targeting.  

Mantis performance 26.5% higher across industries

By Terry Hornsby, EVP / Founder


Mantis is a Brand Safety and Contextual platform built by Reach PLC and powered by IBM Watson.

It is the most powerful and precise approach to brand safety and contextual advertising that is available today.

Posted on: Thursday 14 March 2024